13 Nov 2020
This weekend, watch some gorgeous horses race while tailgating to your heart’s content at the Steeplechase of Charleston.
Steeplechase horseracing is a time-honored tradition around the Lowcountry, dating back to the 1700’s. It involves horses and their riders navigating as fast as they can over a course filled with four-foot high jumps.
As with other sports, there’s an annual season. Event locales include Aiken and Camden in South Carolina as well as Saratoga Springs, New York. The Charleston event marks the culmination of the steeplechase season.
Previously it was known as the Charleston Cup. A few years ago, some hardy devotees along with the Post & Courier took over the reins, revamping and rebranding it as the Steeplechase of Charleston.
This will be the 5th official running of the Steeplechase of Charleston. It’s happening all day this coming Sunday, November 15th from 8:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. The location is The Plantation at Stono Ferry Racetrack, 5000 Old York Course Road in Hollywood, SC. Here’s the official website.
They’ll run five high stakes races with $65,000 prize money up for grabs. There will be the beloved Vendor Village, complete with 100% touchless environment. And then there’s the tailgating. Folks in the Lowcountry know how to tailgate with class, and at the Steeplechase of Charleston, they tends to pull out all the stops. It’s a place to see and be seen.
Steeplechase of Charleston during COVID
It comes as no surprise that they’ve tailored the event this year to make it as safe as possible. Basically, they’ve reduced ticketing capacity by 50%, so people can socially distance on the 60-acre facility. Also, this year you will purchase tickets as part of a tailgating “pod,” if you will. Here’s how they describe the new parameters:
- Each dedicated tailgate space will accommodate a group up to 5 guests – your “social pod” for the day. If friends are tailgating nearby, no worries. You can visit one another’s space, as long as no more than 10 individuals gather at a time.
- All ticket holders will be part of a tailgate arrangement. The 2020 event cannot accommodate single ticket holders unattached to a tailgate party.
- Ticket holders planning to join a tailgate group, but arriving separately, must use a ride share service to the Stono Ferry track. No guest parking will be available on site, separate from the pre-assigned, single vehicle tailgate spots.
- Guests are encouraged to self-regulate social distancing when approaching the rails and other crowded spaces.
- Hospitality tents will not be walled, and will be limited to half the capacity they are designed for. Each will also feature a private restroom and sanitation facilities.
- Masks will be required of all individuals any time they leave their dedicated space, allowing for safe interaction in the Vendor Village, at the rails, etc. Staff and volunteers will wear masks at all times.
- A staffed medical tent will be available to any attendee in need of help.
The weather looks to be lovely for the event, with temps in the mid-70’s. Click here to purchase tickets.
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