by Craig Braddick
This week the NSA visits beautiful Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia, the southernmost stop on the annual circuit for the Steeplechase at Callaway. Always a well-attended race meet, I recently asked one of the organizers, Kimberly Kapacziewski, some questions about this weekend’s event.
1. The Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens is well established – what makes the event appeal to so many people?
This is the 35th running of the Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens presented by Southern Living, so it has become a tradition for many people. As the southernmost Steeplechase, this is the only live horse racing that many of our patrons will ever see.
2. What can race fans expect from this year’s event?
Big hats, Jack Russell Terrier races, live music, huge TVs playing football games, a silent auction full of amazing items, a fun tailgating atmosphere but most of all – awesome hurdle and timber horse racing action!
3. With college football available on the big screens throughout the day, you must be expecting a lot of tailgating. What advice do you have for first-time steeplechase tailgaters?
There are two main areas – the terrace and the TSYS infield. If you have a reserved rail or infield ticket, make sure to bring a seat. Whether it’s a blanket or chairs, you will want to be comfortable. Also, any great tailgate needs tasty food and of course drinks. I highly recommend a Blade & Bow “New Fashioned,” and here is the recipe for everyone to try!
BLADE & BOW
New Fashioned | Whiskey Cocktail | Blade and Bow
1.25 oz Blade & Bow
.75 oz Elderflower Liqueur
Top with a splash of soda
Garnish with Orange slice and Cocktail cherry
Add Blade & Bow
Add Elderflower Liqueur
Stir and top with a splash of soda
Garnish with an orange slice and brandied cherry
- What would you say to people visiting the steeplechase for the first time who wants to try to understand the sport further?
We are in the final stretch of the 2019 Steeplechase season. We have great horses making the fifteen-plus hour trailer ride to come and run on the beautiful Callaway racecourse. These horses and horsemen put so much time and effort into their sport and are amazing at what they do. The patrons of our race have an awesome opportunity to see the best steeplechasing in the South. It’s truly a fun time for everyone.
- For people wanting a high-end day out at the steeplechase, what can you suggest?
There are two high-end opportunities. Out Guarantor Tent is the luxury option. It comes with a full bar, fully catered, fully decked out with beautiful decor. Guarantor guests are provided with the valet car parking services, live music upon arrival and the top of the line comforts.
Our Hunt Club is also another option where guests can enjoy a fully catered covered tent with live music. The Hunt club isn’t quite as fancy as the Guarantor tent but it has all the great makings for a perfect day of tailgating.
- It is only a few days away. If people want to attend, what is the best way to get tickets?
If someone would like to purchase tickets before Thursday at 9 a.m., their best option is to visit our website www.SteeplechaseatCallaway.com. To purchase tickets after Thursday at 9 a.m. patrons will have to purchase at the gate.