78th Running of the International Gold Cup

Photo by Oliver Devine
78th Gold Cup at Great Meadow
78th Gold Cup at Great Meadow

The luminous fall colors at Great Meadow provided the perfect backdrop for a day of steeplechase racing and socializing for the 78th running of the International Gold Cup Saturday. 

Meg Ryan (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Meg Ryan

Actress Meg Ryan was even spotted in the paddock enjoying the turning out of the horses before the fourth race.  Ryan's directorial debut film "Ithaca" was being featured at the local Middleburg Film Festival.

(Photo by: Oliver Devine)

The fifth race of the day was the highlight, despite mild competition beforehand from the garish cavalcade of chapeaus in the winner's circle known as the 'hat contest'.

Winning Jockey Mark Beecher (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Winning Jockey Mark Beecher

Grinding Speed, owned by Michael Wharton and piloted by jockey Mark Beecher captured the $75,000 International Gold Cup Saturday. 

(Photo by: Oliver Devine)

Grinding Speed won his third Gold Cup by fighting off Magalen O. Bryant's Dakota Slew in a thrilling final mile of the timber race.  

 

(Photo by: Oliver Devine)

Abby Taylor  and Leigh Szubrowski (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Abby Taylor and Leigh Szubrowski

(Photo by: Oliver Devine)

Rachel Martin of Boxwood Winery shares a bench with Meg Ryan (Photo by: Oliver Devine) Rachel Martin of Boxwood Winery shares a bench with Meg Ryan

(Photo by: Oliver Devine)

(Photo by: Oliver Devine)

1 Comment For This Article

Cheryl DePriest

Thank you, thank you and thank you again for attending our races and giving media coverage for those unfortunates who were not able to attend. I work for an owner and breeder in Virginia and am proud to say that I have the best job in the world. I am passionate about jump racing and am truly blessed to have such awesome horses, owners, trainers, and courses right here in beautiful Virginia. I hope that all who witnessed the Gold Cup race realized the greatness of Grinding Speed, ridden by Mark Beecher, winning that race. An event that I doubt will ever be accomplished again. I think that Mark will have to get plastic surgery to remove that huge smile. We will be doing this again in the Spring and several times over the summer at Great Meadows. Please come out and enjoy the day with us. It is not all about drinking but if that is your thing, bring it. We have pari-mutual at these races and are hoping to expand our dates next year.