Thank you, Jim.

In the mid 1600’s, Sir Issac Newton said “If I have seen further than you, it is because I am standing on the shoulders of giants”. This has never been more true than when talking about the impact on the Queen’s Cup of W.J. Price IV (Jim Price). Born in 1924 and passing in 2018 would be enough of an achievement all by itself. But for Jim, he made the exceptional look achievable and made the ordinary man feel like he could be anything.

A solider, both figuratively and literally. Jim fought for all that good and great in the USA all his life. Serving during WWII when his tour was cut short with injury, Jim returned to the USA and after a long recovery began to really put his stamp on the world. When Bill and Carrington decided that they wanted to run a steeplechase here at Brooklandwood, it was Jim that made sure it happened.

This is not an obituary, there are far better people than me to write that. I am however a young man who now serves the Queen’s Cup because Jim created something that allows me to do so. Simply put, everything we enjoy today is because Jim and his wife Midge (Marjorie) had the vision and generosity to help make it happen.

Bill Price (W.J. Price V) is a great man, a visionary, a “envelope pusher” if you like. A kind and generous man, who would be the first one to say that his greatest mentor was his dad. The 2019 Queen’s Cup will be run on honor of Jim and Midge Price. I say this to say that every Queen’s Cup is run in their honor but this one will be particularly poignant for those that knew him best.

On behalf of all who have attended or plan to attend over the coming years, Thank you, we’ll see you at the races.

It was the month before Christmas…. you know how it all goes. But here at Queen’s Cup central all of our elves and even Mr. and Mrs Clause are crossing our fingers for some wishes this season.

1, We are hoping and wishing and asking for nice weather again on race day. 2018 was spectacular. It was mid 70’s with low humidity and some air moving. The sun dresses and suits were on full show and everyone had the best time. I know from walking around that if we get the same weather this coming year, it will be just as much fun as last year.

2, We desperately want you to come and join us in that weather on race day. 2018 was packed, our busiest year since 2007. I think we can go better again in 2019. There were very few spaces to be had on race day in 2018 and I suspect that next year will be much the same. And don’t forget that the more of you that come, the more we can help our charity, The Alzheimer’s Association. Which takes me neatly onto my next wish.

3, One of our biggest Christmas wishes, is that we can continue and even increase our giving to charity. Right now we are sitting just below $900,000.00 in giving for the lifetime of the Queen’s Cup. I can also tell you that among the team here, the giving is a huge reason as to why we are involved in the event to begin with. Don’t forget that the goal is to cross the $1m mark in 2020.

4, Lastly, our most important wish is that you and yours, us and ours all have a safe and loving Christmas. It is one of the most loving times we get to experience and it is also tremendous when we all can share it together. For so many, this Christmas will be tough and hard and ultimately, we hope that for you, it is a spacial one.

Thank you all and see you at the races.

We have crossed the half way point in the year and now we officially counting down to the 2019 Queen’s Cup. Less than 6 month to go and preparations are going well. We are about to watch the hibernation of the race course as it begins its winter sleep and we are hard at work in the office making sure that all is as it should be at this time of year.

With all that in mind, it is important to say that there are still race meets that are yet to run this year and just 2 weeks ago was the biggest meeting of the year in Far Hills, NJ.

The American Grand National happens in mid October every year and offers a staggering $450,000.00 purse fund for its main event. Horses literally come in from all over the world for the day, but have you ever asked yourself, how do horses travel from country to country or state to state?

Well, the state to state part is easy. There are many shipping companies around that specialize in moving horses all over the USA. Some, now, even have air cushioned floors on their trailers to make sure that the horses have the most comfortable rides possible. Crossing the Atlantic is a slightly different matter. Horses will leave their homes in Europe and go to a regular airport. They will be then transported on to a cargo flight especially designed for horses. The will then pop into a stall or stable and relax for the next 8 hours or so. Honestly, they are treated far better than people on a first class flight. They have cushions and protective gear all over their body to insure nothing gets sore.

When they land in the USA, they and their grooms move to a quarantine facility. There, they will spend 3 days and run some tests on site to make sure there is no transfer of disease. Once that is completed, they will be transported like any other horse to their destination.

Like you and me, horses will also have to adjust to time zones and weather, not to mention change in diet and surroundings. The grass is even different here than it is in Europe. Most horses adjust to this fairly easy and some take longer. Some will even crash pretty hard until they acclimatize. All in all, it is pretty fascinating to think that the first horses flew in 1945 and now it is a regular as it is for you and me, That is, apart from the cost. It will probably set you back a cool $10,000.00 per horse. No small amount for sure.

Hopefully we will have some international impact on the Queen’s Cup soon. See you at the races.

On September 27th of October, we will be exactly six months from the 2019 Queen’s Cup. The 24th in the lifetime of this fabulous event. This also means that three days from today we are a mere seven months out. That does sound like a lot of time and in some ways you would be correct. It is a full 216 days. However, in the life of the Queen’s Cup, it means we are right in the thick of the action.

