Steeplechase racing returns to Charlottesville, Va., on Sunday for a family-oriented afternoon of festivities at the 41st annual Foxfield Fall Races. First post time is 1:30 p.m. for a five-race program that features full fields.
Foxfield Fall will focus on horses making their debuts over fences, with three races for those seeking their first wins under National Steeplechase Association rules. Two other races will be on the flat, without fences, and one of them is limited to Virginia-bred or Virginia-sired horses.
One, a $25,000 race for fillies and mares, often produces competitors for one of the year’s biggest races for females, the $50,000 Peapack Stakes at the Far Hills Races in New Jersey on Oct. 20. That 2 3/16-mile race attracted a full field of 10 and one also-eligible horse who will draw into the race in case of a scratch.
Another race offers a $30,000 purse supported by the Virginia Equine Alliance to promote jump racing in the commonwealth. A field of seven was entered for the 2 3/16-mile race over National Fences.
While the horses are the stars of the show, Foxfield Fall offers a wide range of activities at the Foxfield Track. Gates open at 11 a.m. on Sunday, and a variety of activities for youngsters of all ages will be in operation then.
The Farmington Hounds will parade at 11:30 a.m., and the Jack Russell terrier races kick off at noon. The youngsters will be in action at 12:25 p.m. in the stick pony races.
Children 8 and under are admitted free, and tickets remain available for this fun-filled racing event. For further information, see the Foxfield Fall website at www.foxfieldraces.com/fall/tickets.