::Brookhill Steeple Chase Cancelled
From Raleigh Chronicle Staff Reports
Thursday, April 19, 2007
CLAYTON, NC - The annual Brookhill Steeplechase horse race that drew not only riders and horses, but was also a top event for Raleigh socialites has been cancelled this year. At past events, as many people watched the crowds at the event as they did the horses, as attendees wore unique and elaborate hats and made makeshift floats in their tailgating sections.
The annual event was organized by the Raleigh Jaycees as a fundraiser for charity causes and has been held in early May for 15 years.
In a statement on the Raleigh Jaycees website, the group says that there was a possible change in ownership of the farm where the event has been held. The steeplechase was hosted in Clayton at the Brookhill Farms, which is owned by Ray Earp and Mary Elizabeth Worley.
"The Raleigh Jaycees regret to announce the fifteenth running of the Brookhill Steeplechase will not be held in 2007," said a statement on the steeplechase website. "After careful consideration, the uncertainty of the future of the land has prompted this decision."
According to an article printed earlier this year in the News & Observer, the property where the event has been held may be sold to a new owner, prompting organizers to cancel this year's running of the horses.
The Jaycees thanked Earp and Worley for hosting the event for 14 years and for their generosity in allowing them to use their farm.
"It was the vision of the Raleigh Jaycees and the Earp family that enabled this volunteer organization to transform a Clayton area farm into a premier steeplechase venue and provide the Triangle with the only sporting event of this caliber," says the steeplechase website.
According to the Jaycees, last year marked the largest crowd ever for the popular event and drew visitors from around the state.
"I have learned from this organization how to run a world-class event and am proud to be associated with the Raleigh Jaycees and the Brookhill Steeplechase," said Jennifer Trivette, 2006 race director in a statement on the website.
It's possible the event will be held elsewhere next year, but the organizers will need to find another large property to host the steeplechase. With many farms disappearing to make way for new homes, that task may be daunting but the Jaycees seemed hopeful.
"The Raleigh Jaycees are thankful for the continued support from the [National Steeplechase Association] and the trainers, riders and owners that have been so loyal to the Brookhill Steeplechase. We've enjoyed the past success of the race and will be evaluating our options for the future," said Raleigh Jaycee president, Ed Blackman in a statement on the website. ::