The 85th running of the Virginia Gold Cup was held on May 1st. The weather was hot, the crowd was large and hat sales were brisk. In addition to steeplechase racing, there were terrier races, tailgate competitions, a hat contest and a cake contest. For more photos of the Gold Cup, please visit the Virginia Gold Cup gallery at Susan M. Carter Photography.
The main event of the day was the $75,000 four mile Virginia Gold Cup, run over a course of twenty-two timber fences, up to four feet high. Bubble Economy with Paddy Young and Patriots Path with Darren Nagle look over the first fence before the start. Bubble Economy won the Gold Cup in 2008 and Patriots Path was the 2009 Timber Horse of the Year.
Bubble Economy went on to win, flying over the fences.
Fort Henry, Jody Petty and I were captured on the JumboTron. Shortly afterward they decided they'd rather not have me in the middle of the screen and changed the camera angle.
Another exciting race at the Gold Cup is the Steeplethon. Although officially a timber race, it's run over a course consisting of everything from banks, ditches, stone walls, timber, hurdles and a water obstacle. Here Swimming River and Bernie Dalton came over one of the banks and went on to second place.
In addition to winning the Gold Cup, Paddy Young also won the Steeplethon on The Whacker (IRE).
With thirteen horses in the EMO Hurdle Race, it was chaotic over the fences. Star for Tina and Xavier Aizpuru went on to win.
Bob Madigan, a familiar voice on the Washington DC airwaves, was broadcasting live from the races and got a little help from a friend.
I have to admit, I'd never heard of Ace of Cakes but then I can just about get the ingredients in my bread machine in the correct order. Chef Duff created a Gold Cup cake and judged a cake competition. It was pretty hard to believe that this was a cake.