Horse racing in the South is a storied tradition. In Charleston, it began in 1792 with Washington Race week, which featured a one-mile loop around today’s Hampton Park. Citizens donned their finest attire and spent a day of revelry watching jockeys prod their horses across the finish line.
On Sunday, Nov. 11, the Steeplechase of Charleston will return to the Holy City, carrying on that tradition. The event, which got its start in 1986, will take place at the race track at Stono Ferry.
"We want to give fans an experience that immerses them in the tradition of competitive horse-racing with all the Southern nostalgia, history and charm," says Race Director Toby Edwards. "That’s why our event takes in all the key elements and carries it beyond the race with contests for the best hat, the best catered Southern fare and a nod to the holidays with local vendors on site to get everyone in the mood. It’s truly a Southern festival."
The event is presented under the auspices of The National Steeplechase Association, which closes its racing season this year in Charleston, with $100,000 in prize money and titles up for grabs.
General admission tickets are $30; a tailgate ticket package is available for $200. Tickets to the VIP Chalet, which includes open bar and lunch service, are $175. Go to www.cuetoems.com/steeplechase_2018/Tickets.aspx.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the County Cradle to Career Collaborative, a nonprofit that seeks to improve education and job opportunities for students throughout the tri-county area.
The National Steeplechase Museum is located in Camden.