The Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup on Nov. 19 brings down the curtain on another exciting year of steeplechase racing, and the 47th running of the historic Camden, S.C., race meet will honor the memory of Austin A. Brown.
Known as one of the Great Gentlemen of Steeplechasing, Mr. Brown died on May 4 in Hilton Head Island, S.C. He was 89.
The South Carolina Legislature has declared Nov. 19 as Austin Brown Day across the state, and the Colonial Cup will honor his many contributions to the race meet, Kershaw County, and steeplechase racing.
The meet’s Springdale Turf Club will be adorned with photographs of Mr. Brown and other Great Gentlemen of Steeplechasing. In conjunction with the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the Carolina Cup Racing Association will help to raise contributions for the foundation on race day and through a pre-race golf outing.
Austin Brown indeed was a Gentleman of Steeplechasing and, without question, a Gentleman of the Turf. In recognition of his lifelong devotion to jump racing, he was honored in 2007 with the F. Ambrose Clark Award, which recognizes those who have done the most to promote, improve, and encourage the growth and welfare of American Steeplechasing.
“He was deeply involved in many aspects of our sport for well more than a half-century, and he led with grace and charm,” National Steeplechase Association President Guy J. Torsilieri said at the time of his death.
“He was a wonderful person. He was wonderful with people, and he was great working with people,” said NSA Chairman Beverly R. Steinman.
One of the projects closest to his heart was the National Steeplechase Museum in Camden, where he and his wife, Sally, resided for many decades. He spearheaded the fund-raising for the museum’s expansion and was its president emeritus.
“He really loved the museum and made it work,” said Ms. Steinman, who currently serves as the museum’s president and chairman of the Carolina Cup Racing Association.
Mr. Brown participated in the sport as an amateur jockey in the 1940s and 1950s. While always deeply involved in steeplechase racing, he also had extensive experience as a racetrack operator.
He was general manager of Delaware Park from 1971 into the mid-1980s and oversaw the opening of the Birmingham Turf Club in Alabama as its president in 1987. When he resigned late that year at age 60 to return to Camden, one of the track’s investors said Mr. Brown “has so much integrity I’ve never met a man like him.”