A Weekend at the Races
During the fall Virginia has many things to offer like hiking, breweries, orchards and horse races. This past weekend I partook in the latter, a horse race. Although I am short enough to be a jockey I stood on the side lines, enjoying delicious food, wonderful people and an all around gorgeous atmosphere. The race is called the Montepelier races because it is held at Montepelier, the house of James Madison (a former president for the non-history buffs). Each year there is always a strong chance it is going to rain the day of Montpelier. This year, although the day before and after were perfect, the day of the races were wet. It rained the majority of the day. I like to think of it as good luck, like the theory for rain on a wedding day, meaning it will be a wonderful day spent with friends (and some luck in the betting area). It was a great day, but no such luck in the betting area.
Montpelier races are different from Foxfield races, firstly in that there is a different demographic that attends. Foxfield races in the spring are an extention of a fraternity party, at least on the inside ring of the track. The outside ring, and fall Foxfield are for family gatherings and tailgates that are fun, but more low key (my kind of party). Montpelier takes the fall Foxfield and dresses it up a little. People make full displays of stuffed foxes, lots of flowers, expensive food and sometimes even the occasional nice rug (I witnessed a few animal skin rugs this year... did I mention it was raining???). At our spot we have a wonderful friend who is a florist and created a beautiful centerpiece for the food. The second difference between Foxfield and Montpelier is at this race you will not see any searsucker, light pink, green, blue and yellow, or suits that people only wear in college or at Foxfield. And don't take me wrong, I love all those things, and especially Foxfield itself. Montpelier replaces those with leather, browns, and the fall colors of the year such as burgundy, hunter green, gold, barbour and filson jackets etc.
The similarities of Foxfield and Montpelier, at both you will have an excellent time. I would recommend both races to anyone. They are definitely two of my favorite southern traditions and legacies.
Our lovely food display.
One of seven races that took place that day.
If you have ever been to one of these races, or have a favorite local or big horse race, send me pictures or comment here and tell me about them! I would love to hear y'alls stories or your take on these events!