International Gold Cup Horse Race returns with spectators!

September 9, 2021

WARRENTON, Va., Sept. 9, 2021—The famous International Gold Cup, one of the largest steeplechase events in the U.S., returns to Great Meadow on Saturday, Oct. 23. Gates open at 10 a.m. with the first race at 12:30 p.m. Last year, the event was held without spectators and was live streamed. This year, tailgate packages and tents are available.

“While the event will be livestreamed again this fall, there is nothing as breathtaking as being there in person,” said Dr. William Allison, chairman of the Virginia Gold Cup Association that oversees both the spring and fall events. “In person, you can hear the hoofbeats and see the horses and jockeys as well as the spectacular fall foliage around the area.”

As with the spring, Virginia Gold Cup races, rail spaces will be spread out. Those attending must purchase a rail spot that comes with 10 tickets (10 wristbands, one reserved tailgate car pass and two general admission car passes.)  The cost is $895 for a space along the racecourse fence and $795 for rail spaces one row back from the rail in either north or south areas.  A limited number of spaces are available on Members Hill for $795. No individual tickets will be sold.

Tailgate packages are available and purchases can only be made by calling 540-347-2612. A limited number of group and corporate tents are also available on Members Hill.

The pandemic has severely financially impacted the equine industry in Virginia. It is an industry that’s very important to the Commonwealth’s economy. A 2018/19 report by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported that the horse industry brings more than $2 billion annually in economic development to the Commonwealth. The report noted that there are more than 183,643 horses in the state that provide approximately 38,874 jobs. It also stated that there are 30.5% or one million households that contain horse enthusiasts.

“It’s important to run these races so that we can continue to help out the equine industry,” stated Allison. “So many jockeys, trainers and industry employees are dependent on these races and have been training all year for them.”

For more information visit The website will be updated as additional information becomes available. Livestream information is available on the website as well.

The 2021 International Gold Cup Races are presented by Brown Advisory, the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, the Virginia Thoroughbred Association, Virginia Equine Alliance and the Virginia Breeders Fund.

About the International Gold Cup

The International Gold Cup, held every October on the same race course as its spring counterpart, the Virginia Gold Cup, is one of the largest steeplechase race meets in the country. Initially created as a venue for international participants, it still awards the highly coveted King of Spain annual trophy. The race meet includes many international jockeys and trainers who train in the U.S.  It is also one of the first steeplechase meets to have sanctioned pari-mutuel wagering in the Commonwealth. Known for its quality racing, spectacular scenery and lavish tailgating, the event attracts more than 45,000 spectators annually.  It is held at Great Meadow in The Plains, Va., approximately 45 minutes west of Washington, D.C. in the heart of Virginia horse country. For more information visit

Gold Cup Press Release

Gold Cup Photo

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