One of my all-time favorite days is always the first Saturday in November — the annual Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens. Tomorrow is the 26th time thoroughbreds, jockeys and residents of the tricommunity gather in Pine Mountain, Ga., for the “Racing for the Arts” fundraiser.
Last year, the event raised $141,000 for its five beneficiaries: the Columbus Museum, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Historic Columbus Foundation, Ida Cason Callaway Foundation and Springer Opera House. The Auburn Veterinary College of Medicine also benefits from the proceeds through an additional partnership. Mason Lampton, the race chairman, said more than $2.7 million has been raised for the arts through the Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens.
The day’s events include not only the six steeplechase races, but also two junior races, Jack Russell terrier races, a tailgating competition and hat contest, stick pony races for children, pony rides, bungee jumping and rock climbing in the infield.
Soldiers and their families can purchase discounted tickets for $15 and a parking pass for $15 if purchased at the Steeplechase office, located at 708 Broadway in downtown Columbus. Otherwise Infield tickets are $25 per person. For more information, call 706-324-6252 or visit the website at www.steeplechaseatcallaway.org. Directions and a grounds map are available online.
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Front Gate Opens
Souvenir tents open (Infield, Top of the Turn, Terrace)
Carmike's Kids Corral — inflatables, popcorn, cotton candy, Good Humor ice cream, arts and crafts. Wristband can be purchased for $20 at entrance
Rock climbing, bungee jumping, moonwalk, face painting, pony rides
Taste of the Chase — Country’s Barbeque, Bruster’s ice cream, Chick-fil-a and much more
Visit the greyhounds
River City Model A Car Exhibit (Infield)
Midland Fox Hounds Parade at the track
Ledger-Enquirer Best Decorated Terrace Box Competition
Registration begins Race Arcade in the Patio Area 11:20 a.m.
Atholl Highlanders Bagpipes and Drums Perform at the Track
W. J. Deutsch BBQ and Ballgames opens for paid patrons. Wristbands are $25 and will only be sold Race Day if not sold out. (Horseshoes Tent – Terrace Area)
Guarantor Luncheon served (Guarantor Tent –Terrace Area)
Jack Russell Terrier Flat Race at the Terrier Track located Infield
Race Director’s Welcome
Lampton Bronze Award presentation
(The Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital Winners’ Circle)
Presentation of Colors in the Winners’ Circle
Noon Race A Maxine Strupe Perpetual Pony Race — Purse $200
12:15 p.m. Jack Russell Terrier Hurdle Race (Infield)
12:30 p.m. Race B V’Roooom Junior Hunter Race — Purse $200
12:45 p.m. Jack Russell Terrier Stakes Race (Terrier Track – Infield)
1 p.m. First Race – W.C. Bradley Maiden Timber Race – Purse $15,000
Southern Views Hat Contest sponsored by Southern Views Magazine (Infield)
Stick pony race registration begins ($5 entry fee or free with Kids Corral wristband) 1:15 p.m. Stick pony race – 4 and younger at the Terrier Track (Infield)
1:30 p.m. Second Race – The Suntrust Highweight Hurdle – Purse $20,000
1:45 p.m. Stick pony race – 5 through 7 Terrier Track (Infield)
Southern Views Hat Contest winners announced
2 p.m. Third Race – Aflac U.S. Championship Supreme Hurdle Sport of Kings Fall Novice Challenge – Purse $75,000
2:15 p.m. Stick pony race - 8 through 10 Terrier Track (Infield)
her Magazine Favorite Recipe Competition winners announced
Ledger-Enquirer Best Decorated Terrace Box Competition winner announced
2:30 p.m. Fourth Race – Crown Royal Sport of Queens Hurdle Stakes – Purse $30,000
2:40 p.m. Stick pony races winners’ Lap (The Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital Winner’s Circle)
3 p.m. Fifth Race – CB&T Maiden Hurdle – Purse $20,000
3:45 p.m. Sixth Race – Skanska Flat Race – Purse $2000
4 p.m. Post-Chase Celebration with the Good Times Band and food compliments of Firehouse Subs. (Horseshoes Tent) Open to Guarantor, Finish Line, Terrace, Stretch Patio, Family Tents, Party in the Pines, Start Rail, Top of the Turn, Committee, OTR and Media Ticket Holders.