A Rite of Spring
Every year thousands of steeplechase fans turn out at Winterthur Estate in Delaware to spend a full day of timber racing, tailgating, and socializing with friends and family.
Overcast skies, brisk chilly winds, and periodic showers were no match for the 16,000 steeplechase enthusiasts who turned out for the 39th annual Point-to-Point at Winterthur event. Held on May 7th amid the splendor of Henry Francis du Pont’s Winterthur Estate in Delaware’s Brandywine Valley, the signature equestrian event has become a highly anticipated spring tradition.
People of all ages came out to enjoy a full day of professional timber races, elegant tailgating, pony and stick-horse races, vintage cars, and dog-friendly activities. A premier attraction that precedes the races at Winterthur is one of the nation’s largest processions of antique carriages. The parade, founded by George “Frolic” Weymouth who passed away last year, now bears his name.
There is a definite polish and panache to the festive day of sporting tradition. Point-to-Point at Winterthur has become a long-standing event on the calendar with generations of families carrying on the time-honored traditions of lavish tailgating, donning spring’s finest pastel fashions and sporting imaginative headgear that typically includes a festooned hat.
Throughout the day, racing fans rise to the sounds of thundering hooves as horses and riders navigate the three-mile course of flats and fixed wooden-rail fences and bound towards the finish line. Between races, guests mingle over canapés and champagne while relishing the day’s festivities.
Liz Farrell, Winterthur’s communication’s manager, recently told Delaware online, “It’s become something of a rite of spring. You come to Point-to-Point after the long winter, you reconnect with the community, have a great day, and enjoy the outdoors and magnificent steeplechase racing.”