This year marks the 90th running of the Radnor Hunt Races scheduled for Saturday, May 16, 2020. Held on the grounds of the Radnor Hunt in Willistown Township, Chester County, an estimated crowd of 20,000 is expected. The National Hunt Cup and the Radnor Hunt Cup headline the day's six races.
The Radnor Hunt, founded in 1883, is the oldest foxhunt in the United States, recognized by the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America. The first Radnor Hunt Races was held in 1928 at Chesterbrook, PA, the former estate of A.J. Cassatt.
Bill Hunneman, Jr., first Chairman of the Radnor Hunt Race Committee, was largely responsible for its successful beginning. It was Hunneman who spearheaded the relocation of the famed National Hunt Cup from Brookline, MA to Radnor Hunt Races, Malvern, PA. His inspiration and foresight are very much alive today. The William C. Hunneman, Jr., Perpetual Trophy annually recognizes the winner of the Radnor Hunt Cup Race.
The Races were run annually until racing was suspended during the war years of 1943-1945. The following year George Brooke, II, with the aid of Morris Dixon, Thomas McCoy, Jr., and George Strawbridge, Sr., supervised the construction of a new course on the present Club property.
In 1980, the Radnor Hunt and Brandywine Conservancy began a partnership spearheaded by Betty Moran and George "Frolic" Weymouth. Under their leadership, the Radnor Hunt Races are Racing for Open Space. For the past 40 years, the Brandywine Conservancy has been the sole beneficiary of the Radnor Hunt Races. With over $5 million raised, those funds have fueled the Conservancy's vital efforts to protect open space and water resources in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware. To date, more than 64,000 acres are permanently protected including the Radnor Hunt racecourse itself and the surrounding lands. The Radnor Hunt Races continues to attract the country's finest steeplechase horses, owners, trainers and riders with purses totaling $170,000.
For more information on steeplechase racing, visit https://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/basics/