COCKEYSVILLEe, Md.--Shawan Downs, having to run without spectators, no longer has the funds to provide purse money, so it loses its recognized status in the National Steeplehase Association and will run as a point-to-point, but it has added a day of flat racing for amateur riders.
The Gold Cup, however, which also now must run without spectators, maintains its recognized status and will be live streamed, to be found on the NSA site.
The Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs. after extensive discussions with local and state officials, made the difficult decision to race without fans on Saturday, Sept. 26.
As such, the races will no longer be able to run as sanctioned steeplechase races, but will rather run in a point-to-point format.
The COVID restrictions for the State of Maryland require any sporting event to run without spectators, including flat racing and steeplechase racing.
The Preakness Stakes, to be run on Oct.3 in Baltimore, will also run without spectators.
“WE APPRECIATE the efforts on the part of the Health Departments of Baltimore County and the State of Maryland to try to allow the Legacy Chase to happen as a sanctioned steeplechase meet with spectators,” said race chairman Charlie Fenwick. “Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.”
“We need spectators in order to fund our purse structure,” said Fenwick. “We don’t have the benefit of revenue from parimutuel wagering or television, which other sporting events do have.”
The Legacy Chase relies heavily on its spectator base to fund the purse structure for the races.
While Shawan Downs will not host the Legacy Chase, it will hold a “no spectator” day of point-to-point racing on Saturday, Sept. 26, as well as the Shawan Downs Flat Races on Sunday, Sept.27.
The Sunday program will also allow an opportunity for trainers to school their horses both over timber and over the new EASYFIX fences.
Conditions will be posted at the Central Entry Office and entries will be taken through Monday, Sept. 21 for the Saturday point-to-point and Wednesday, Sept. 23 for the Sunday races.
Shawan Downs, in an effort to provide additional racing opportunities to Amateur Apprentice riders and give horsemen additional flat racing opportunities, will hold Flat Races on Sunday with two divisions of Amateur Apprentice flat races (Open, and Maiden) and those two divisions will be split as needed.
In addition, Shawan Downs will offer TIMBER SCHOOLING, before and/or after the flat races. The price for timber schooling is $150 per horse.
Owners, trainers, horsemen, riders, and officials will be granted access to the property for the Sept. 26 point-to-point.
Shawan Downs will follow strict social distancing regulations and is committed to following recommended safety measures as set by the Centers for Disease Control, in addition to state and local officials.
THE INTERNATIONAL Gold Cup Races will run on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Great Meadow without spectators at the races this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world on its head, and steeplechase racing has not been immune to its far-reaching effects.
Fans are so very important to the Races and to the sport of steeplechase racing!
This extremely difficult decision was based on the limitations placed on attendance by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and it came down to protecting the health, safety, and welfare of everyone to the best of our abilities.
The National Steeplechase Association will host a free live stream of the Races, so tune in online and tailgate from your living room or back yard!
Visit www.nationalsteeplechase.com for up to date live stream information.