Hunt Cup coming to Unionville

Photo by Chris Barber A carriage shows off its splendor at last year's Hunt Cup races.

Tailgaters, racing enthusiasts and families wishing to spend a fall day in the country will enjoy watching topnotch steeplechase horses race over pristine rolling countryside in Unionville, Sunday, Nov. 3.

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 $800,000 for local charitable organizations. The 2013 races will benefit the Chester County Food Bank Inc., a non-profit organization that provides food for those in need in Chester County. Every day, one in eight people in Chester County goes hungry. For children that number is one in five. 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.

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This year’s race marks the 49th year the 501(c)(3) Pennsylvania Hunt Cup 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.

Fall foliage, a parade of carriages, holiday shopping and great food round out a perfect day in the country. No fancy clothes are required for these races, just the desire for a good time and exciting racing.

Cost of admission is by the car-full. 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.

Schedule:

11 a.m. – Gates open

Noon – Pennsylvania Pony Hunt Cup

1 p.m. – Carriage Parade

1:30 p.m. – Lewis C. Ledyard Memorial Maiden Timber Race

2:15 p.m. – Arthur M. Choate, Jr. Memorial Race

3 p.m. – Pennsylvania Hunt Cup

3:30 p.m. – Athenian Idol Flat Race

For directions and more information, visit the Website www.pahuntcup.org.