This weekend, a group of friends and I enjoyed the Virginia Gold Cup along with 50,000 other people who came to see the horses...and the people. The Gold Cup is as much about watching the people as it is about watching the horses. Our group's ratio was probably about 50% people watching, 50% horse watching.
The parking pass had perfect directions printed on the back to arrive directly to our gate to find our rail side parking spot. If you'll be parking along the rails, plan to arrive soon after the gate opens so that you're not dodging pedestrians or tailgates to find your spot. Although we could have set up a tailgate along the South Rail, we had decided to spend the day in some guest tents.
Our first stop was to the Becky's Fund tent located along the South Rail. The food, drinks, and atmosphere in the tent were spectacular. After a delicious chicken salad sandwich and pasta, I couldn't resist the candy buffet. Tents are a great way to spend your day at the Gold Cup because you're protected from the sun and the tables and chairs offer a place to relax for a little bit.
After lunch, we took a little walk to Members Hill. I really enjoyed watching the horses in the paddock before each race.
Spectators line the rails, eagerly awaiting the next race.
I adore this jockey in his pink and green silks! The owner or trainer, I'm not sure which, was wearing a pink and green Lilly Pulitzer tie.
Someone told us that the Great Meadow was expected to be at full capacity for this year's event! Look and the crowd and tell me what you think? It's pretty busy, don't you think?
By mid-afternoon, we needed another break, so this time we headed to the Audi tent on Members Hill. The interior of the tent was absolutely gorgeous and the sweets offered a sugar boost for the later races. There were cozy couches, lounges, and chairs for guests to rest in between each race.
My friend Nikki was the official bookie for our group's friendly wagers throughout the day. We carefully consulted the racing program to choose our favorites for each race. Here's my pick of the day who is about to win! We only bet $1 on each race, but it makes it fun to have a horse to support in each race.
We're already planning next year's adventure! Who wants to join us for the next Gold Cup?