For nearly 50 years, the High Hope Steeplechase has held a special place on the Kentucky spring calendar. It stands as one of the state’s most beloved traditions. Brimming in history and known as the “sport of kings,” steeplechasing stands as one of the most exciting equestrian competitions, and Lexington, Kentucky, has been fortunate to host High Hope since its inception in 1966. For much of that time, High Hope Steeplechase has been held at the Kentucky Horse Park and has served as a gathering place for friends, a tradition for families, a benefit for area non-profits, and a thrilling display of equestrian excellence.
In 2016, High Hope Steeplechase will benefit two beloved Central Kentucky institutions, the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation and Central Kentucky Riding for Hope. The Kentucky Horse Park foundation is dedicated to raising private support for the park. This helps the park succeed as a world-renowned center for equestrian competition and operate as a working horse farm. Central Kentucky Riding for Hope’s mission is to enrich the community by improving the quality of life and health of individuals with special physical, cognitive, emotional, or social needs through therapeutic activities with the horse
Each year, over 15,000 High Hope Steeplechase spectators enjoy the thrills of jump and flat racing from a variety of vantage points. The preferred tailgate area where cars are parked trackside is sought after, with large picnics and lavish spreads displayed to entertain guests. Corporate tents, lawn boxes, tickets to the Members Pavilion, and general admission parking passes are also available for purchase.
Gates open at 11 am with a vendor area, lure races for all breeds and ages of dogs, stick horse races and various children’s activities. The racing day opens with a Ladies Side Saddle Parade at 12:30 and a Ladies Side Saddle Flat Race at 12:45. Post time for the first steeplechase race is 1:30 pm. The day continues until approximately 5:30 pm, incorporating equestrian entertainment, the parade of the Long Run Hounds, a Ladies Side Saddle race over fences, four sanctioned steeplechase races and much more. Offering something for everyone, this event celebrates the beauty of the Bluegrass in all its forms.
The High Hope Steeplechase event is Sunday, May 22, 2016; gates open at 11:00 am. General admission is $25 per carload and may be purchased at the gate. Other ticket options are available with advanced purchase by visiting www.HighHopeSteeplechase.com.