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Off to the Races! Visiting The Far Hills Race Meeting

Rain or shine, it’s a sure bet that 40,000 steeplechase fans will descend on Somerset County for the 92nd Annual Far Hills Race Meeting.

Posted September 11, 2012 by Susan Brierly

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Dave Waer and Bridget Soyka-Smith
Dave Waer and Bridget Soyka-Smith of Montclair share an alfresco brunch and a champagne toast on the back of their Range Rover.
Photo by Ted Axelrod.

Terry McSweeney Atop His Horse, Bogart
Atop his handsome horse, Bogart, Terry McSweeney of Far Hills volunteers as a National Steeplechase Association official.
Photo by Ted Axelrod.

Far Hills Race
Festive libations await a thirsty crowd of race fans.
Photo by Ted Axelrod.

Far Hills Race
Thousands of spectators and corporate sponsors converge on Moorland Farm for a laid-back day of celebrating and people watching.
Photo by Ted Axelrod.

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!
 


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