May 23, 2010

Gold Cup

The Virginia Gold Cup started in 1922, and now draws about 50,000 spectators. Steeplechasing in Virginia has been a way of life since early Colonial times when the horse was the primary way of transportation, farming and war. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson met in sporting competition over fences. Organized steeplechase races have run in Fauquier County since 1844 originally at White Sulphur Springs then a fashionable spa near Warrenton.

On April 3, 1922, eight sportsmen met at the Fauquier Club in Warrenton and decided to organize a four-mile race between flags over the natural walls and fences of the nearby hunting countryside. Pledging $1,000 to purchase a trophy for the winning owner, they ruled that it be kept permanently by the first owner to win the race three times, not necessarily in consecutive years nor with the same horse. Just 34 days later, they held the first Virginia Gold Cup race. From its beginning, the race was intended to be a national event drawing “the best hunters in America.” Unlike today’s seven-race card, that first Virginia Gold Cup was a single-race event, riders to be “gentlemen wearing racing colors or officers of the U.S. Army in uniform.”

Annnnnnndddd...here we are today!

Our third horse race together!

LA Tent

Swept off my feet...so to speak!

Prom pose

Nap time

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