March 13, 2017

Camden's Steeplechase Run

Welcome to Camden , Just For Fun

Horses are a big part of life in Camden, which is home to one of the nation’s oldest polo fields and one of the world’s newest equine film festivals.

But for many people, horses in Camden equal steeplechase—and for good reason. Twice a year, the town hosts major steeplechase racing events. And it’s home to the National Steeplechase Museum.

These annual races take place at Springdale racecourse, a racing and training venue that was designed from the start for the training and racing of steeplechases. The first Carolina Cup was run there in 1930.

Marion duPont Scott with Battleship, the first American-bred horse to win the Grand National. (photo from the Paulick Report)

Marion duPont Scott was Springdale’s last private owner. Part of the wealthy Du Pont family, she was an accomplished horsewoman and was, briefly, married to movie actor Randolph Scott. Marion duPont Scott owned a home in Camden—Holly Hedge—and a large equine training facility in addition to Springdale racecourse.

Racing for the Colonial Cup (photo by Catherine French/Carolina Cup Racing Assoc.)

It was her vision to create the Colonial Cup, run in Camden each fall. Launched in 1970, the Colonial Cup was America’s first international steeplechase, with a $100,000 purse that made it the richest steeplechase in the country.

The Carolina Cup is one of the oldest silver sports trophies still being awarded today.

The Carolina Cup is widely regarded as a rite of spring, drawing crowds of more than 65,000 people. The cup itself is one of the oldest pieces of silver in use as a sports trophy today.

Buckley faculty Jenny Maxwell testing the interactive display at the National Steeplechase Museum.

When Marion duPont Scott died in 1983, she left her 600-acre facility to the State of South Carolina. On those grounds, you’ll not only find the racecourse with its jumps and grandstand, you’ll also find a year-round training facility and the National Steeplechase Museum, open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Share this article