The Post and Courier is the new owner of the Steeplechase of Charleston, a race with roots going back to 1803 in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.
The newspaper acquired the race—in which horses jump over obstacles on the way to the finish line—from The Randolph Company, which had transformed the annual event into a family-friendly day with an appeal beyond horse racing fans.
“When The Post and Courier was approached about taking over the event, (Publisher P.J.) Browning said the newspaper felt it could add even more to that family atmosphere,” Post and Courier reporter Derrek Asberry wrote in a story about the acquisition.
“Our aim is to make this a must-do event every year, and one that becomes the signature way to experience Charleston in the fall,” Browning said in the acquisition announcement.
Steeplechase of Charleston includes five races with a total purse of at least $70,000. The event at a Charleston track also features vendors, food trucks, artisans and restaurant pop-ups.
Asberry’s report on the acquisition noted that the first horse race in Charleston was held in 1792, and “the city became one of the most significant horse racing venues in the world and was home to as many as 10 racetracks.”
“Racing is woven into the very fabric of Charleston,” Randolph Company CEO Austin Walker told the Post and Courier. “The new ownership has a very deep love and application for the sport, and unparalleled consumer reach in Charleston and beyond.”
“Because Steeplechase occupies such a colorful, storied place in the history of this community, we also want to make sure that we inform Charleston’s future with this race and what it has meant,” Browning said. “So when Austin approached us about a partnership, we jumped at the chance and felt like it was a perfect fit with what we have going on.
“It makes good business sense for all of us here to pay attention to the ways in which Charleston residents and visitors alike embrace our unique events,” she added. “Thousands of people attend festivals around town each year, and there’s every reason that this can and should happen with Steeplechase.”
This year’s Charleston Steeplechase will be held Nov. 17.