Two longtime National Steeplechase Association race meets will be making permanent changes to their schedules beginning in 2014. On the move will be the Atlanta Steeplechase, which will shift one week later on the calendar to the third Saturday in April, and the Block House meet moves to the highly desirable first Saturday in May.
The 49th annual Atlanta Steeplechase will be Saturday, April 19, at Kingston Downs in Kingston, Ga., and the 68th annual Block House Races will be staged Saturday, May 3, at Sandlin Race Course in Tryon, N.C.
“We are thrilled to move the date for the Atlanta Steeplechase to the third week in April, and we appreciate the National Steeplechase Association’s support for this change,” said George Chase, Jr., newly elected chairman of the Atlanta Steeplechase Board of Stewards.
“Already our Atlanta-based sponsors are very receptive to our change in the date for 2014 and onward. For the metro area general public, the new date is much more attractive when choosing family activities. Our challenge is to make the Atlanta Steeplechase the premier sporting event in Georgia for the third weekend in April.”
Block House, which formerly was on the third Saturday in April, moves to Kentucky Derby Day. The only other steeplechase race meet on that day is the Virginia Gold Cup in The Plains, Va. Nancy Wilson, president of TR&HC Events Inc., said the Block House organization would seek to maximize the opportunities of Derby afternoon. “TR&HC Events will encourage all steeplechase fans to attend real racing excitement close by in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina,” she said.
“With fewer competing steeplechase meets, the Block House Races will be on target to bring the best possible horses and trainers to one of the most challenging courses on the NSA schedule.”