High Hope Returns at Kentucky Horse Park

Annual charity event returns after one-year hiatus.

After a one year hiatus to make room for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, the 44th High Hope Steeplechase will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park on Sunday, May 22.

Tickets start at $25 per car-load which includes admission, parking on the top side of the steeplechase course beside the rail and racing programs for everyone in the car. 

Tickets can be purchased at the Kentucky Horse Park the day of the eventor, in advance, by phone at (859) 967-9444 or online at www.highhopesteeplechase.com.     

The featured $25,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle, will showcase newcomers seeking their first victory over fences. First post time is 1:45 p.m. for the four sanctioned races.

Many of the competitors in the Sport of Kings feature are making their first starts over fences in the 2011 season, and several of them have had notable accomplishments of the flat.  Augustin Stables’ Tifone enters the High Hope contest from a third-place finish in a maiden race at the Carolina Cup Races in Camden, S.C., on April 2. The 8-year-old Hussonet gelding was a grade II winner in his native Chile at age three. Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard named Danielle Hodson to ride.

Among the horses making their jump debut at High Hope will be Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Church Service. The 8-year-old Pulpit gelding won the 2008 Dallas Turf Cup (gr. IIIT) and finished second in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Marathon.

The Ramseys’ Slip Away won a 2009 starter allowance over fences at High Hope and went on to be last year’s Eclipse Award winner as steeplechase champion.

Also on the High Hope card will be the third running of the “Catch a Riding Star” race featuring student-jockeys currently enrolled in the North American Racing Academy, which was launched in 2006. Since then, NARA Graduates have gone on to win over 750 races and have purse earnings of over $10 million.

Proceeds from High Hope Steeplechase day will benefit Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center, the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation and, this year, Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital.  To date, High Hope Steeplechase has helped raise over $1.5 million for worthy causes.

In addition to four jump races worth a total of $70,000 in purses, High Hope Steeplechase Day will also features children’s activities, including the annual Stick Horse Derby, terrier races, equine demonstrations, tailgating, and booths featuring arts and crafts and food.