Five Things To Know About The 100th Middleburg Spring Races
This Saturday in Virginia, the Middleburg Spring Races will be celebrating 100 years of racing. And aside from the 100th anniversary milestone, the National Steeplechase Association (NSA) announced this week that the event is the season’s first jump race after a hiatus because of the pandemic.
The meet set a National Steeplechase Association record attracting more than 200 entries for its 11-race card with the first post set for 12:30 p.m. ET. A decorated field of 10 has been entered for the $50,000, Grade 3 Temple Gwathmey Handicap, the centerpiece of the Middleburg Races. This race at 2 ½ miles over national fences attracted a field that includes two Eclipse Award winners, another Grade 1 winner and two novice champions.
Here are five things to know about Virginia’s oldest steeplechase:
1. 2020 marks the 100th consecutive running at the Glenwood Park course located a mile from the historic town of Middleburg, Va.
2. Past U.S. presidents attended the races, notably John F. Kennedy, whose wife Jackie rode with friends in the area.
3. Glenwood Park has been the home of the races since the beginning and was placed in a trust to ensure the races would always run there. The surrounding area remains rural and is preserved as part of the Goose Creek Watershed.
4. The unique Alfred M. Hunt steeplechase race, with its variety of jumps and a tight turn, was the beginning of the popular steeplethon race concept.
5. Glenwood’s natural bowl-like terrain, with a stone grandstand set into the hill on the east side, lends itself perfectly to race-viewing. The spectacular grass, stone perimeter fence and the shady oaks make it the jewel of American steeplechasing venues.
While the races will run without spectators and under strict health and safety safeguards, the NSA will livestream the races and feature interviews, a history of racing and the beautiful rural settings of Virginia.
You can view Saturday’s broadcast on the NSA Network: http://NSA.Network.Video