Arts & Entertainment

Far Hills 97th Meeting Race Draws 40,000 Tailgaters and Horse Enthusiasts

f3cb9e55b3cd5a40fa62__V0A5882.jpg
ba55160c109c7f38fbb6__V0A5572.jpg
3115ff85a948b4c81834__V0A5633.jpg
b1635ef95ac300f50e92__V0A5680.jpg
f3cb9e55b3cd5a40fa62__V0A5882.jpg

FAR HILLS, NJ - A massive crowd of 40,000 tailgaters and horse enthusiasts, young and old alike, swarmed the small town of Far Hills yet again for the 97th annual Far Hills Race Meeting. The race fans and partyers arrived Saturday at Moorland Farms adorned in their best fall attire.

The day's action started long before the races. As the sun began to peek over the colorful trees, families, friends, and coworkers, many of whom have been regulars at the race for years, set up their elaborate tailgate displays. he expansive rows of cars quickly transformed into set-ups consisting of foods, games, family wagers—and plenty of alcohol.

Throughout the past years, organizers have worked to evolve the event from a drinking free-for-all to a tamer one and create an event more centralized around horse racing and families. But no one has ever attempted to make the Far Hills fundraising event - which is always held in October and often attracts glorious fall weather - into a dry affair.

Sign Up for E-News

While some displays featured catered food, ice sculptures, champagne glasses and fine liquor, other racegoers grilled their own steaks or snacked on homemade foods. The idyllic view over the track from the hill stood in stark contrast to the ruckus on the inside.

“It’s rowdy in there,” one man said to another. “Definitely rowdy” the other confirmed. They seemed more content with being on the outside looking in—enjoying the afternoon lounging on hay bales and sipping bubbly.

The infield featured its usual crowd of college students in a scene that resembled a football tailgate more than a horse race. But, other than those who tossed footballs back and forth from the bed of their pickup truck, there was no football game — and most hardly seemed to notice the sport going on around them. Music blared as the young throng played games of beer pong, danced on hay bales and socialized with friends on the roof of their cars.

On the track, it was all business. And despite the rowdy environment in the infield and the focus on dining on the hill, the races provided an exciting show.

Cameras positioned throughout the field live-streamed the races and interviews with owners and jockeys. Displayed on large screens and streamed online, the presence of the horse race has become more prevalent at the event.This year's event initiated the use of wristbands to identify patrons over the age of 21. “It is our goal that by working collaboratively with law enforcement and FHRMA, each patron who visits will be offered a safe, friendly atmosphere in which to enjoy themselves,” stated Far Hills Mayor Paul Vallone in regard to the partnership with law enforcement and race organizers.

The Far Hills Race Meeting Association also announced it’s partnership with ridesharing service “Lyft” to curb drunk driving and provide safe transportation for attendees.

Among the many efforts to limit excessive alcohol consumption, the Association has also worked to bring a stronger focus to the races. With a purse totaling $800,00—the largest of any steeplechase in America, racing enthusiasts already know the esteem of this race. But the event has also sought to become a more global focus.

Jack Doyle, who jockeyed “Mr. Hot Stuff” to a victory in The Grand National, stated after his race, “To be over here and to be able to win the American national is fantastic and hopefully we might be bringing jump racing to more of a global stage. Hopefully, some more of the European ambassadors will start to travel… and maybe in the future, some more American marshals might start coming to Ireland as well.”

Event is a fundraiser

On the local level, the race has raised over $18 million since the 1950's to benefit the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset, much of which has gone to the Steeplechase Cancer Center.
Anthony Cava, president of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset, praised the event's fundraising for allowing the hospital to advance stating, “This year we’re putting in a piece of an experiment that goes into our radiology center that enables us to detect heart and brain anomalies very quickly. And two years ago we were able to purchase two ambulances that actually serve the Far Hills/Bedminster area.”

In September of 2016, Governor Chris Christie signed into law a bill that gave permission for pari-mutuel betting at the Far Hills Race Meeting to be implemented. Due to logistical issues with setting up the technology for betting in the 230-acre open field, it was not a part of this year's event. Nonetheless, you can count on the thousands of attendees to return next year, looking to continue long traditions and also to create new ones at the richest day of steeplechase racing in the country.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Parsippany

Denville Church Welcomes New Pastor

July 17, 2018

Denville Community Church announces the appointment of Rev. Heather Valosin as its new pastor. She succeeds the Rev. Ed Carll, who retired in June after 38 years of active ministry. In her new role, Pastor Heather will lead the longest-standing church in the Township (est. 1785) and one of the most active Methodist congregations in the Garden State, drawing members from across Morris ...

Girl Scouts and CCM Announce the Launch of New National STEM Badges

Randolph, NJ, July 17, 2018 – The Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey today announced the launch of 30 new national Girl Scout badges exclusively for girls ages 5–18 at County College of Morris (CCM), a nationally designated center of excellence for cybersecurity education.

The badges, which are immediately available, not only enhance the one-of-a-kind Girl Scout ...

Vance Johnson Former NFL Star to Headline Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Presentation on the Opioid Crisis

The Morris County Prosecutor’s Office is pleased to announce the hosting of “The Opioid Crisis: Engaging the Community” as the second event under New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s “21-County, 21st Century Community Policing Project”. The “21/21 Community Policing Project” was implemented in 2018 with the goal of building better ...

Kessler Foundation Seeks Volunteers for Important Breast Cancer Study

Researchers at Kessler Foundation in West Orange, NJ are studying new ways of combating breast cancer-related weakness & fatigue. These symptoms can diminish quality of life & often last long after treatment has ended. If you are a woman aged 40-75, who was diagnosed with breast cancer within the past 10 years*, you may qualify for this important research study.

We are ...

Parsippany BOYS & GIRLS INVITED TO FREE SUMMER ADVENTURE NIGHTS

STANHOPE, NJ – July 5, 2018– Time for the whole family to experience adventure this summer!  Have some free summer evenings and ready for a summer evening of family fun?!  Families are invited to attend any of four Family Adventure Nights at Camp Wheeler or Watchung Day Camp at no cost. Program consists of archery shooting, STEM activities, BB shooting, aquatics, campfire, ...

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey

How often do you read TAPinto?  Have you downloaded the TAPinto APP?  These are a few of the questions for readers in our 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

We want to hear from you!

The survey will take less than five minutes to complete and will help TAPinto better serve you. 

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

Thank you.  We appreciate your support and ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

July 16, 2018

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

Lisa McCormick comments after Gov. Murphy caves on budget demands

To the Editor,

Gov. Philip D. Murphy bowed to pressure from Democratic lawmakers rather than force a government shutdown over his demand for millionaires tax like the five measures vetoed by former Republican Gov Chris Christie.

At 7:30 pm on June 30, the last day of the fiscal year, Murphy held a news conference with Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Senate President  ...

Millionaires and Mudslinging

To the Editor,

I was promised that New Jersey Democrats would enact a millionaires tax that extended the one we had when Jon Corzine was governor but I knew they would never have let that lapse if they wanted anything other than a political football.

Gov Chris Christie was sent a bill to veto five times because it made him look bad. 

Assembly Democrats don't really care ...

Concerned Resident Speaks Out

Dear Editor,

As a concerned mother, I feel impelled to speak out on last week’s revelations regarding a prominent Parsippany public figure.

After reading Mr. Tom DeLorenzo’s letter to the editor, I realized how important it is not to remain silent.  I was completely unaware the severity of the content until I had been forwarded some of the actual screenshots from ...