National Steeplechase Museum
As defined by the National Steeplechase
Association: Steeplechasing includes all the
thrills and speed of horse racing at flat tracks. It mixes in the precision of jumping to creatte a hybrid not unlike hurdle
events in track and field where the premium is on speed, but the concern is focused squarely on the jumps.
Originating in Ireland, Steeplechasing evolved
from the sport of Fox Hunting. The countryside in Ireland had numerous churches with tall steeples and riders would race
using the steeples as landmarks. They were basically racing from steeple to steeple. Today, most Steeplechases in the United
States include five to seven races and only Thoroughbreds run on the 2 - 2 1/2 mile tracks with 11-12 jumps.
Camden, SC the self-proclaimed Steeplechaasing Capital of the World, is located just a stones throw from three military
bases. Home to the Springdale Race Course, a Thoroughbred racing and training center, Camden hosts the Carolina and Colonial
Cup Steeplechase Races.
Held in the Spring, spectators at the Carolina Cup, tend to focus on tailgating, partying, and maybe
catching a glimpse of a horse or two. On the other hand, in the Fall, Colonial Cup attendees take delight in watching the
World Class horses race while enjoying activities that entertain and engage entire families.
Camden is also
home to the National Steeplechase Museum. Located near the race course, it is the only insititution in the United States dedicated
solely to the national history and story of steeplechasing.
Above: One of several colorful displays!
Below: A presentation of pictures
provides a visual for the history of the Sport.
found a small military connection!
If you look closely at the photo below,
you will see that this particular race,
1, 1963 in Laurel, MD
offered a purse sponsored by
The Naval Academy Officers Wives Club!