St. Patrick’s Day – and racing

You may not see much in this video by YouTube user landressy, but you get a feel for the famous Cheltenham roar by clicking here. That is, if you can’t see the above-embedded video.

The weekend closest to St. Patrick’s Day seems to be the unofficial start to the equestrian year, as far as horse racing goes. Check it out and see if you agree.

The Rebel Stakes

One of the Derby Trail races, the Rebel Stakes is held at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, or 3-year-old thoroughbreds. The race goes for 1-1/16 mile and offers a $600,000 purse, also making it one of the richest early races. Don’t underestimate winners of the Rebel Stakes when it comes time to make your picks for the big races later in the year. In 2004, the beloved Smarty Jones won the Rebel Stakes. Curlin, who later held the title of World’s Richest Race Horse, also won the Rebel Stakes in 2007.

The Aiken Trials

Part of the Aiken Triple Crown, the Aiken Trials has given young horses in-training a dress rehearsal for the track ever since 1942.  Held at the Aiken Training Track in Aiken, SC., the Trials are the flat-racing portion of a three-weekend series every spring. Exercise riders don the silks and serve as jockeys. The Aiken Triple Crown includes two other equestrian sports, steeplechasing on the next weekend and then polo on the final weekend.

Cheltenham Festival

English and Irish horses meet at the annual Cheltenham Festival at the Cheltenham Racecourse . Four days of racing over hurdles, music and shopping lead to the Cheltenham Gold Cup Day. The Gold Cup is said to be the second richest race in National Hunt racing second only to the Grand National. The races kick off with the Cheltenham roar, which is goes off when the starter tape goes up.

Do you know any other equestrian events scheduled near St. Patrick’s Day? If so, feel free to add them below.

 

 

 

1 Comment
  • Rhonda Lane
    March 19, 2013

    Is it tacky to comment on your own post? I hope not. 🙂

    St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just a big deal for racing. Other equestrian disciplines greet spring with an SPD event, such as the Tennessee Walking Horse National Trainers Show, held each year on or around St. Patrick’s Day weekend, usually in Shelbyville, TN.

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