Window displays to show off area businesses

Published 10:47 pm Thursday, April 16, 2015

Since 1947 the Block House Steeplechase has been a huge event for the entire community, from horse people to school kids, to local organizations and area businesses. With between 15,000-20,000 people attending the Block House each year, many from beyond the Foothills, it’s a great chance for businesses to introduce themselves to potential new customers.


This year there’s a brand new way for businesses to get involved and show their “historic Horse Country Pride” – the inaugural “Week of the Horse Window Contest” with equestrian-themed window displays.

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The contest will run from Saturday, April 25, to Saturday, May 2, the date of the Block House Steeplechase. The timing is concurrent with Week of the Horse activities being produced and hosted by the City of Landrum and the Landrum Area Business Association, including its April 29th parade featuring the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales. (Kudos to Patty Otto, owner of the Hare & Hound Restaurant in Landrum, for having that idea and making it happen.)
The window contest is being sponsored by Tryon Riding & Hunt Club and Bi-Lo, which will present an award to one winner each from Tryon, Landrum and Columbus. Winners will be selected by a secret panel of judges and announced at the Block House Steeplechase on Saturday, May 2, at FENCE.
TR&HC President Nancy Z. Wilson is excited about this new way for businesses to catch the attention of area visitors.

“We are seeing thousands of people come into the area for horse-related activities, from shows at the new Tryon International Equestrian Center, FENCE and Harmon Field, to the 69th running of the Block House on May 2. Promoting equestrian-themed window displays at local businesses is another way to entice visitors to walk around our towns,” said Wilson.

Jeanine Gauen, owner of The Garden Patch in Columbus, says she’s eager to participate. “The equestrian community supports my business – they bought bushes and mums to decorate their stall areas last fall – so I’m happy to give equestrian events my support.”
As for businesses providing support, no businesses are more important to the Block House Steeplechase than those that sponsor the day’s individual races. Their support makes the Block House possible.
Here’s the line-up for this year’s races, the first four of which are sanctioned by the National Steeplechase Association. Race 1 is The Carter Brown Memorial (with a purse of $20,000) sponsored by The Cliffs. Race 2 is The Cannon Harmon Memorial ($15,000) sponsored by Hodge Floors and Bright’s Creek. Race 3 is The John P. Bradshaw Memorial ($15,000) sponsored by Synnex Corp. and Harmony Audi of Asheville. Race 4 is the day’s featured race, The Block House ($25,000), sponsored by Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Following those four professional races is a crowd favorite, The Foxhunter’s Cup Amateur Race, with a purse of $2,000, sponsored by Lingerfelt Landscaping and Camp Wayfarer.


There are still some parking spots left for viewing the Block House Steeplechase. For more information about the Block House and for ticket orders, visit or call the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club office at 828-863-0480.


-Submitted by Tryon Riding & Hunt Club