“We’re looking at not only a horse race, but a community-wide event of interest to everyone,” said Jeff LeHew, chairman of the Blue Ridge Hunt Point to Point Races.
The races are set to go on Sunday, April 21, at Woodley Farm. Woodley is a beautiful 383-acre working farm situated in the heart of the Blue Ridge Hunt Country. Positioned high on a ridge, it not only offers exceptional views of the Blue Ridge and Massanutten Mountains, the farm has its own point-to-point course.
This year marks the 70th year for the races, a long-time fixture on the calendars of Clarke County residents and area racing enthusiasts. Historic Woodley Farm offers fantastic views of the rolling racecourse. For those new to the sport, point-to-point is a form of horseracing over timbers and fences for hunting horses and amateur riders. Spectators have ample tailgate parking on the hillside overlooking the timber and hurdle fences. LeHew, who is also joint master of the Blue Ridge Hunt, notes that not only does the day include a 10-race card, it also features a variety of activities throughout the afternoon for spectators to enjoy.
Among the highlights will be a Vendors Village offering wares for sale including the ever-popular hat sales, a vintage car show, parades of the Blue Ridge Hunt foxhounds and the Nantucket-Treweryn beagles, a landowner’s tent, and the always popular stick horse races. Kids wanting to join in the fun can bring their own stick horse or make one with supplies provided on the grounds.
The Easter Bunny could make an appearance too. Following the stick horse races, all eyes will be on the Easter Egg Hunt, since this year the Blue Ridge race date falls on Easter Sunday. We encourage you to pack a basket for your egg-collecting. Post time is 1 p.m. and gates open at 11 a.m. for early arrivals and tailgate set-up. Spectators can also purchase items from food vendors on site.
General admission is $25. A reserved parking space is $150. According to LeHew, anyone showing up in a vintage car is welcomed at no charge. Party tents, 20’x20’ in size, are available by reserving in advance. “As in the past, we’re welcoming residents from Clarke County and the surrounding areas for a full day of racing and events geared to the interests of the community,” said LeHew, adding “there’s a lot of tradition as the Blue Ridge Hunt dates back to 1880.”
Woodley is located at 590 Woodley Lane, Berryville, Virginia. For additional information and reservations contact Diana Perry at (540) 631-1919 or order online at Blueridgeraces.org.