80th running Pa. Hunt Club, Nov. 2


Horse racing, food, fun and more will again be on tap at the 80th annual Pennsylvania Hunt Club event, Nov. 2 in Willowdale.

EAST MARLBOROUGH — Celebrate the 80th running of the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup with an exciting day of steeplechase racing on Sunday, Nov. 2 in the beautiful Unionville countryside.

Bring family and friends to enjoy the fall foliage, watch as Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds and their Huntsman and Whipper-in have a gallop by the crowd, clap for the elegant parade of carriages, shop for the holidays, bring your tailgate or purchase hot food and drink on site.  It all rounds out a perfect day in the country. No fancy clothing (just weather-appropriate) is required for these races, just the desire for a good time and exciting racing.

The day of racing will be held rain or shine.  The gates open at 11 A.M. and the day includes a full card of four open races sanctioned by the National Steeplechase Association – three over fences and one on the flat, as well as the ever-entertaining children’s Pennsylvania Pony Hunt Cup.   The featured race is the historic Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, run over four miles and 22 timber fences. From its inception it has been intended as a substantial test of both horse and rider.  Over the years several Pennsylvania Hunt Cup winners have gone on to win the most challenging and prestigious Maryland Hunt Cup, including Jacko, Cancottage, Buck Jakes, Young Dubliner and Askim.

Since 1964, The Pennsylvania Hunt Cup has raised over $870,000 for local charitable organizations.  The 2014 races again will benefit the Chester County Food Bank Inc., a non-profit organization that provides food for those in need in Chester County. Every day, 1 in 8 people in Chester County goes hungry. For children that number is 1 in 5. The Food Bank collects and facilitates the distribution of almost 1,000,000 pounds of food to hungry residents each year. It supports more than 27 Food Cupboards and 38 Meal Sites serving more than 100,000 people from every corner of the County.

The Pennsylvania Hunt Cup races began in Whitemarsh in 1921.  After a hiatus, the race meet was renewed.  This year’s race marks the 50th year the 501(c)3 PHC has run on the Unionville course, land that is now permanently protected by conservation easements. As always, representatives of our local conservation agencies will be on hand in the big tent with fun, educational and participatory displays.

Cost of admission is by the car-ful.  General admission parking costs $50. Parking subscriptions are also available for premium parking. Maximize your view of the entire racecourse by parking on the Hilltop for $100 per car.  An Infield parking subscription brings you one row behind the finish line, close to the paddock and the vendors for $250 per car.  Those parking along either side of the finish line have the premier spot with room for tailgating.  The cost of a Finish Line subscription is $350.  All subscriptions except Finish Line are available on race day.  Parking subscriptions can be purchased ahead of time on the Website, pahuntcup.org. Early subscribers will be acknowledged in the program.

Tailgating is permitted, but all trash must be carried out in your vehicle. For more information and directions to the PHC, visit the Website pahuntcup.org.

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