MINERAL SPRINGS, NC – Spring has sprung, so now we’re off to the races! The Queen’s Cup Steeplechase is traditionally held on the last Saturday in April and draws large tailgating crowds of ladies in hats and dresses and men in linen and seersucker. While the 2021 race will not have live spectators, there are many ways that you can join in the fun from home!
The Queens Cup Steeplechase is running their raffle this year virtually. “Whether they have attended the Queen’s Cup in the past or not, we encourage everyone to buy at least one $10 raffle ticket for a chance to win the grand prize of $5000 or one of two other prizes,” shares Carrington Price, Co-Chair of Charlotte Steeplechase Foundation (CSF) and the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase. “All non-profits have been hard hit because of COVID, and The Alzheimer’s Association and the Charlotte Steeplechase Foundation are no exception.”
The raffle is one of the jewels of the Queen’s Cup. With the purchase of each $10 ticket, you could win the Grand Prize of $5,000 cash. “Place” (2nd) features one all-inclusive Lawn Box for 8 on exclusive Member’s Hill for the 2022 Queen’s Cup (including a private table, chairs, linens, floral centerpiece, and entry into the Elkridge Club with a full buffet and open bar), and “Show” (3rd) will receive one Crest Reserved Tailgate space for the 2022 Queen’s Cup (including 6 General Admission badges, BYO tailgate). The raffle will be drawn electronically at 3:00 pm on race day, and everyone who purchased a raffle ticket will get an email letting them know if they did or did not win. The three winners will also be contacted by the Queens Cup Staff the week of April 26th.
Price explains how the decision to run the races without spectators was made. “As difficult as it was, the decision was a no-brainer for our team and the CSF board,” she says. “When we had to make the decision in January, the Governor’s mandate did not allow us to operate at full capacity, and when we did the math, we quickly realized that to run at anything less would cost us a significant amount to rent equipment and hire added personnel to keep even a small group COVID-safe. If we had been allowed to run with a small audience, it would have officially been considered our Silver Jubilee, but without the fanfare of bagpipes, terrier races, hat or tailgate contests, and Opening Ceremonies, it would not have been the grand celebration we wanted for our 25th Anniversary.”
“We knew the decision we made was to be final and we could not waiver as we would not be able to just flip a switch and expect to pull off the quality event for which we are known because there is too much planning that goes on between January and the last Saturday in April and we need every bit of that time to organize the event,” continues Price. “In the end, we chose to run for the sport, which has suffered greatly this past year, and this has impacted the entire industry from the owners, trainers, and jockeys down to the grooms, farriers, vets, farmers, and truckers who transport the horses.”
“The number of entries varies from year to year, but because we are the first race on the 2021 circuit, we expect large fields in each of the seven races, with a maximum of 14 in any given race,” she explains. “In a normal year, we would only have five races on the day, but again, we are running for the sport, giving horses who come mostly from South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania a chance to run.”
“In an effort to help the sport, we will be putting on a bare-bones event without an audience in 2021,” Price concludes. “We are so proud of the level of event we are known for and the beauty and energy that is captured on the day through images and stories. Without any patrons or frills in 2021, we have decided we will have no press or outside photographers, as it will not capture the day in the way we would like. This is the year we are proud to run to support the livelihood of all the horsemen but look forward to a grand, beautiful, and festive Silver Jubilee Celebration in 2022.”
To purchase Raffle Tickets and watch the Virtual Races of the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase, please visit https://www.queenscup.org