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Sports · August 27, 2015

Great Meadow will host flat racing meet on Sept. 20

The Sept. 20 meet will feature six flat races on a turf course at Great Meadow.
Virginia Downs
• What: New meet with 6 horse races on flat turf course.

• When:
2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20.

• Where: Great Meadow near The Plains.

• Sponsor: Virginia Equine Alliance.

• Proceeds:
Of ticket sales go to Fauquier SPCA.

• Purses: Support Virginia breeding and racing industry.

• Tickets: Rail side $100 in advance, general admission $30 per vehicle.

• More information: Click here.

The Virginia Equine Alliance announced today that Virginia Downs racing will make its debut in Northern Virginia on Sunday, Sept. 20, at Great Meadow near The Plains.

The event will feature six flat races and pari-mutuel wagering.

The race meet seeks to help fill the void left by the closing of Colonial Downs in New Kent County, east of Richmond. The new equine alliance will manage purses designed to encourage Virginia’s thoroughbred breeding and racing industry.

Great Meadow’s gates will open at noon with the first race at 2 p.m. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Fauquier SPCA, a non-profit organization based in Casanova.

“We are excited to be able to showcase Virginia-bred horses and bring expanded racing to Great Meadow,” said Debbie Easter, interim president of the Virginia Equine Alliance.

Great Meadow also hosts the Virginia Gold Cup in May and International Gold Cup, which will take place Saturday, Oct. 24.

“The difference is that all of our racing on Sept. 20 will be on the flat — not steeplechase jumping as is showcased in the Gold Cup,” Ms. Easter added. “However, tailgating and wagering will remain two key components for our event.”

Activities for the event will be confined to the Members Hill area alongside the stretch and finish line at Great Meadow.

Two different passes are available for purchase. A limited supply of reserved, rail side vehicle passes for tailgating while watching the races will be sold on a first-come basis for $100 each (advance sale only). General admission passes in advance for $30 per car. Both passes allow one car into the venue with up to six occupants but only the rail side passes allow attendees to park their vehicle rail side, set up a tailgate and watch the races.

General admission tickets may be purchased online at or at Blue Valley Vineyard and Winery near Delaplane, Tri-County Feeds near Marshall, The Tack Box in Middleburg and in Warrenton at Chestnut Forks Athletic Club, Piccadilly Ltd., Piedmont Pets and the Virginia Gold Cup office. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate. Those attending with general admission passes are encouraged to bring a blanket and plan to picnic on the hillside overlooking the racecourse, or purchase food on site.

For information on rail side tailgate spaces, contact Mary Tarr at the Fauquier SPCA, 540-788-9000 ext. 202.

The Virginia Equine Alliance, a non-profit organization, has a new vision for racing in Virginia, where associated charities get the opportunity to raise funds through their participation on race days that the VEA has organized. All net revenue of the VEA will be directed back into the industry.

VEA is comprised of four organizations: The Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, the Virginia Thoroughbred Association, the Virginia Gold Cup Association and the Virginia Harness Horsemen’s Association.

A four-day harness racing meet will be held on Oct. 10-11 and 17-18 at the Oak Ridge Estate in Arrington.

For more information, go to or

For more information about Virginia’s racing industry, go to
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