For 80+ years, Montpelier, the former home of James Madison, has housed premier steeplechase racing that showcases some of the most prized national and international horses. Today, the races continue as an extremely popular event for the National Steeplechase Association with a full day of exciting races, opulent vendors and lavish tailgating. 


The Montpelier Hunt Races not only showcase superior horse breeding but also highlight the grand race culture. From tailgating and stick races to the Jack Russell Terrier Races and the hat contest, there is plenty to experience throughout the day. Enjoy viewing the day’s extravagant tailgate spreads, or perhaps design your own. Wine & Country Life is excited to be judging this year’s tailgate contest! The popular hat contest will be sponsored by Dubarry of Ireland with prizes awarded for elegance and best race theme and best group entry. 


For an all-around experience, browse the diverse collection of vendors. Jewelers, equestrian outfitters, boutiques and more will have their products displayed for all to peruse. And, food and drink vendors will be offering everything from crab cakes and finger-foods to Virginia wine and cider.


The steeplechase races are set to begin at 12:30 p.m. with two races on the flat and five over fences. The sixth race is the premier race, featuring Montpelier’s live brush fences. Take advantage of viewing at the rail to experience the excitement and energy of the jockeys and their horses!


Below the Race Tower in the Winner’s Circle, you can watch the presentation of the winning horse, jockey and trainer following the races. For more information about each jockey, who they represent and each horse’s statistics, be sure to pick up one of Montpelier’s Race Programs at the event.

From the culture to the sport itself, a day at the races will surely make for a grand time. Wine & Country Life is proud to be a sponsor, and we cannot wait to tailgate, shop, mingle and cheer on our favorite horses at this year’s Montpelier Hunt Races.  

On our website, find even more information on what to do in nearby Gordonsville, 5 Things to Love About the Fall Horse Races, past year’s Montpelier Hunt RacesTips on Tailgating Like a Winner and Virginia recipe ideas. And for tailgating essentials and supplies, stop by our Wine & Country Shop in Ivy.  ~



Wine & Country celebrates elevated living in Virginia Wine Country. Wine & Country Life, a semi-annual life & style magazine, and Wine & Country Weddings, an annual art book celebrating elegant Virginia weddings, are complemented by the Wine & Country Shop in Ivy, VA—a beautiful lifestyle boutique that brings the pages of the magazines to life. The Shop features over 40 Virginia artisans with everything from tailgating essentials and Dubarry attire to locally made foods and award-winning Virginia wines and craft beverages for your next event. Wine & Country covers the grape-growing foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Lynchburg to Leesburg, including points in between like Charlottesville and Middleburg. Ivy Life & Style Media also creates other projects, including, a collection of local resources including a popular calendar of events, family services guides and features on education, health and family day trips for parents and teachers in Charlottesville, as well as the a guide to resources for Charlottesville tourists and newcomers.

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