PHOTOS: Virginia’s Gold Cup returns

Horses in action during the 2021 Virginia Gold Cup event.

Jockeys take a break between races in 2017.

Tailgating is part of the Gold Cup experience.

Kristi King brought her own hat in 2017, but for those who arrive topless opportunities are available to purchase.


The Virginia Gold Cup, the commonwealth’s biggest horse racing event, will be held May 7 at Great Meadow in The Plains.

The event, celebrating its 97th anniversary this year, was scaled down for the past two years in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, organizers said in a statement Friday, and there will still be changes for 2022.

Tailgate packages and hospitality tents are available, the organizers said, and attendees have to be invited guests of those who have one or the other. There won’t be general admission passes.

The Gold Cup combines seven steeplechase and flat races. Under normal circumstances, around 50,000 people a year turn out for the races, as well as to see and be seen, with the hat contest as much of a spectacle as the rest of the events.

You can get tent passes online and find out more information on their website as well, or call 540-347-2612.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2012 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He went to George Washington University as an undergraduate and is regularly surprised at the changes to the city since that faraway time.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up