Sunny skies and a gathering of around 25,000 spectators kicked off the 89th Radnor Hunt Races on Saturday, May 18, 2019. Supporting the open space and clean water programs of the Brandywine Conservancy, the annual steeplechase event brought in the finest thoroughbred horses, riders and trainers from across the country competing in six jump races for their chance at $170,000 in purse money. The day also featured the best in themed-tailgate parties, hats and fashion, as well as the crowd-favorite parade of foxhounds and antique carriages.
“The Radnor Hunt Races are a time-honored and beloved tradition in our region, spanning multiple generations of families and friends returning year after year,” said Kathy Freney Smith, Radnor Hunt Races coordinator. “This year we could not have asked for a better Race Day—including the weather! We are especially grateful to BNY Mellon Wealth Management for 35 years of continued support as the presenting sponsor of the Races, as well as our many other sponsors, including The Bellevue, Rafferty Subaru and Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP—each with almost decades of continued support.”
Built on a rich history of horse racing that has been cultivated in this region for nearly 100 years, the Radnor Hunt Races are supported by the legacy of protecting the stunning open spaces that make this region such a beautiful place to call home. For the past 40 years, the Brandywine Conservancy has been the sole beneficiary of the Races, with over $5 million raised to date to for its clean water and open space programs. With the help of the Races and many likeminded partners, the Conservancy has protected over 64,500 acres of open space—including the Radnor Hunt racecourse itself and surrounding lands—and continues to improve and safeguard water quality, land protection, outdoor recreation and historic preservation in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware.
This year also marks the 30th anniversary of Chester County’s Department of Open Space Preservation, one of the most comprehensive preservation programs in the country. Chester County Commissioners Michelle Kichline, Kathi Cozzone, and Terence Farrell joined the Race Day festivities and were presented with a resolution from the Brandywine Conservancy honoring the Commissioners’ successes and support of open space initiatives, as well as their continued partnership with the Brandywine. “We extend our sincere gratitude to the Chester County Commissioners for their long and esteemed history of supporting natural resource conservation, watershed protection, outdoor recreation and farmland preservation in Chester County,” noted Ellen Ferretti, director of the Brandywine Conservancy. “Over the years, the Brandywine Conservancy and other non-profit conservation organizations and municipalities have collaborated with the County in its efforts. As a result, nearly 30% of land in Chester County is now permanently preserved for current and future generations to enjoy.”
Held annually on the third Saturday in May, the Radnor Hunt Races will return for its 90th year on May 16, 2020, in Willistown Township, Chester County. For more information, visit www.radnorhuntraces.org.