Queen’s Cup One Of Top Sporting, Social Events In Carolinas

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The Queen’s Cup Steeplechase has always been the place to see and be seen, and the 21st annual event on April 29 at Brooklandwood Race Course in Mineral Springs will be no different.

From the elegant outfits to the extravagant tailgate parties to the action on the race track, the Queen’s Cup will once again be one of the premier social and sporting events in the Carolinas. The Queen’s Cup, which is a nonprofit entity, is part of the National Steeplechase Association (NSA), and the circuit has over 30 events around the country scheduled for this year from March to November.

The 2017 Queen’s Cup Steeplechase benefits the local Alzheimer’s Association and the event has raised over $700,000 for various charities over the years.”We have everything from beautiful people to beautiful horses,” said Queen’s Cup director of Business Development Kevin Tobin. “The setting is spectacular. If you want to give back to the community, and you want to enjoy yourself while you are doing it, the Queen’s Cup is the way to do. Everybody that comes, the dollar that they spend here directly or indirectly goes back to charity.”

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 long time Queen’s Cup supporter Molly Parker Crosland (MPC) and covers 2 3/8 miles with a purse of $75,000.

The Queen’s Cup total purse ranks in the top 10 on the NSA circuit, and Tobin said some of the top jockeys and horses will compete for the $150,000 purse. The winner of the feature race will receive $45,000.

“That is a chunk of change everybody would be happy walking home with,” Tobin said. “We are lucky that trainers and jockeys come here to compete for a considerable amount of money. The best of the best come down here. We are one of the premier race meets in North America.”

Tailgating is a big part of the Queen’s Cup, with spots going from $150 to $695 for groups of 12 and 14 people. Larger group tailgate spots begin at $2,200.

New this year is the Millennial’s Treehouse tailgating option, marketed towards Queen’s Cup fans ages 21-35, but fans of any age can participate. The $150 badge includes round-trip chartered bus transportation from the Prineville Lynx Station, catered lunch, complimentary beer and wine and rail viewing from a large party tent at the top of Heartbreak Hill.

“I think we are the biggest single area tailgate in the region,” Tobin said. “The Panthers have their tailgating, but often they are in different areas. One thing we pride ourselves here around the office is the family aspect. This is something where you would be proud to bring your family.”  Tobin said there isn’t a bad spot around the track.

“The one thing about the Queen’s Cup, no matter where you are on the track, you can pretty much see everything that is happening in the race,” Tobin said.
For more information go to queenscup.org

At A Glance:
21st Annual Queen’s Cup Steeplechase
When: Saturday, April 29. Gates Open at 10 a.m.
Where: Grounds of Brooklandwood, Mineral Springs, N.C
Tickets: General Admission starting at $50; Tailgating starting at $150; Lawn Boxes starting at $375.
Pre-Race Schedule
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — Jack Russell Terrier Races
11 a.m.-11:45 a.m. — Racecourse Jockey Walk
11:45 a.m. — Vineyard Vines Hat Contest
12 p.m. — Tailgating Contest
Race Schedule
Race 1: The $30,000 2 1/8 miles King George III Sport of Kings Maiden Hurdle, 1:30 p.m.
Race 2: The $25,000 2 1/4 miles Charlotte Business Journal Ratings Handicap Hurdle, 2:05 p.m.
Race 3: The $75,000 2 3/8 miles Queen’s Cup MPC Chase presented by Sonitrol, 2:40 p.m.
Race 4: The $20,000 3-mile Timber Allowance, 3:15 p.m.
Race 5: The 1 1/4 miles Trugreen Future Champions Turf, 4 p.m.
Post-Race Schedule
Kendall-Jackson Hot Walk Party featuring live music by KingDaddy following the last race.
Gates Close at 7 p.m.
On the Web: queenscup.org

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at ripig1979@yahoo.com.