The Nineteenth running of the Charleston Cup is scheduled to take place at The Plantation
at Stono Ferry on Sunday, November 11, 2012. Sanctioned by The National Steeplechase
Association, the Cup has become one of the premier sporting events in the Carolina
Lowcountry, offering spectators the opportunity to experience live horse racing at its finest. After an 8 year hiatus from 2002 to 2010, the Cup ran again in 2011 on its 25th Anniversary with a banner crowd. Attendance this year is expected to double.
Started by the South Carolina Jockey Club in 1986, the Charleston Cup is much more than just a horse race. The Cup is the social event of the season – and definitely not to be missed! You don’t have to be a “horse person” to enjoy all the Charleston Cup has to offer. The race weekend kicks off with the elegant black-tie Race Ball. Live music, fabulous food, and a special race preview combine to make this gala party an essential element in the total Cup experience. Sunday morning, the real excitement begins as the nation’s top riders, trainers, and owners prepare to compete for purses totaling $50,000.
Over 16,000 spectators will enjoy a full day at the races with exciting steeplechase and flat races. The gates open at 9:00 a.m., and attendees arrive early with their picnic baskets packed with everything from champagne and caviar to fried chicken and cold beer. A vendor village and tailgating are in full swing by the time the paddock call rolls around at 12:00 noon.
A steeplechase race differs from a flat race in many ways. Flat racing is exciting in that it has a great deal of speed while a steeplechase takes that speed and combines it with the danger of jumping. The thoroughbreds that run in steeplechase races are three years of age or older and have been trained specifically for ‘chasing.’ Additionally, the jockeys are typically larger than ones that would participate in a flat race. The extra height is necessary in order to have a better hold on the horse while soaring over the jumps.
Whether you are entertaining clients in a private corporate tent, relaxing with friends in a reserved parking space, or just spreading a blanket out for a picnic with a view, the Charleston Cup will provide one and all with the ingredients for a fun-filled weekend.
*Tickets and reserved parking go on sale August 1, 2012