2014 Block House Steeplechase

Block House Steeple ChaseGuests of Orchard Inn are able to take advantage of our convenient location.  The popular metropolitan area of Asheville is just minutes away and so are other smaller North Carolina communities that have special events and attractions. One of those events is the Block House Steeplechase held in nearby Tryon, NC each year. Whether you’re a equestrian enthusiast or not, the 2014 Block House Steeplechase is an excellent way to spend the day, with ample opportunities for tailgating and socializing.


Presented by the Tryon Riding and Hunt Club, the 2014 Block House Steeplechase will take place on May 3rd at the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center in Tryon, NC.  Block House Steeplechase is the longest running steeplechase in North Carolina.  The race has been held every year since 1947, making it a tradition among North Carolina natives and visitors for generations. Today, crowds of race enthusiasts and those looking for an exciting day out come to witness the Block House Steeplechase in Tryon, NC. Attendance in past years has been between 18,000 and 20,000 spectators.


The National Steeplechase Association sanctions four races at the Block House Steeplechase and there are also amateur events.  Jockeys and horses from around the country come to the Block House Steeplechase to compete. If you’re unfamiliar with this particular form of horse racing, steeplechase is a distance horse race that includes a variety of obstacles such as fences and ditches. It gains its name from the fact that historically, races in which orientation of the course was by reference to a church steeple.  And the obstacles were those commonly encountered when riding through the countryside.


The Block House Steeplechase has been held at the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE) equestrian-center every year since 1947.  FENCE is “dedicated to providing facilities and focus for education, recreation and preservation in nature studies and equestrian activities with the aim of enhancing these endeavors to enrich the quality of life for the community.”  In addition the the Blockhouse Steeplechase, FENCE has over six miles of hiking and riding trails and a nature pond.


In addition to the horse races at the Block House Steeplechase, the pre-race Hat Contest is a popular part of the festivities.  Prizes are awarded for creative headwear among children and adults.  Children 12 and under may compete in the divisions of Funniest and Most Appropriate.  Adults compete in the divisions of: Funniest, Most Appropriate and Most Unusual. There is also a Tailgate Contest for the most creative tailgate at the Block House Steeplechase.  Judging for this contest also takes place before the races.


After a day at the races, you’re sure to enjoy the accommodations at the Orchard Inn.  Our rooms and cottages are an ideal place to relax and recount your adventures at Block House Steeplechase.  Each is decorated in comfortable and elegant style with antiques and period furnishings.  And your stay comes with a scrumptious full breakfast each morning, so you’ll have the fuel to take in the horse race and more.  There’s no better way to ensure a memorable trip than booking a stay at a local bed and breakfast like Orchard Inn.


Photo courtesy Paolo Camera.