Virginia’s oldest steeplechase is set to kick off the Commonwealth’s NSA sanctioned event season on Saturday May 1 — a different date from past years due to the Covid pandemic.
In a normal year, the Virginia Gold Cup Races would be held the first Saturday in May — Kentucky Derby Day — -and include wagering on the “Run for the Roses”. The Gold Cup will be conducted May 29 this year though.
The Middleburg Races at Glenwood Park will be held with limited spectators due to the Governor’s current Covid-related capacity limits at outdoor events. As a result, the Races are already sold out but live streaming will be available at nationalsteeplechase.com. The race office is open 9am-12:30pm on race day. Gates open at 10am, first race is at 1:00pm.
Race Day Schedule:
10:00 AM – Gates Open
11:30 AM – Stick Pony Races
12:00 – Opening Ceremony
1:00 PM – Post Time
2:30 PM – Hat Contest
6:00 PM – Gates Close
Here’s a history of the Middleburg Spring Races:
Today — Thousands come to see some of the nation’s most athletic thoroughbreds compete at high speeds over hedges and timber. The prestige of $190,000 in purse money brings the finest horses together for seven thrilling races.
A great coup for the Middleburg Spring Races was securing the Temple Gwathmey, a race originally run in Rolling Rock, Pa. and then in Belmont, NY. This $75,000 graded stakes hurdle has been held at Glenwood Park since 1990, and it lures the best hurdle horses in the country.
Our famous Alfred Hunt Steeplechase course is inspired by fences found at New Zealand and French race meets and boasts every type fence: ditches, banks, brush, timber, and coops, for a fanciful course designed by Mr. Paul Fout and Mr. Tommy Beach. Mr. Alfred Hunt was a stellar Master of the Rolling Rock Hunt, and this one-of-a-kind American racecourse is dedicated in his memory.
A Sporting Tradition — Every third Saturday in April, as a much-anticipated rite of spring, thousands of guests and race fans gather at Glenwood Park for Virginia’s oldest steeplechase. Steeped in tradition, it’s rich history dates back to the 1911 when Middleburg Hunt’s Master of Fox Hounds, Daniel Cox Sands, organized the first Middleburg Hunt Race Meet.
With its origins of foxhunting point-to-points, the Middleburg Spring Races has evolved into a world-class race event that resonates with a vast audience from Middleburg locals to the world’s elite race aficionados.
The Middleburg Spring Races have become the quintessential event to welcome spring to Virginia, synonymous with the blooming of the daffodils and dogwoods. Surrounded by Virginia’s famous hunt country, the tradition continues.
Details are at www.middleburgspringraces.com