Brandywine Hills Point to Point, April 3


The Sandwood Bowl has been engraved and polished as it, like the Ladies Race, returns to the Brandywine Hills Point-to-Point on April 3.

POCOPSON — A favorite spring outing for families in Chester County and beyond, the Brandywine Hills Point- to-Point is slated for Sunday, April 3 at the picturesque grounds of Brandywine Red Clay Alliance’s Myrick Conservation Center on Route 842, located approximately six miles west of West Chester and three miles east of Unionville

Now in its 74th year, the Brandywine Hills Point-to-Point races hold the distinction of being the oldest point-to-point in the Delaware Valley. Proud of their history as a rite of spring for racing fans, this year marks the return of a Ladies Race to the racing card.

Carl “Bunny” Meister, president of the Brandywine Hills Point-to-Point, is excited about bringing back a race specifically for women. “Back when [his first wife,] Betty was riding that was the only race they could ride,” he recalls. “And those were some of the most hotly contested races because the women got the best horses!” he chuckles. In addition to Betty, Meister recalls the names of such renowned lady race riders such as Mrs. Hannum, Mrs. Walker and Betty Bosley, all of whom rode at Brandywine Hills and other local point-to-point races decades ago.

Meister explains that an interesting event precipitated bringing the Ladies Race back. Diana Wister recently discovered several old trophies at her farm; one of them being the Ladies Race trophy from the Brandywine Hills Point-to-Point. Many trophies, especially at the older, prestigious races, were challenge trophies; meaning if it is won three times by the same owner, they “retire” and keep, the trophy. Such was the case of the “Sandwood Bowl,” as horses belonging to Wister’s family (Strawbridge) had won it the requisite three times. Not surprisingly, the lady rider who rode the Strawbridge’s horses to these victories was Betty Meister!  Wister graciously offered the trophy back to its original home – Brandywine Hills.

This year, the gates will open at 11:00 a.m. with the children’s pony races kicking off the action at 12:30 p.m. Following are five timber races– ladies, novice, heavyweight, open and foxhunter – each run over a course of 17 solidly built jumps and approximately three miles in length.

A raffle with incredible prizes has become a very popular part of the Brandywine Hills Point-to- Point.  Tickets are just $10 and winners need not be present to win.  Winners are drawn

throughout the day for prizes ranging from original artwork to dining gift certificates. Brandywine Hills is also known for its kids’ activities including stick pony races, Indian lore tent, face painting, photo booth and more.

Admission is by the carload, ranging from just $20 to $150 for premium spots. Sponsorships are available starting at just $300. See or call 610-793-1090 for more information or to purchase parking passes and/or raffle tickets in advance.

Over the past decade, the popular race day has raised over $200,000 for the Brandywine Valley Association and its programs. Brandywine Valley Association and Red Clay Valley Association merged as of June 30, 2015 to form Brandywine Red Clay Alliance. With over 70 years of experience, the association will continue to reach out for clean-up volunteers, undertake improvements in both watersheds, turn more red streams blue, advocate with a stronger voice, and educate school children in local districts.

Many local businesses and individuals help to make this annual day at the races possible with their financial support.  To date, sponsors include Radnor Hunt, Ameriprise Financial, Michael & Anne Moran, Thrivent Financial, Sycamore Racing, James A. Cochrane, Inc. – Realtor, J. Clifton Edgar, Capital & Security Management Inc., Mrs. & Mrs. John Swayne, The Buchanan Family, Young Racing Stable, Hickory House Catering, Steven J. Devine Esq. LLC, Sunset Hill Jewelers & Fine Arts Gallery, Marshallton Conservation Trust, The Herr Family, Dale Krapf, and J. Gallagher Septic & Wastewater Control Inc.

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