• October 2014

We're Off to the Races on Nov. 1 at Montpelier's Hunt Races

We’re Off to the Races

Don’t miss the annual Hunt Races on Nov. 1 at James and Dolley Madison’s Montpelier in Orange, VA.

The Montpelier Races is a premier event on the National Steeplechase Association’s circuit, and is always held on the first Saturday in November.

Where: 11407 Constitution Highway, Montpelier Station, VA 22957

Time:

  • Gates Open: 9:00 AM
  • Terrier Races: 10:30 AM
  • First Post time: 12:30 PM
  • Last Post Time: approximately 4:30 PM

History of the Races

In 1901, William duPont purchased the Montpelier estate, located four miles west of the Town of Orange, in Virginia’s Piedmont Region. It had been the lifelong home of James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, and his wife Dolley. William and Annie duPont made substantial changes to the house, enlarging it, renovating the formal garden, and adding many outbuildings and stables.

Mr. duPont’s daughter, Marion duPont Scott, an accomplished horsewoman, inherited the property from her parents and resided at Montpelier until her death in 1983, at which time the duPont family transferred the property to the National Trust For Historic Preservation.

Marion Scott—with the help of her brother, William duPont, Jr.—transformed Montpelier into a first-class Thoroughbred breeding and racing facility, building a state-of-the-art steeplechase course and a flat training track. In 1929, she inaugurated the Montpelier Races and opened them to the public.

As an owner, Mrs. Scott bred a series of winners from excellent Thoroughbred bloodlines. In 1932, her horse Trouble Maker won the Maryland Hunt Cup, regarded as America’s most challenging timber race, and in 1938, her horse Battleship, a son of Man o’ War, became the first American-bred and American-owned horse to win the British Grand National Steeplechase. Other winners that campaigned under her French blue, old rose, and silver colors were Mongo, Accra, and Annapolis, another son of Man o’ War.

Regarded by many as America’s First Lady of Racing, Marion duPont Scott generously supported the equine industry throughout her life. She donated funds to construct Virginia’s leading equine medical center in Leesburg, which is named in her honor. Her legacy continues with the running of the Montpelier Races, a premier event on the National Steeplechase Association’s circuit, which is always held on the first Saturday in November.

For more information about attending the 2014 Montpelier Races, visit the FAQ page for the Montelier Races.

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