GIDDY UP!: 76th Block House Steeplechase set for next weekend

Published 11:22 am Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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GREEN CREEK—The 76th Block House Steeplechase will be held on Saturday, April 13, drawing equestrians and non-equestrians alike from across the region. The Steeplechase is a Polk County tradition dating back to Carter Brown and the founding of the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club and is hosted by the Tryon International Equestrian Center.

“Steeplechasing began in Ireland when some foxhunters dared each other to race to the nearest church steeple. Since then, ‘steeplechasing’ as it came to be called, has become popular in Great Britain and the United States,” the event’s website states. “The Block House races were started by Carter P. Brown in 1946 at Harmon Field. The first steeplechase in western North Carolina, it was a single race with a tin cup as the winning prize.” 

This year’s event will feature five races on the Green Creek Race Course, located at 6881 Hwy. 9, Columbus. There will also be a tailgate decorating competition, contests for the fanciest hats and craziest pants of those in attendance, and plenty of food vendors and shopping opportunities. A beer garden will be on-site, as well.

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Attendees will also have access to a Kid’s Zone, which will offer children free face painting, pony rides, a magician, games and more.

“Sanctioned by the National Steeplechase Association, the Block House races are an enduring and much-loved tradition in western North Carolina,” organizers say.

It’s not too late for those wishing to attend to secure rail and infield tailgating spaces, which are available by the carload, as well as pasture parking passes.

For tickets, contact the box office at (828) 278-8088 or email For more information, visit


A map of the Green Creek Race Course and grounds. (Photo courtesy of