MINERAL SPRINGS – The Queen’s Cup Steeplechase keeps getting better with age.
The 23rd edition of the Queen’s Cup will be held April 28 at Brooklandwood Race Course just outside of Waxhaw and some of the best horses, trainers and jockeys will be on hand.
And as always, the tailgating options keep getting better and better at one of the top sporting and social events in the Southeast. A crowd of nearly 20,000 attended last year’s Queen’s Cup.
The 2018 Queen’s Cup Steeplechase will benefit the local Alzheimer’s Association for the fifth-consecutive year. The Queen’s Cup has donated over $800,000 to various charities over the years.
The nonprofit Queen’s Cup is part of the National Steeplechase Association, and the event on April 28 is one of around 30 races scheduled across the country from March to November this year.
Tailgating is a big part of the event and the individual tailgate gatherings are often extravagant with racing fans dressed in elegant outfits. Tailgating spots range from $150 to $695 for groups of 12 and 14 people. One prime tailgating section is already sold out and several other options only have a few spaces left.
One popular tailgating option is the Millennial’s Treehouse. While geared for fans and partygoers ages 21 to 35, older patrons can also join the fun. A $150 badge includes round-trip chartered bus transportation from the I-495 light rail station to Brooklandwood, catered lunch, complimentary beer and wine and rail viewing under a large party tent on the top of Heartbreak Hill.
The Treehouse tailgating option was introduced last year and it will be an even more popular option since the light rail system now extends all the way to the UNC Charlotte campus in north Charlotte.
The purse for the five races totals $150,000 with the featured race being the Queen’s Cup MPC Chase at 2:40 p.m. The third race is presented by Sonitrol and is run in the memory of longtime Queen’s Cup supporter Molly Parker Crosland and covers 2 3/8 miles with a purse of $75,000.
The Queen’s Cup purse ranks in the top five on the NSA circuit and some of the top jockeys, trainers and horses will make the trip to Union County. The winner of the feature race will cash a check for $45,000.
“It’s in the top five as far as quality of racing and fees,” said Kevin Tobin, Queen’s Cup business development director. “The best of the best come down here. It won’t be a bad afternoon if you pocket $45,000.”
The course at Brooklandwood is one of the premier steeplechase venues on the circuit with fan-friendly views of the action at every turn, Tobin said.
“No matter where you are on the race course and no matter what ticket you have, you have a spectacular view of horse racing,” Tobin said.
At A Glance
23rd Annual Queen’s Cup Steeplechase
When: Saturday, April 28. Gates open at 10 a.m.
Where: Grounds of Brooklandwood Race Course, Mineral Springs
Tickets: General Admission starting at $50; Tailgating starting at $150.
Schedule: Races start at 1:30, 2:05, 3:15 and 4 p.m. Don’t miss activities before and after the race.