Mrs. Theodora Ayer Randolph was Master of Piedmont Fox Hounds from 1954 until the time of her death in 1996 and Chairman of the Virginia Fall Races for many years.

When Mrs. Randolph first became Master of Piedmont, she hunted seven days a week. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday she led the field at Piedmont, and on the others days she hunted in the field at Middleburg, Blue Ridge or Rappahanock. Horses and horse sports were the most important part of her life, and foxhunting, was the sport she loved the most. In addition to her foxhunters, Mrs. Randolph had steeplechasers, flat horses and show horses, and most of them were homebreds. Since one of her homebreds was among the first to win the Field Hunter Championship, it is quite fitting that this event carry her name.

Founded in 1984, the 39th Annual Field Hunter Championship Finals will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. in the race infield at Glenwood Park. Best Turned Out will be judged at 7:45 a.m. at the Glenwood Park Front Entrance.

$4,000 in Prize Money!!!

$1,500 Grand Champion        $1,000 Reserve Champion

Awarded to the Hunt of the Winning Rider

$750 awarded to Grand Champion Rider, $500 to Reserve Champion Rider and $250 to Third Place Rider

Trophies awarded for Best Turned Out, Sportsmanship, Most Suitable Pair and for the Hunt with the most competitors. Ribbons will be presented to 8th place. The event is judged according to the manners, style and suitability of foxhunting mounts.  Judges have been selected from various fox hunts.

In memory of Dr. Matthew Page Mackay-Smith, a new award has been established.   
Dr. Mackay-Smith was a renowned pioneering equine veterinarian, medical editor for EQUUS magazine, competitive endurance rider and lifelong foxhunter who also mapped the colonial roads of Clarke County, Virginia. 
An avid foxhunter from the age of 8, Dr. Mackay-Smith primarily hunted  Thoroughbreds for seventy-two years until he was 80, ending with the fabulous steeplechaser Niello, who reliably carried him through many thrilling days of hunting.   Years ago he entered this competition and was selected for the finals on his Thoroughbred Noble Bob.  
In honor of his passion for hunting Thoroughbreds, his family is sponsoring the Matthew Mackay-Smith Award for the highest placing Thoroughbred at the finals.  A donation of $250 will be made to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation in the winning owner’s name and a cooler and trophy will be presented.  The horse must be a registered Thoroughbred ridden by the owner, and the horse’s Jockey Club name must be included on the Entry Form.

The Field Hunter Championship competition offers four days of first field hunting privileges to the same horse and rider combination for an entry fee of $450. (An additional horse entry will require a separate entry fee.) Awards will be given throughout the week. 

This event brings together fox hunting enthusiasts from all across the U.S. and Canada to participate in the week long trial.  Riders are welcome, but not required to hunt every day.   Mounted judges ride alongside the numbered contestants as they hunt with four area fox hunts.  At the end of each hunting day, the horse and rider combinations are announced and will qualify to compete in the finals held Saturday at Glenwood Park.  The competition will take place prior to the start of the first race.

During the Saturday morning finals, competitors participate in a mock hunt and finalists are then asked to individually ride a course of approximately 15 jumps and tests. After each horse’s hunting skills are demonstrated and the individual rides completed, the Championship is determined. 

In 2023, 15 hunts from six states were represented. Bring your friends to have fun and ride in the beautiful Virginia hunt country!

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