Independence Day at Arlington - Arlington Park

Independence Day at Arlington

July 03, 2019 |  Barn Notes

On July 4, 1776 congress approved the final text of the Declaration of Independence giving America its freedom. A few centuries later, we’re still here celebrating our Independence at Arlington International racecourse.

One might be surprised how closely tied some of our founding fathers were with horse racing.

Take George Washington and Thomas Jefferson for example.

George Washington was considered to be one of the best horseman of his era. He helped organize racing in Alexandria, Virginia, and frequently attended race meetings throughout the region.

Thomas Jefferson rarely missed the race meets that were held at the National Race Course in Washington D.C, a place where the best horses in the country at the time all came together to compete.

During the Revolution, George Washington, watching over a group of Connecticut cavalry officers asked Captain Lindsey about a set of Arabian horses sired by a stud named Ranger. Washington had an eye for top class horses, and bought Ranger. He then crossed with another famous Arabian offspring, the mare Othello. The mare sired Magnolio, a chestnut stallion, who raced and lost at a Virginia racetrack against a horse belonging to George’s friend and sometimes rival Thomas Jefferson.

Or how about Kentucky’s hero, Daniel Boone. Boone, along with many other achievements, founded Boonesborough, Kentucky, where more than 200,000 Americans migrated to following the path Boone had laid for them.

Daniel Boone who also served under Lt. Colonel Washington in the French and Indian War, proposed a bill in Kentucky’s first legislative assembly to improve the breed of horses for racing.

In the first decade of the 19th century, Andrew Jackson was a leading breeder in Tennessee, which at the time was a number one horse-racing state. The Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville was a Thoroughbred breeding farm where Jackson ran most of his operation.

Jackson, during his presidency, bred racehorses at the Hermitage and ran his racing stable from the White House during his time in office. Jackson was well known for entering horses under the name of his nephew and private secretary Andrew J. Donelson.

Come celebrate Independence Day at Arlington where there will be live band, The Stingrays, on the Miller Lite Band Stage as well as face painting for the kids and a bounce house.

First post on Thursday is 1:25 PM with gates opening at 12:00 PM.

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