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Tickets go on sale Tuesday for 2019 Tryon Steeplechase

The 73rd annual Tryon Block House Races are set for Saturday, April 13, 2019.

For decades, founding organization Tryon Riding & Hunt Club produced this action-packed equestrian competition, drawing thousands of spectators to the largest tailgate party in Polk County. Beginning in 2017, TR&HC entrusted the races and their management to the Tryon International Equestrian Center, which are being held for the third year at its recently renovated, A-rated course in Columbus, just minutes from Tryon Resort.

Tailgating spots and VIP hospitality tickets for the 2019 Tryon Block House Races will go on sale to the public Tuesday at Tryon.com/tickets. Tickets will remain on sale until 11 a.m. on April 13, with gates to the event opening at 9 a.m. at the Green Creek Race Course, located at 6881 S. Highway 9 in Columbus. Drop-off tickets will be available for those who wish to attend without parking.

For generations, thousands of spectators can be seen annually at the event, with recent numbers exceeding 9,000. The Tryon Block House Races now feature an expanded lineup of races, resulting in an increase of entries chasing larger purses and delivering top sport to spectators.

The 2019 edition is set to break records once again, featuring $150,000 in prize money and offering five desirable races to promote a stunning display of equine power and speed, organizers said. Attendees can expect their favorite contests to launch the day, including the hat contest, tailgate contest and the infamous “Go to Heck Pants” contest. The annual event will be marked with live music, races and fun for all ages.

For Sharon Decker — chief operating officer of Tryon Equestrian Partners, the entity that owns and operates Tryon International Equestrian Center and is the partner organization for the Tryon Block House Races — the historic steeplechase is a critical event to grow for the region, she said.

“We are honored to continue the legacy of the historic Tryon Block House Races and look forward to delivering another year of first-class racing on our scenic, A-rated course for both the horsemen and the spectators,” Decker said.

Newly-elected Tryon Riding & Hunt Club President Terry Lynch is looking forward to the historic event.

“The Tryon Riding & Hunt Club once again is looking forward to the next running of the Block House Steeplechase, which in 2019, will be the 73rd running of the event,” Lynch said. “We are excited to again partner with TIEC to produce an outstanding event not only for the general public, but also for our members and especially our many heritage families. Some of these families date all the way back to the first running of the Block House and have attended consistently across its several historic venues. This will be the third running at the continually improving Green Creek venue, and we are eager to welcome them back for this exciting day of racing.”

In addition to the hat, tailgate and “Go to Heck Pants” contests, attendees can enjoy an appearance from the Tryon Hounds, a kids’ area, live music and a variety of vendors.

Those interested in learning more may visit tryon.com or call 828-863-1000.

– Submitted by Tryon International Equestrian Center