Celebrate the Virginia Steeplechase Tradition

April 25, 2018 | Ivy Publications

Each spring and fall, Virginians don their “afternoon dress” or “Sunday best” to celebrate the state’s steeplechase tradition with posh horse races. Social affairs, these events are filled with fashion and tremendous tailgate spreads, complete with lawn games and farm-to-table food and drinks. The sport is one of elegance and beauty as equestrians race over lush fields and hills. This season, the custom continues with the Foxfield Spring Races on Saturday, April 28, and the Virginia Gold Cup on Saturday, May 5.

(Below, bottom photo by Richard Clay, courtesy of VA Gold Cup)

The proximity to the horses on race days make for an exhilarating experience. Reaching speeds around 45 miles per hour, the horses test the limits of speed and agility and tradition includes spectators placing friendly wagers on their favorites and then raising their glasses to the fastest. In addition to the competition on the field, hat and tailgating contests are added entertainment.

No matter the season, this 250-year-old tradition continues to excite and entertain equestrian lovers. Be sure to check our Facebook and Instagram for special ticket giveaways for upcoming races.

To learn more about Steeplechase, click here. Scroll on to see our horse race fashion guide!

(Below, bottom photo by Chris Weber, courtesy of VA Gold Cup)

From broad-rimmed hats embellished with lively accessories to bright seersucker suits, the preppy fashion showcased at Virginia horse races is always a staple of the events. We put together some of our must-have pieces to help you plan the perfect look.

For Her (1–3) & For Him (4–6):

  1. Spring/summer dress: Forever Holiday Dress from Verdigris
  2. Broad-brimmed hat: “The Vineyard” hat with “The Traveler” scarf from Wine & Country Collections
  3. Pearls: Morganite & Akoya Pearl Stud Earrings in Gold from Ana Cavalheiro Fine Jewelry
  4. Watch: Tissot Quickster Chronograph Quartz Watch from Schwarzschild Keller & George
  5. Bow Tie: Lewis Bow Tie by Collard Greens from Natty Beau
  6. Button-up shirt: Mint Crinkle Plaid Print Long Sleeve Shirt by Stone Rose from Verdigris

Original story by Abby Meredith

From Ivy Publications, publishers of Charlottesville Wine & Country Living, a semi-annual magazine of Life & Style in Jefferson’s Virginia; Charlottesville Wine & Country Weddings, an art book celebrating elegant country weddings in Jefferson’s Virginia; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; CharlottesvilleFamily’s Home Magazine, a quarterly flipped edition with CharlottesvilleFamily’s Bloom Magazine that includes all things home, from builders and real estate professionals to insurance, landscaping, utilities and more;
 the CharlottesvilleFamily Ultimate Go-To Guide and Home Go-To Guide, an annual flip book with everything from daytrip ideas and home tips to directories of family & home services; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, the University of Virginia as well as a relocation handbook.

At Ivy Publications, we’re inspired by the belief that by utilizing technology, working efficiently and attending to quality, we create publications that honor the reader and build a real connection with our local businesses. This belief has led to prosperous and long-standing relationships with our clients, who entrust us with their advertising and have enjoyed great success utilizing our niche publications to effectively reach their target markets since 1998.

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