At this stage of the year, our beautiful grounds have survived a harsh summer and we are looking at some touch ups to happen during the fall. We will kick into gear here with painting, trimming, mowing and seeding. As I have said many times, we have great partners to thank for helping us to do all of this. TruGreen, Mineral Springs Fertilizer and Sherwin Williams and a big part of keeping this beautiful around here.

Beyond that, we spend time counting our inventory. Not only what spaces we have left (not many by the way) but how are we for signs and sign posts, banners, tailgate posts, rope, paper, envelopes, stamps, office supplies and marketing material. If any of these items falls short when we need them 7 months from now, it will be too late in the day to think about replacing them.

We also have to think about ways to get new people involved. Last year was a great year for us and that has led to more people wanting to be part of the event next year. This, then means that we have to analyze how to do that without losing the feel that the day has. We always try to balance the experience of the day vs the potential exposure. This is not always easy.

You might have noticed that I have not mentioned horses as of yet. Well, they are too, something that we think deeply about at this time of year. We already know about our $150,000 in purse money but what can we do to ensure that we have as many top class horses as possible running for the purse money. This comes down to the rules and regulations of the races themselves. Some of the races have age restrictions, some of experience restrictions and some have no restriction at all but there are race meets on every week of the spring and having too many similar races on the calendar can hinder your ability to fill the race with horses.

Now, adding all of this up and then take into consideration that we have Halloween, Thanks Giving, Christmas, Easter and plenty of Government Holidays the those seven months don’t seem like long enough.

We are counting down the days, we hope you are too. See you at the races.



Summer time and the living is easy.

The Queen’s Cup is not too dissimilar to the rest of the region in that we like summer too. We love the nice weather. Don’t like it too hot and would prefer if the nice fall weather stayed around forever. However, we know that it would be a little too much to ask for. But have you ever taken a second to think, how does the really hot summer weather affect and venue that relies on the health of its turf to operate. Something like the Queen’s Cup or a golf course or even the football fields that we are all gearing up to watch.


The truth is that blistering hot days and humid nights are just as difficult for turf as they are for us. Unfortunately, we can’t just switch on the air conditioning. That said, here at The Queen’s Cup, we have our own ways of dealing with it. First off, that great big pond you all see when you’re at the races, well that supplies our underground irrigation system. We can’t turn this on in the heat of day because it would cook the grass so we turn it on in the very early morning. This allows the turf enough time to soak it up and be prepared for the hot day. We will then use a tool called an aerator. This piece of equipment is used to open the turf and loosen the ground before it sets and becomes like concrete.


Beyond that, one of the things that will go completely unnoticed until it’s too late is how well the bugs and grubs do in this weather. All the flying insects that you see in your back yard. Well, each one of those must lay their eggs somewhere and where is better than the lush turf of the Queen’s Cup? Those little guys burrow into the ground, lay their eggs and next thing we notice is grass dying for no reason. What we try to do as much as possible is to pay very close attention to the condition of the turf and as soon as we see something that doesn’t look right, we jump on it.


As far as this goes, we cannot express our gratitude for our partners here at the Queen’s Cup. TruGreen and Mineral Springs Fertilizer have been wonderful in helping us solve the issue this year. Without them we would be in serious trouble but like always they come up trumps and help us solve the problem. The track remains in wonderful condition thanks, in large part to our partners. Thank you!


As always, we pride ourselves on having beautiful turf. Here’s hoping next year will be no different. See you at the races.

We are well and truly in the calm and the storm of the jump racing season is about to hit. This weekend of March 24th, Aiken SC begins the 2018 jump season. There are plenty of sets of itchy feet, both 2 legged and four. This of course, brings the 23rd Queen’s Cup that little bit closer too. Once the flag drops on the first race of the season, it is only a matter of weeks before the unofficial start to summer in Charlotte rolls in.


All that said, at the headquarters of jump racing in Prestbury Park, deep in the Cotswolds of England the Cheltenham Festival ran its 4 days of racing last week. For those of you that don’t know, the Cheltenham Festival is the panicle of the sport. In 4 days, there are over 10 grade 1 races and over $6 million in purse money. The best horse and riders descend on the famous course and over 250,000 people pay homage to the Olympics of jump racing.


I have been lucky enough to ride there on a few occasions and I can tell you first hand that it is an experience not to be missed. The crowd are some of the most knowledgeable anywhere in the world. For the horses and riders, there is no tomorrow so that means that every piece of prep work is going in for just one day. Nothing left to improve on and no day as important. When you add all those things up, it has the potential to brew up a storm of epic proportion.


Now, while the Queen’s Cup isn’t the Cheltenham Festival, it is a leader in its field here in the USA. Probably the most picturesque course in the whole country and the standard of racing leaves very little to be desired. We also don’t have 4 days of sport or 250,000 people but maybe that’s why it’s so special.


See you at the races.