Hundreds gathered to watch the Foxfield Races in Albemarle County on Sunday, a biannual event featuring a variety of horse racing events. For the first time, a portion of ticket sale proceeds were donated to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville in a new partnership between the races and the organization. The final donation amount was $50,000.
Jockeys in brightly colored uniforms guided horses along six flat and hurdle races as owners and trainers overlooked from a tall wooden viewing area. Winners were awarded engraved silver plates and cups.
In between races, the day’s events included several opportunities for participants to show off their dogs, including a terrier race, a parade of hounds and a parade of beagles. Dozens of dogs excitedly followed a guide along the race track as onlookers cheered.
Children also got to have a turn on the track in the Stick Pony Race, where they “rode” their own toy hobby horses or horses crafted out of foam pool noodles while parents cheered and took photos.
The fall Foxfield Races are dedicated annually as Fall Family Day. The event was geared toward families with young children and featured a children’s tent with activities including a LEGO-building competition, trucks to explore and performances by the Wilson School of Dance.
Foxfield will hold its spring races on April 30. The spring event historically has attracted crowds of University of Virginia students.