The National Steeplechase Association (NSA) today released its fall calendar consisting of an abbreviated schedule of seven sanctioned race meets to be contested between Sept. 26 and Nov. 15.
The modified schedule reflects the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on the sport from the standpoint of safety and economics. Each race meet will continue to follow guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Participation will be limited to essential personnel only, all of whom will be required to wear face masks and practice social distancing. As of this date, racing will be conducted with limited attendance or no fans at all.
The normal NSA fall schedule typically consists of a dozen events, but five meets have decided to postpone their race meets until 2021. Those are High Hope in Lexington, Ky., Gennessee Valley in Geneseo, N.Y., the Far Hills Race Meeting in Far Hills, N.J., Aiken Fall Steeplechase in Aiken, S.C., and Montpelier Hunt Races in Montpelier Station, Va. The Lonesome Glory and William Entenmann stakes races at Belmont Park in September have also been cancelled for 2020. Because of the fluid nature of the pandemic, the schedule is subject to further changes.
In addition, the race conditions for the fall schedule have been modified in accordance with the financial realities stemming from lost admission, parking, and sponsorship revenues. No hurdle stakes races have been carded for the fall. Instead, the emphasis will be on conditions that give timber and hurdle horse owners maximum opportunity to secure purse earnings, such as maiden and claiming races, ratings handicaps, and open timber events. There are also a number of races to give apprentice riders a chance to gain experience.
“We have been working tirelessly with all of the stakeholders to sustain steeplechase racing during these unprecedented and incredibly challenging times,” said NSA President Al Griffin. “Our number one goal is to keep our sport viable while ensuring the health and safety of our fans, owners, trainers, and riders. Our race meets are going to great lengths to host these events for our constituents, and we pledge our full support to make them a success.”
To watch past races, full results and more information about jump racing about the National Steeplechase Association, please visit www.nationalsteeplechase.com.
2020 Fall Race Meet Schedule
Races at Shawan Downs – Saturday, September 26
Foxfield Fall Races – Sunday, October 4
Virginia Fall Races – Saturday, October 10
International Gold Cup – Saturday, October 24
Pennsylvania Hunt Cup – Sunday, November 1
Steeplechase at Callaway – Saturday, November 7
Steeplechase of Charleston – Sunday, November 15