Steeplechase, elaborate picnics and spring fashion highlight Winterthur Point to Point

Winterthur’s Point to Point falls on Mother’s Day only about every seven years, so organizers say this year’s event is extra special. 

Point to Point combines professional steeplechase racing, tailgating, fancy hats and outfits as well as family activities.  Over more than 30 years it has grown in popularity, with an estimated 16-thousand people expected to come out this Sunday.

Traditionally, Point to Point is held on the first Sunday of May, always a day after the Kentucky Derby, in order to conform with the schedules of the racers.  This year it is on the second Sunday of the month.

“It makes it even more special this year because we have two events that we are celebrating,” says Point to Point Race Director Jill Abbott.

The steeplechase event became sanctioned by the National Steeplechase Association six years ago.  “We can now give away purses,” Abbott says.  “These are professional jockeys.  This is a professional sporting event.”

Tailgating groups have been known to break out the champagne for their feasts.  The ladies are known to wear fancy hats and spring dresses, while men often come in seersucker suits.  An anonymous tailgater will judge the elaborate spreads. 

Point to Point also includes the traditional parade of antique carriages, a display of vintage automobiles, and events for kids including races on stick-horses.

Henry Francis du Pont, a collector and horticulturist, opened his childhood home to the public nearly 60 years ago.  The sprawling 1,000-acre preserve includes a 60-acre naturalist garden designed by du Pont himself.

Colorful azaleas are in bloom and are at or close to their peak this weekend.

“Now, Spring has sprung,” says Abbott.  “It’s a gorgeous time to get out there.”

Wristbands for Point to Point, which is Winterthur’s largest fundraiser of the year, are on sale through Saturday and must be purchased in advance. 

CLICK HERE to find out more about Point to Point.

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