Foxfield Preview: First of a trio of Virginia fall meets on tap for Sunday

The Foxfield Races in Charlottesville feature a six-race card with a 12:30 p.m. post time

The 2021 Foxfield Fall Races. ©Sanjay Suchak

By Tod Marks

The jumpers head to historic Charlottesville, Va., in Albemarle County, for six races, five over hurdles, worth $105,000. The lineup includes a $15,000 maiden claimer; $25,000 maiden special weights contest for fillies and mares; $30,000 open maiden; $15,000 allowance for horses rated at 120 or less, or entered for a $25,000 tag (restricted to apprentice or amateur riders); and a $20,000 handicap for horses rated at 110 or less. There’s also a training flat contest, which will be run as the second on the card. Here’s a link to the complete entries:

Billed as Fall Family Day, Foxfield offers something for all fans, particularly the youngest ones. Besides free admission, those ages eight and under can access the Children’s Tent (open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), which will host Habitat for Humanity’s LEGO-building competition, an obstacle course, and stick-pony creation station. There will be food trucks, vendors, “truck touch,” showcasing construction and other vehicles, face painting, free pony rides, junior pony races (before the first race), children’s stick pony races (between the second and third). In addition there will be performances by members of The Wilson School of Dance. Gates open at 9:30 a.m.

Foxfield has been hosting National Steeplechase Association meets for more than 40 years, and in 2020 a new civic-minded leadership group assumed oversight of the races and the facility to ensure its future and is dedicated to providing financially stable, fun, and safe community events. The races almost came to an end when the land the course sits on was about to be sold to developers. But a group of area supporters banded together to preserve the venue, implementing the new board committed to reinvigorating the Spring and Fall meets and improving the grounds.

Foxfield is the first of three National Steeplechase Association fall race meets in Virginia. The second is the Virginia Fall Races in Middleburg on Oct. 8, followed by The International Gold Cup Races at Great Meadow in The Plains on Oct. 22.

For the first time, the NSA will be partnering with StableDuel at The Foxfield Races. The free-to-play promotional contest offers $2,500 in cash prizes. Contestants compete by selecting a stable of 10 runners from The Foxfield Races card and earn points based on the order of finish for each horse in their stable – from first through fifth. The players with the most accumulated points share the prize pool.

“Our partnership allows Foxfield to not only further engage attendees at the races, but to share the experience and excitement of steeplechase racing with a broader audience who otherwise would not be able to join us in person,” said Kelsey Cox, Executive Director of Foxfield Races. “We look forward to a safe and fun race day as we engage viewers in the sport so we can continue to fulfill our mission of bi-annual steeplechase races, conservation of open space, and community engagement.”

“StableDuel prides itself on being the most progressive, innovative game in the horseracing. We are grateful for our relationship with Foxfield,” said Bri Mott, a Managing Director at StableDuel. “Our games are fun, entertaining, and easy to play. We believe that StableDuel is the ideal platform to share and grow the experience of Foxfield Races for both new and existing fans.”

You can watch The Foxfield Races via live stream from the link on the NSA homepage, The stream, sponsored by Brown Advisory, is offered through Mandolin, which hosted the NSA spring meets. There is a fee to watch the stream, and meets can be viewed and paid for individually or for the entire Fall season.

About National Steeplechase Association