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Whether you are a loyal supporter or attending for the first time, The Races are a place where everyone is welcome!

Lots of activities fill in around the main attraction of the Races to make a full day of fun in the beautiful Virginia Piedmont!

7 Horse Races

Seven exciting horse races top the day’s activities. The steeplechase course at Montpelier imitates natural terrain with hills and live brush fences. Steeplechase racing originated in the 18th century where match races used the highest landmark, the church steeple, as the finish goal. Today steeplechasing retains that touch of chivalry, glamour, tradition and added danger to make it a unique spectator experience. 

Jack Russell Terrier Races

Terrier Races start the day’s activities by the flat track. The small entry fee for your dog includes race day tickets for you too. First come, first served, don't delay! All dogs must be pre-entered to participate!

Tailgate Contest

Tailgating is a must at the Races and is celebrated with a contest as well! Whether you want to have a simple picnic, or a stunning display everyone enjoys the tailgating portion of the day. Pre-enter the contest or just enjoy the efforts of your neighbors, its a tradition!


Get a jump start on shopping for the holiday’s at the races with our wide array of vendors! The races are the perfect place to shop for unique gifts for friends, family, or a treat for you: hats, jewelry, local crafts, artwork, accessories for pets, food, and one of a kind finds.

Stick Horse Races

Kids, come race your stick horse on the steeplechase track! Children ages 2-11 are eligible to race, pre-enter for free at the Montpelier Store Tent, stick horse races follow the Terrier Races. You can bring your own stick horse or purchase one from the Great Equestrian 4-H Club which will have handmade ones for sale.

Hat Contest

Hats and horse racing go hand-in-hand and as such, is celebrated with a Contest that gives everyone a chance to show off their millinery finery. From the sublime to the slightly ridiculous, all hats are welcome! No pre-entry required. After the second race at the Race Tower on the Steeplechase Track. Judging in several categories, just choose which aligns best with your design.


Side Saddle Exhibition

Race Founder Marion duPont rode side saddle in her early career and we celebrate the tradition with lovely ladies riding up the race course in full side saddle regalia. This portion of the day is a peek back into a more gracious time and a lovely photo opportunity.