On May 4th, 2013 over 50,000 spectators gathered for the 88th Virginia Gold Cup steeplechase race at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia. Considered one of the largest and most popular sporting events of the Washington metropolitan area, the Virginia Gold Cup is a yearly staple for horse breeders, horse race fans, preppies, socialites and politicians.
In addition to the horse race, there are several other events and activities that make up the day including a six hurdle and timber horses race, Jack Russell Terrier races, tent, tailgate and hat contests, and vendor booths for shopping. This year marks a special year as it was the first time Pari-mutuel betting was allowed, which makes The Virginia Gold Cup (and the International Gold Cup in October) the only two steeplechases in Virginia to offer the betting.
The best way to go to the Gold Cup is with an organization that sponsors a bus ride and tent. This year we joined The Capital Club of Washington, DC. The Capital Club, founded in 1980 as a social organization that has evolved into a nationally recognized organization over the past 30 years. The Club maintains a membership of only one hundred from the greater Washington, D.C. area and beyond and membership is by invitation only. A non-profit, 501(c) organization, the Capital Club is committed to its long tradition of support for local and national charities and community causes, most notably the Trey Lefler Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of the South.
The Capital Club “rolled out the red carpet” as their well-dressed guests boarded the five charter buses en route to The Plains. The party began on the bus and continued at the tent, which had an open bar full with beers, champagne, RBV’s, Fireball, Maker’s and food provided by Chick-fil-a. After the races, we loaded the buses to go to the after party at Mason Inn.
While at the event, I had an opportunity to judge the hat contest. The categories for this year were: Most Outrageous, Best Theme, Child and Most Glamorous. I must say, it was pretty tough having to pick from all of the great designs, hand made and store bought.
I also had the opportunity to hang out with our friends at Leisure Society, including CEO Shane Baum. Their guests previewed their latest collection, while enjoying food and drinks in the Broadview Box.
A day at the Virgina Gold Cup races is like stepping onto a Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brother, J. Press, Lily Pulitzer or Vineyard Vines photoshoot (click here to see our Gold Cup inspired looks). Everyone was dress exceptionally well and very hospitable. The Virginia Gold Cup is a meeting ground for old friends, frat brothers, sorority sisters and family members. Memories are made and stories are told. It only takes on Gold Cup to become a fan.
If you missed the VA Gold Cup, make sure to attend the International Gold Cup on October 19, 2013.
For more information, please visit:
VA Gold Cup http://vagoldcup.com/
Capital Club http://www.capital-club.com/
Leisure Society http://leisure-society.com/
Click HERE for the race results.
-Phaon K. Spurlock
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