As one of the top 6 sporting events in the region, the Queen’s Cup is the premiere, most anticipated social and sporting event on the Southeast’s calendar. No event in the Charlotte region gives you the experience you get at The Queen’s Cup. With everything from amazing tailgates, fancy hats and bow ties, Jack Russell Terrier races to powerful thoroughbreds galloping over 4’6″ obstacles. The Queen’s Cup is about sport, it’s about fashion, it’s about a tailgate extravaganza! It’s about friends and family in an annual gathering and it’s about fundraising. The Queen’s Cup has everything for everybody.
Since 1996, families, friends and regional corporations enjoy reconnecting and socializing at the Queen’s Cup, which has long been known for bringing people together. Children love seeing the majestic and athletic horses up close – adults do too! Kids can even ride ponies themselves! Tailgating contests, live music and delicious food offerings create high-energy – a fun atmosphere that makes you appreciate life and glad you came out to see for yourself what the Queen’s Cup is all about you get to experience five live thoroughbred races, all featuring beautiful and athletic horses, galloping for 2-3 miles at 30 mph to be the first-place winner. This is professional horse racing in the highest order.
The Queen’s Cup is like no other sporting and social event in the Charlotte region. The last Saturday in April in the Piedmont countryside each spring is greeted with great anticipation.
Thousands come to see some of the most athletic thoroughbreds compete at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. The jockeys, dressed in bright colored silks, push their sleek steeds to clear four and a half foot jumps over a two and a quarter to as much as three miles of rolling turf course. The prestige of $200,000 in purse money to the winning owners and the opportunity to bask in the glory of the winner’s circle is what it’s all about from the horse’s connections.
The Queen’s Cup offers breathtaking views of the entire racecourse from the Lawn Boxes and Hospitality Tents on Member’s Hill to key tailgating spots throughout the entire racecourse. The Queen’s Cup was the first in steeplechase history to offer PSL’s “Personal Space Licenses”. They are being offered to our race patrons so that you and your family can enjoy your very own (and the same) Lawn Box or Tailgating Space for generations to come. Over $650,000 in PSLs have been sold to date!
This is a Family Event
Attire on the racecourse is somewhat casual though many show up in sun dresses for ladies and dress shirts, sport coats, bow ties, khakis and polo shirts for men. Jeans are rarely seen at the Queen’s Cup. Since it’s a dressy kind of venue and it’s outdoors, many men and women wear hats but it’s not required! Due to the terrain, which is grassy and undulating, flat soled shoes are highly recommended but stiletto heels are not. Shirts are required at all times.
- Gates Open: 10:00 AM
- Pony Rides (For Kids): 10:00 AM – 2:30 PM
- Jack Russell Terrier Races: 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
- Hat Contest & Opening Ceremonies: 11:45 AM & 12:30 PM
- Tailgate Contest: Noon
- 1st Race – Ratings Handicap Hurdle: 1:30 PM
- 2nd Race – The King George III Sport of Kings Hurdle: 2:05 PM
- 3rd Race – Feature Race Queen’s Cup MPC Chase: 2:40 PM
- 4th Race – Steeplethon: 3:15 PM
- Raffle Drawing: 3:45 PM
- 5th Race – The TruGreen Future Champions Turf: 4:00 PM
- 24th Annual Hot Walk Party: After the Last Race
- Gates Close: 7:00 PM
To-Do List for the Day:
- Visit the Queen’s Cup Souvenir Tent in Brooklandwood Village or on Member’s Hill.
- Register for the 24th Annual Queen’s Cup Hat Contest sponsored by Renew MedSpa and emceed by WSOC anchor, Scott Wickersham. Sign up behind the Parade Ring in the infield near the finish line.
- Purchase Raffle Tickets – 100% of revenue goes to Alzheimer’s Association
- Enter the Tailgate Contest by 11:30 at the Infield Souvenir Tent
- Ride the pony’s courtesy of the Mecklenburg Hounds (only $5.00 a ride)
- Tour the Military Display Courtesy of Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 113th Field Artillery
- Order great food in Brooklandwood Village from the one of the most popular food trucks in the Charlotte area, OooWeeBBQ. Also, look for after lunch refreshments by King of Pops.
The Queen’s Cup is Charitable
Since 1996, the Charlotte Steeplechase Foundation, the organizing sponsor of the event, has donated over $800,000 to local and regional charities. Your attendance means the Foundation has that much more to donate to those in the community who need it most.
Choosing a Package
Looking for the perfect day for family, friends, or business? We have options for you and lots of them! We provide Red Carpet experiences on exclusive Member’s Hill, multiple tailgating choices, and General Admission access for a full day of unmatched entertainment.
Still not sure? Please don’t hesitate to call us for a friendly chat and we’ll happily walk you through the options that fit your tailgating needs and your budget. Don’t worry, we don’t bite.
Ticket Link: queenscup.org/tickets
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I buy alcohol on the grounds?
No, we do not sell alcohol on the grounds. You are welcome to bring your own, though we suggest you review our race-day tips & guidelines for more details.
Can I buy food on the grounds?
There will be one food truck on the grounds in Brooklandwood Village (infield) and food and drink will be available for purchase. However, we encourage you to bring your own food, too!
Can a general admission ticket get me into the tailgating areas?
Yes, with some restrictions. General admission ticket allows you access to all tailgate areas except Paddock Parking, Club House Turn, Member’s Hill and the Tree House.
Can I leave my car parked overnight on Saturday?
Yes, but you must pick up your car by Noon on Sunday (or risk being towed).
Can I bring an oversized vehicle into tailgating?
SUVs and standard trucks are allowed in certain areas. However, no limos or buses are allowed inside the gates except in designated areas and with special passes. All tailgate areas have a height restriction of 7ft. Length restrictions differ by area.