The sport of Steeplechase racing dates back to 1752 in Ireland
when two, half-crocked, friends settled the argument over
who owned the best horse by racing to the nearest Church steeple
after returning from Fox hunting. The winner actually rode
right through the church where the vicar was holding a solemn
funeral. Soon steeplechase racing spread to England, where
in 1792, the first recorded race was held. This sport then
crossed over from the Atlantic to the US, where it has became
In the early 19th century nine prominent men from New York
- August Belmont, H. DeCourcy Forbes, Samuel S. Howland, James
O. Green, Frederick Gebhard, A.J. Cassatt, Foxhall P. Keene,
John G. Follansbee and Frederick H. Prince founded the National
Association for Steeplechase. When it was first founded, its
mission was to make the sport popular in the US and help it
grow across the Atlantic. For membership details and other
small tidbits about the Association, you can visit their website
Steeplechase races are held at 12 states across the country
and the cumulative purses for these events are $5 million
annually. The horse races are a place to see and be seen at.
It's seen across the country by millions of fans and admirers
and is a major sponsored event where corporate sponsors vie
with each other for sponsorship of the events. It attracts
the best talent for horses, horse owners, and riders and also
raises millions of dollars in charities. Thus it also attracts
the most powerful and the influential men and women. If you
have seen Pretty Woman, you pretty much have got the idea.
Some of the oldest and the most prestigious steeplechase
horse racing events are Montpelier Hunt Races, which was started
on the estates of Former President James Madison since 1929.
For more information you can visit their site http://www.montpelier.org/races.htm.
Others are The American Grand National that began in 1899
and the The National Hunt Cup in Radnor, Pa., which was started
For more information on steeplechase racing across the country,
you can visit http://www.steeplestakes.com/links.html,
which lists all the races, their schedules and the prize monies.
In Virginia, you can visit the Virginia Steeplechase Association
The big races in Virginia are The Virginia Gold Cup, The
FoxField Races at Charlottesville, Fairfax Hunt races at Great
Falls, Middleburg Spring races at Middleburg, Montpelier Hunt
Races at Montpelier Station, Morven Park Steeplechase Races
at Leesburg and the Mountaineer Chest Track in Chester.
You can also visit these websites for further information
on racing in Virginia.
About The Author
The history of Steeplechase racing. Learn all the history
and facts before you attend the races. Read more about what
America's new, glamorous, spectator sport at: http://www.charlottesville-area-real-estate.com/Charlottesville-Area-Articles.html.