By Marni Prichard Manko| April 20, 2015 |
The Radnor Hunt Races marks its 85th anniversary in grand fashion.
Every third Saturday in May, in true equestrian form, the Main Line comes out to the Radnor Hunt, in Malvern, in full spring regalia for the Radnor Hunt Races. The area’s premier steeplechase meet, now in its 85th year, draws the best in the sport, with purses totaling $180,000. Twenty thousand fans surround the racecourse for tailgating, tent parties, and box-seat lunches. And, of course, there’s the bucolic backdrop of Chester County’s rolling green hills.
“Everyone enjoys the races, and parties are everywhere,” says Carol Griffin, event coordinator for the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art. “The atmosphere is that of an elegant country picnic, with bursts of excitement as the horses thunder past and fly over hurdles. Carriages parade around, and guests are taken back to the 19th century. The Radnor fox hounds also come out to parade, [which] thrills the kids. A themed tailgate competition is colorful and fun to participate in or just walk through.”
Some families have had boxes at the races for generations, but you don’t need to have patrician lineage to snag a coveted view, as corporate sponsor tents line the homestretch rail on the hill overlooking the finish line.
“We’re racing for open space at the Radnor Hunt Races,” says Griffin. “All proceeds benefit the open space and clean water programs of the Brandywine Conservancy in Chadds Ford, which has protected over 60,000 acres to date. At the Radnor Hunt Races, you enjoy it all—friends, food, the excitement of racing—and you support programs to keep our countryside beautiful.” Saturday, May 16, at 11 am at 826 Providence Road, Malvern, 610-388-8383