The Great Meadow in Warrenton, Virginia, is set to host the 86th edition of the renowned International Gold Cup on October 28, 2023. This iconic steeplechase event, among the largest in the United States, promises an exciting day, starting at noon when the first race kicks off.

“It is just breathtaking to be there in person where you can hear the hoofbeats and see the horses and jockeys as well as the spectacular fall foliage around the area.”

-Al Griffin, co-chairman of the Virginia Gold Cup Association

The International Gold Cup, held annually in October at the same race course as its spring counterpart, the Virginia Gold Cup, stands as one of the largest steeplechase race meets in the nation. Originally established to welcome international participants, it still bestows the esteemed King of Spain annual trophy. This event draws numerous international jockeys and trainers who train in the United States. Furthermore, it was among the earliest steeplechase meets to feature sanctioned pari-mutuel wagering in the Commonwealth. Known for its top-notch racing, picturesque surroundings, and extravagant tailgating, the International Gold Cup attracts over 45,000 spectators each year. It unfolds at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia, situated approximately 45 minutes west of Washington, D.C., within the heart of Virginia’s horse country.

Photos: Liz Callar, Richard Clay, Eleszabeth McNeel, Sharon Reed

For this upcoming fall season, a fresh addition to the International Gold Cup experience is the exclusive 1922 Club VIP ticket. This ticket grants access to a prime venue offering excellent views of the races, as well as delectable food and beverages. Please note that space is limited, so it’s advisable to purchase tickets early. Parking is available for an additional fee of $100, and you can acquire your tickets through the provided link.

Virginia boasts a rich heritage in the horse industry, characterized by its historical and agricultural roots. The state has played a pivotal role in advancing American Thoroughbred and other horse breeds. According to the Virginia Horse Industry Board, Virginia is home to over 215,000 horses. Al Griffin, co-chairman of the Virginia Gold Cup Association, pointed out that while the International Gold Cup is a major social occasion for many attendees, it also plays a vital role in supporting the equine industry in the region.

You can secure your tickets now by visiting or calling 540-347-2612.