Each year, High Hope Steeplechase spectators enjoy the thrills of jump and flat racing from a variety of vantage points. The preferred tailgate area where cars are parked trackside is sought after, with large picnics and lavish spreads displayed to entertain guests. Close to the finish line are tents where corporations gather to host parties for their clients. This area is also home to the Members’ Pavilion, offering a delicious luncheon buffet and bar.
Vendors and Charity Booths
The day begins at 11am with terrier races, stick horse races, face painting, and vendor shopping. It continues with several exiting races and equestrian entertainment, and ends with a free admission After Party with live band from 5-7:30pm in the Members’ Pavilion. Offering something for everyone – from the most experienced equestrian to the novice who has never touched a horse – the High Hope Steeplechase celebrates the beauty of the Bluegrass in all its forms – its rolling hills, its Southern hospitality, its delicious food, and of course, its stunning horses.
Dog Adoption Fair
This year we are inviting local rescue and adoption organizations to join our event as a “Dog Adoption Fair” in the activity area at no cost. Participating rescue organizations will receive one complimentary 10’x10’ space and two vendor parking passes. In exchange for the complimentary space, we ask that the organization brings family-friendly dogs that are available for adoption, as well as information on your organization and other available pets. This will not only advertise your wonderful organization, but also provide additional fun activities for our visitors! The Rescue and Adoption Agencies’ participation at the High Hope Steeplechase will make an important impact on the overall success of the event.
Charity Booth Games and Giveaways
Stick Horse Races – Registration opens at 11am!
Registration table is located in the Activities Area.
Advanced signup required. Entries taken until the start of the 3rd sanctioned race.
Preliminary races will take place in the Activities Area.
Final races will take place on the steeplechase course.
Children will ride in four age-divided heats:
4 year olds; 5-6 year olds; 7-8 year olds; and 9-10 year olds
Adult Stick Horse Races will run after the children’s final races are concluded.
Prizes will be awarded to the final heat winners for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.
Parade of the Hounds
Fox hunting is an activity involving the tracking of a fox by trained foxhounds and a group of unarmed followers lead by a master of foxhounds, who follow the hounds on foot or on horseback. Many Greek and Roman influence countries have long traditions of hunting with hounds, but hunting with hounds was popular in Celtic Britain, even before the Romans arrived. The earliest known attempt to hunt a fox with hounds was in Norfolk, England in 1534, where farmers began chasing foxes down with their dogs for the purpose of pest control. The first use of packs trained to hunt foxes was in the lat 1600’s in Yorkshire, England.
According to the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America, Englishman Robert Brooke was the first man to import hunting hounds to America, bringing his pack of foxhounds to Maryland in 1650 along with his horses. The first organized hunt for the benefit of a group was started by Thomas, sixth Lord of Fairfax in 1747. In the United States, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both kept packs of fox hounds. In 2013, the Masters of Foxhounds Association listed 163 registered packs in the U.S. and Canada.