Over the Moon: Rain or Shine – Gold Cup Time!

“This is only for the heartiest, most loyal fans of Gold Cup,” said , the Washington lawyer-lobbyist, as he ducked for shelter with friend of the USO in the happening Washington Life tent on Member’s Hill.

Then, tucking into the piping hot prepared by Old Town Alexandria’s Landini Brothers Restaurant, Quinn added: “This is far more civilized.”

Last week, a stubborn, aggressive nor’easter pelted Washingtonians with four days of non-stop rain, combined with skin-biting wind and chilly temperatures. It continued into Saturday, dashing hopes of tens of thousands of Gold Cup aficionados who stayed at home out of the unseasonable chill.

Making the event slightly more palatable was the abundance of shrimp, caviar, canapes and premium liquor served in tents by Gold Cup’s official caterer Grand Cuisine, not to mention the space heaters that a few clever souls plugged into their tents.

The fall race was again sponsored by Porsche. Due to inclement weather, the abbreviated race schedule featured only five races, with $175,000 in purses awarded.

The race attracted some of the top jump-race contenders from the United States and Europe, with the signature $50,000 International Gold Cup race won by Irish jockey atop “See you at the Event,” a Chilean gelding.

There were concerns in the crowd that the race might not go off, given the slow and steady downpour which did not let up. “Actually the turf was quite good,” Murphy said afterwards. “No mud, no slippage.”

Murphy and the other European jockeys are official members of the International Federation of Amateur Riders (FEGENTRI), with most coming from full-time professional backgrounds as bankers, attorneys, dentists and high-technology executives.

, the new President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, presented the 70-year-old solid gold trophy to Murphy, and to trainer and owner . For the first time, the German automotive manufacturer hosted a Sports Car Exhibition of vintage luxury high performance automobiles.

Afterwards, about 200 of the jockeys, trainers, owners and other race enthusiasts piled into a spirited tent celebration of Great Meadow’s 25th year. On hand were Gold Cup Chairman William Allison and his wife Christina, Great Meadow Foundation Chairman Dr. , Great Meadow’s President and Great Meadow founder and benefactor, Arthur W. “Nick” Arundel.

The Washington Life Member’s Hill Tent hosted about 50 race-day goers, including the friends of Luke’s Wings, a DC-based organization that provides travel planning services and airplane tickets for the families of wounded warriors currently hospitalized at medical and rehabilitation centers all over the country.

Luke’s Wing Co-founder brought along about 20 supporters, including , and . Also among attendees were Park Hyatt Hotels’ , PNC’s Michael Schupter, Eric Behrns, , , , , as well as , , , , Anchyi Wei, Missy and and Washington Life Executive Editor Michael Clements.

Principal tent sponsors were John Hines of Washington and Noe Landini of Landini Brothers Restaurant.

To keep spirits elevated, John Vickers-Smith, a descendant of the founders of Maker’s Mark and the regional marketing ambassador for the fabled Kentucky-based spirits company, showed attendees the proper way to mix and pour about a dozen different variations of the spirit. In 35-degree weather, Vickers-Smith might have been the most popular man there.

Anne Schwartz. Photos by Kyle Samperton.

Anne Schwartz. Photos by .

David McCallum, Noe Landini. Photos by Kyle Samperton.

David McCallum, Noe Landini. Photos by Kyle Samperton.

Debbie Nash. Photos by Kyle Samperton.

Debbie Nash. Photos by Kyle Samperton.

F. Scott Burke. Photos by Kyle Samperton.

F. Scott Burke. Photos by Kyle Samperton.

Jacqueline Yahn, Ronan Kelly. Photos by Kyle Samperton.

Jacqueline Yahn, Ronan Kelly. Photos by Kyle Samperton.

John Vickers-Smith. Photos by Kyle Samperton.

John Vickers-Smith. Photos by Kyle Samperton.

Makeda Saggau-Sackey, Ernie Arias. Photos by Kyle Samperton.

Makeda Saggau-Sackey, Ernie Arias. Photos by Kyle Samperton.

Vincent de Croock, Patricia Ilnuma. Photos by Makeda Saggau-Sackey.

Vincent de Croock, Patricia Ilnuma. Photos by Makeda Saggau-Sackey .

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