The 2014 Radnor Hunt Races

Big hats, colorful garb, tailgating, and Preakness watching benefitted land and water conservation at the Brandywine Conservancy.


The Radnor Hunt Races were held Saturday in Willistown, Chester County. The first race kicked off at 1:30 p.m., but by then, the party had already started for the 1,000 or so people who attend each year to mingle and enjoy the elaborate tailgate parties that pop up along the rail of the race track.

The theme this year was “Garden Parties — Castles to Cottages,” and it was fun to see how each party tries to outdo one another. There was also a nice seating area for those who didn’t want to participate in the tailgate party, but instead wanted to go party hopping. Across the track were the the elaborate sponsor tents with catered parties. One of my favorite stops was the Bellevue tent which was catered by The Palm restaurant.

Although it was a bright sunny day, the day before the grounds were soaked with over an inch of rain, so many of the guests wore elaborate colored boots to go with their colorful clothes. If you didn’t remember to wear boots, there’s a good chance you’ve been shopping for new shoes this week, like I am.

The last race kicked off about 5 p.m., and then the Preakness was shown on several large TV screens near the racetrack. All proceeds from the Radnor Hunt Races benefit the land and water preservation programs of the Brandywine Conservancy in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.


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HughE Dillon covers parties, events and more for Philadelphia magazine’s The Scene. You can follow him on Twitter at @iPhillyChitChat and visit his daily online social diary