With this phenomenal spring weather, there’s really no reason not to hit every steeplechase race of the season. And since every steeplechase presents its own unique course of obstacles, each one offers an exciting and unpredictable race. But few can rival the tradition and challenge of the Maryland Hunt Cup. The thrill of horse racing coupled with the sport’s rich tradition in Maryland make a day at the races a fabulous weekend outing for the family, or a really cool date idea, or simply a great way to get away from it all momentarily. When you attend the Hunt Cup, you’re attending a horse race that has been run here in Maryland since 1894, when members of the Elkridge Fox Hunting Club challenged the members of Green Spring Valley Hounds to a timber race. Thus was born the Hunt Cup. In keeping with the challenge, the first race was limited to members of the two original fox hunting clubs, but it proved such a success that the next year it was opened to all fox hunting clubs in Maryland. The race’s popularity spread like wildfire, and in 1903, members from recognized clubs all throughout the United States and Canada were invited to participate.
In 1922, over 90 years ago, Worthington Valley became the permanent home of this four mile, twenty-two fence steeplechase course. The spectacle of the race is truly something to behold—having grown consistently ever since the race was founded. Fans bring friends and family every year, for an absolutely gorgeous afternoon of tailgating and picnicking on the hill overlooking the racecourse. And since the race has found its permanent home at Worthington Valley for so long, you can feel the rush of watching this exciting race from the very same spot that horse racing enthusiasts watched it from almost a century ago. The race attracts top athletes in the sport, which makes it all the more exciting for spectators. So be sure to reserve a parking pass, show up early, park your picnic blanket high up on the hill, and settle in for an absolutely fabulous afternoon of traditional horse racing—one that generations of Marylanders have enjoyed.
The Maryland Hunt Cup is held Saturday, April 26th at Worthington Valley. Gates open at 11am, post time is 4pm. For more information, visit www.marylandsteeplechasing.com.
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