Time-Honored Traditions at the Steeplechase of Charleston 

by Ryan Biddix

Nestled in the heart of Hollywood, South Carolina, lies a cherished equestrian event that has become a hallmark of southern tradition and sophistication – the Steeplechase of Charleston. This annual spectacle draws horse racing enthusiasts, fashion-forward spectators, and families alike, all eager to partake in a day filled with timeless traditions. In this blogpost, we’ll take a closer look at the traditions that set this event apart.

The Winner’s Circle 

The Steeplechase of Charleston is synonymous with the iconic Winner’s Circle, where moments of triumph are celebrated with the popping of champagne corks and the presentation of prestigious trophies. This hallowed ground, steeped in history and tradition, is where jockeys and their thoroughbred champions bask in the glory of victory, a spectacle that’s as much about grace and poise as it is about speed and skill.

Color Guard and National Anthem Performance 

Before the symphony of galloping hooves commences, the event begins with a display of patriotic pride. The Color Guard’s precision and the stirring performance of the National Anthem are poignant reminders of the values and unity that make the Steeplechase of Charleston more than just a horse race. It’s a celebration of the nation’s spirit and heritage.

The Paddock Parade

The Paddock Parade, affectionately known as ‘Best Turned Out,’ is a dazzling moment within the Steeplechase of Charleston event. Here, horses and their dedicated grooms come together in front of the race tower, presenting an exquisite display of equestrian aesthetics. The competition celebrates the meticulous grooming and presentation of these majestic animals, with judges carefully assessing every detail. It’s a testament to the deep bond between horse and groom and a captivating spectacle that adds an extra layer of elegance to the world of horse racing.

Merchant Market

The Merchant Market at the Steeplechase of Charleston is a sacred tradition, bustling with activity and offering a diverse range of artisanal goods, crafts, and unique finds. Attendees can peruse charming stalls filled with handcrafted jewelry, gourmet treats, and more, adding an extra layer of excitement and local flavor to the event.

Check out our 2023 Merchant Market Line-Up Here


Tailgating at the Steeplechase of Charleston is a beloved tradition that brings a unique blend of elegance and revelry to the event. As attendees gather on the lush grounds, a sea of well-appointed tents and picnic setups emerges, creating a vibrant tapestry of colors and camaraderie. From gourmet spreads to elaborate decor, each tailgate is a testament to creativity and Southern hospitality. Guests enjoy fine food and beverages while taking in the thrilling races, making this social gathering an essential part of the Steeplechase experience. It’s where friends and families come together, dressed in their finest, to celebrate the pageantry of horse racing against the backdrop of Charleston’s picturesque landscape. Tailgating here is not just a prelude to the races; it’s an art form, a chance to savor the essence of the event in style.

The Corgi Cup 

This year marks the second annual Corgi Cup race, will it become a Steeplechase tradition? You’ll have to attend next year to find out!

Adding a touch of whimsy and humor to the event, the Corgi Cup is a beloved crowd-pleaser. This lighthearted race features these charming, short-legged canines, known for their royal associations. It’s a delightful interlude that brings smiles to the faces of both young and old, a testament to the Steeplechase of Charleston’s commitment to family-friendly entertainment.

In the Winner’s Circle, under the soaring notes of the National Anthem, and in the graceful moments of the Paddock Parade, it’s a day that captures the essence of southern charm and culture. So, whether you’re a seasoned equestrian enthusiast or simply looking for a day of unforgettable experiences, the Steeplechase of Charleston is an event that should not be missed. Come and witness the magic of tradition and horsemanship in the heart of the Lowcountry.


What is your favorite tradition at the Steeplechase of Charleston? Let us know at info@steeplechaseofcharleston.com.