74th Hunt Racing Day At Montpelier
For the 74th time, hunt racing events will return to the Montpelier estate on Saturday, 1 November 2008, and promises to be a day filled with entertainment, racing action and activities. The Montpelier estate was bought by William DuPont in the year 1901, which was the home of the fourth president of the United States of America, James Madison. Marion DuPont Scott, DuPont’s daughter, continued to live on the estate until her death in 1983, and it was through her love of horses and for the sport of hunt racing, that Montpelier Hunt Races were founded.
After Marion’s death, the estate became the property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where the tradition of Montpelier Hunt Races continues. DuPont Scott teamed up with her brother to create the Montpelier Hunt Races in 1929, and the estate became the venue of many flat and steeplechase racing events. There is more to the estate than a mere horse racing venue. The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation has the use of approximately two hundred acres of the estates’ land, to assist in their efforts to rescue retired racehorses and find them new homes.
But on the 1st of November, the Montpelier Hunt Races will bring seven thrilling horse racing events to the Montpelier estate and there is a variety of activities to look forward to. The first race of the day will be the Montpelier Foundation Cup (Flat) for three year olds and over, followed by the Madison Place, which is a claiming hurdle race for three year old horses and older. The third race for the day is a maiden claiming hurdle, The Battleship, with the fourth race being the Constitution Hurdle. The Montpelier Cup (an allowance hurdle) is fifth on the race card and the Noel Laing Hurdle Stakes is sixth. The final race of the day is the Liberty Cup, which is run on turf and is for three year olds and over.
Over and above the racing, young and old will enjoy race day with other activities such as stick horse races, craft and souvenir stores, demonstrations and competitions. The Montpelier Hunt Races are a wonderful excursion for the entire family to enjoy. But most importantly, it is an event that supports charitable causes and continues a tradition that has been in existence for almost eighty years.