What’s New at the Block House?

Published 10:12 pm Thursday, April 14, 2016

We’re just 23 days from the historic 70th running of the Block House Steeplechase on Sat., May 7, at FENCE. But before you make your final plans, check out some of the new options race host Tryon Riding & Hunt Club is introducing this year.

Photo by Erik Olsen

Photo by Erik Olsen

• A new online ticket sales platform makes it easy to reserve your spot(s) and even print out the parking pass for your dashboard. You can do it all at www.BlockHouseRaces.com.

• Don’t hand out your tailgate assignments just yet. Highland Brewing Company of Asheville and Table 301 caterers of Greenville will be on hand with craft beers and foodie cuisine, so you can choose to leave the coolers and picnic baskets at home. And you can still enter the Tailgate Contest – it’s all about theme and décor!

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White canopy tents will be allowed anywhere except a minimum of 14′ from the track rail. Rules are maximum 10×10′ width and six-foot-two-inch height, white tops only (no sides), and tents have to be staked down for security.

• A new Block House tradition will let the men show off their sartorial spirit in the “Go-to-Hell” pants contest. We didn’t make that up, it’s the official name of those preppy pants adorned with bright colors, loud plaids, lobsters, ducks, sailboats, etc. Check out the GTH pants’ origin and how best to wear them at www.gentlemansgazette.com/go-to-hell-pants. Then slip on a pair!

Vendor Row has been doubled in size, with a great selection of things to buy. And the Block House merchandise booths have new BH logo’d collectibles including soft-sided coolers, tumblers, umbrellas, visors, long- and short-sleeved tee shirts and more.

Eight-passenger golf carts will shuttle you back and forth from pasture parking to the infield.

• You can enjoy the upscale experience of a Mint Julep Tent table – reserved for Race Sponsors and Box Holders – by becoming a Box Holder yourself. Features include a catered buffet, open bar, white tablecloth-draped tables, floral centerpieces, separate restrooms, a private lawn area leading to the track, and live music by acoustic duo Lake&Moore. Contact office@trhc1925.org for information.

• For the first time there’s a hospitality tent for BH Volunteers and Officials – the people who make it all happen. This freestanding, white peaked tent will be centrally located at the base of the Race Tower and feature a catered lunch, beverages, white tablecloth-draped tables, and floral centerpieces. If you needed another reason to volunteer, this is it.

• Show your Block House pride by hanging a Backstretch Banner with your farm, family, non-profit or company name. TR&HC can have a banner made for you or you can use your own; the fee is $200, a portion of which supports maintenance of the track and race tower at FENCE. Contact office@trhc1925.org for more information.

–  Submitted by Tryon Riding & Hunt Club

– Erik Olsen Photography