Partners in Strawberry Hill Races, Christie Harrell and Mildred Dotson, today announced plans for the 80th running of the Strawberry Hill Races.

“We have decided to revise our initial plans for 2013 and will hold the Strawberry Hill Races in the Fall, just as its founding organization, the Deep Run Hunt Club, did when it held its first race meet in 1895,” said Christie Harrell, general partner in Strawberry Hill Races.  “However, the meet will return to its traditional Spring date in the years to follow, beginning April 12, 2014.”

Once sponsored by the Deep Run Hunt Club, the origin of the Strawberry Hill Races dates back to 1895.  
Then known as the Deep Run Hunt Cup, the first two races were held on November 30, 1895 and served as a precursor for establishing the club’s five race Spring meet in 1896, both of which were held at “Chantilly” on Broad Street.  Since then the event has been held at various farms and racing venues around Richmond.  Mindful of this history, the partners acquired rights to the Strawberry Hill Races trademark in May 2012 with the intention of holding the event on a farm relative to the Greater Richmond area and returning it to its historical Spring date that has prompted generations of Strawberry Hill Race enthusiasts to claim the event as “Richmond’s rite of Spring”.

Presented by aGRAshare, the theme for the Fall event is, ‘A toast to tradition: A taste of the chase’.

In addition to Strawberry Hill Races, the partners will be conducting the Camptown Races, another historical horse racing event beloved by the Richmond community.  Considered by some to be the country counterpart to the more formal Strawberry Hill Races, the Camptown Races were first held in 1953 at Meadow Farm, birth place of Secretariat.

Venues and race dates for both Strawberry Hill Races and Camptown Races will be announced in the coming months.


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More about aGRAshare:  aGRAshare was established by Christie Harrell and Mildred Dotson to preserve Virginia’s agricultural legacy through the promotion of agritourism and conservation of agricultural property for educational and charitable purposes.  aGRAshare is a pending 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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Strawberry Hill Races Timeline


1895
      Deep Run Hunt Club sponsors the first meet in November at an estate known as “Chantilly” located on Broad Street.

1910
      Deep Run Hunt Club merges with the Country Club of Virginia and races occur at the Country Club near River Road.

1928
      Race moves to Curles Neck Farm in Henrico County along the James River.

1947
      Strawberry Hill Course is developed on Atlantic Rural Exposition property near Ginter Park and a farm called Strawberry Hill.

1973
      Atlantic Rural Exposition (later State Fair of Virginia) assumes role as organizer of the race meet from Deep Run Hunt Club and renames the event, Strawberry Hill Races.

1984       Historic Richmond Foundation sponsors Strawberry Hill Race Weekend and hosts gala in the newly renovated Old City Hall.

1993
      Richmond Symphony becomes the event beneficiary and fans support horse-drawn carriage parade through downtown for Race Weekend.

1999
      Attendance exceeds 23,000 people for last race at State Fair of Virginia’s Fairgrounds on Strawberry Hill.

2000
      State Fair of Virginia leases racing venue at Colonial Downs while waiting for completion of their new facilities at Meadow Event Park.

2012
      Partners purchase rights to the Strawberry Hill Races trademark with plans to relocate the event to a local farm.