I love any opportunity to pull out a cute sundress, sip on fruity drinks all day and lavish in the company of friends. And what better atmosphere than a horse race?? If you’ve never been to the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase, this is a must-do activity! This year’s event is just around the corner on Saturday, April 26th. To provide a super Smarty guide on the ins and outs, I turn to my friend and avid Steeplechase enthusiast, Sarah B.
This is definitely a “must-do” for us each year! I’ve been going for 7 years now, and each year we pick up some new tips to improve our experience for the next year. I recommend going in with friends to get one of the tent options. The event goes on rain or shine so best to be prepared in case of a pop-up April shower or to have some shade from the hot afternoon sun! We typically get one of the tents on the outside rail (Valley View) vs. the infield. I’ve found that the infield spots are more for the die-hard tailgaters, as you don’t get as good a view of the race. Spots sell out fast, so be sure to get your tickets today!
There is a huge parking lot right outside the track … Smarty Tip: pick one car in your group to be the “gear car”. Most packages come with one reserved parking spot tent-side, so load up that car with all your stuff and drive it in rather than lugging all your gear from the parking lot! And when loading up your car, be sure to pack lots of yummy food and beverages to last throughout the day! Our favorite drink of choice is the “Cosmo Punch”:
8 cups cold cranberry juice
1 cup cold orange juice
2 cups cold citron vodka
1/2 cup cold Triple Sec
1 sliced lemon
1 sliced lime
1 cup frozen cranberries
1 bottle cold ginger ale
Mix together all but the ginger ale and store in refrigerator. Before serving, add the ginger ale.
The Queen’s Cup offers activities all day long, including a tailgate contest (some folks are even known to pull out the crystal, fine china and linen table cloths for this!), dog races, and a race course walk – complete with a steeplechase jockey sharing secrets of horse race riding! Here is a quick itinerary:
10:00am Gates Open
10:30am -12:30pm IAMS Terrier Races featuring the Carolina Jack Russell Terrier Club
11:00am -11:45am Racecourse Walk. Meet at the finish line and tour the racecourse with a steeplechase jockey and learn the secrets of race riding and the sport of steeplechasing. Kids are encouraged to come along too!
11:30am – Opening Ceremonies
Noon-1:00pm – Tailgate Judging Contest
1:00pm 1st Race
1:40pm 2nd Race
2:20pm 3rd and Feature Race
3:00pm 4th Race
3:20pm Raffle Drawing
3:40pm 5th Race
Immediately following the last race until 6:30pm – Hot Walk Party! Enjoy live music by Kingdaddy. Cash bar provided and free hors d’oeuvres compliments of Something Classic Catering!
For a detailed itinerary, click here!
A few other important tips – get there early, traffic tends to build up in the area. Be sure to bring plenty of $1 bills with you for betting on the horses. Finally, the dress code is considered casual, but be sure to pull out your favorite sundress and hat for this occasion! Jeans are rarely seen at the Queen’s Cup. And make sure you don’t wear good shoes – flat shoes are recommended, heals are not!
Do you have any Smarty suggestions for Steeplechase? Do share!