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Style · May 6, 2016

Final preparations complete for Fauquier’s largest event

Wear shoes you could lose. But, from the ankles up, dress to impress.
— Great Meadow President Rob Banner
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Final preparations for Fauquier’s largest spectator event involve a lot of fresh landscaping and zip ties.

Dozens of people work through drizzling rain Thursday to finish setting up for Saturday’s 91st running of the Virginia Gold Cup at Great Meadow near The Plains.

Workers secure pristine white tarps on a few more tents while Garrett Overbey uses plastic ties to attach sponsor banners to a fence near the paddock.

Landscapers haul mounds of steaming mulch and plant new flowers at the main entrance.

Teddy Tenner and Shaun Scott drag 763 trashcans through tall grass to tailgating stations around the course.

Saturday’s race features about 400 tents, 67 golf carts, 13 pari-mutuel betting stations and 236 portable restrooms.

The Virginia Gold Cup Association started setting up for the big event about two weeks ago.

Great Meadow President Rob Banner expects 55,000 spectators will attend Saturday’s races.

Mr. Banner calls it one of the top five annual events in the Washington, D.C., region.

With the grounds already squishy from 10 days of rain, he suggests attendees wear “shoes you could lose. But, from the ankles up, dress to impress.

“We’re prepared,” he adds. “We have 17 miles of irrigated tiling under the race course.”

Owners have entered 78 horses to run in the card’s eight steeplechase and flat races.

Although horses don’t get a course preview, jockeys will walk the soggy course Friday.

After almost two weeks of rain, Saturday’s forecast calls for a break, with partly cloudy skies and a high temperature of 69.
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