Ardent fans of the Far Hills Race Meeting have had October 20 circled on their calendars for the last 12 months. They would never miss the time-honored soirée that draws tens of thousands of revelers from New Jersey and beyond.
It began in Montclair in 1870 as a fox hunting event known as the Essex Hunt, moving to its current home at Moorland Farm in Far Hills in 1916. Today, although foxes are no more, merrymakers get into the spirit by dressing in fall finery, packing tailgate feasts, sipping bubbly and watching six live National Steeplechase Association races with purses totaling $500,000.
Since the 1950s, the mega-event’s ticket sales and corporate sponsorships have raised more than $18 million for Somerset Medical Center, which named its Steeplechase Cancer Center after the horse race. Sponsored by Open Road Auto Group, the festivities are hosted rain or shine. Advance tickets are available at farhillsrace.org, Kings Food Markets and other businesses.
Here are some favorite images from last year’s gathering to put you in the spirit. Tallyho!