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The 44th annual Colonial Cup

Camden’s Parrott marks 40 years of attending fall event

Posted: November 24, 2013 2:30 p.m.
Updated: November 25, 2013 5:00 a.m.

For Dr. Larry Parrott of Camden, this year’s Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup not only marked the 44th anniversary of the steeplechase event, but his 40th year of attendance. This year, he and his wife, Joy, along with their granddaughters, Bethany and Mabry Parrott, came out to tailgate, visit with friends and enjoy the races.

“Our tailgate is rather small this year, but there have been years when we went all out,” Joy Parrott said

Even though the day was overcast and began with light rain, the Parrotts agreed that, rain or shine, they would have made it to the Cup.

“I’d give today’s weather a B-plus rating,” Dr. Parrott said. “I’ve been out here when it’s sunny and hot, it’s been 90 degrees some years, and I’ve been out when it’s cold and raining hard. Here, you can expect any kind of weather.”

Dr. Parrott said he also enjoys the distinct difference between the Colonial Cup and the Carolina Cup.

“This cup is in late fall so it’s nice to have the cooler weather. The Carolina Cup is in the spring when it’s getting warmer. They’re both beautiful” he said.

Bethany, also the reigning Miss Camden Teen and a senior at Camden High School, has attended many Cups in her day. She was especially excited about this year’s event. “I’ve gone to both Cups this year to represent Camden and the Miss Camden pageant and scholarship and it’s going really well,” she said. “I’m very glad to see the weather is holding.”

Bethany has fond memories of her grandfather from previous Cups.

“He loves dressing up for this,” she said. “He looks forward to it. It’s such a community event.”

Like her grandfather, Bethany wasn’t bothered by the threat of rain.

“Rain doesn’t bother me at all. I would come no matter what!” she exclaimed.

And from the sound of it, most local residents that attended the Cup agree -- just like the tickets say, “Rain or Shine” they will be there.

Here’s what some other Kershaw County residents said about the Cup this year:

• Phyllis Morris Wainscott, owner of Palmetto Tea Room in downtown Camden, said the cooler weather made it a “good shopping day” for the vendors who set up booths behind the grandstand. Wainscott’s booth sold refreshments like coffee, bagels, sandwiches and soft drinks and she commented that she had a rather “steady” line of customers. Her favorite part of the day, she said, “is hearing the trumpet for the horse races.”

• Lauren and Thomas Reeder of Camden said they’ve “planned for today for awhile.” While Lauren Reeder has been to many Colonial Cups, Thomas Reeder said this was his first. “I’ve lived in Camden all my life, but now that I’m grown up, I’m finally going to it.” As far as rain was concerned, Lauren Reeder said she thinks “rain, in general, doesn’t deter Camden people. We’re used to it.”

• Jeanie Sabbagha of Cassatt and Merry Roberson of Greenville attended as representatives of the South Carolina Horsemen’s Council. “The weather hasn’t affected us,” Sabbagha said. Marsha Hewitt of Bishopville, a representative of the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, added, “Horse people don’t care if it rains or not. We bring our rain gear, just in case, and we hope we won’t need to use it.”

• Rosa McCullough of Columbia attended for her third year in a row. Her son, Brian, a professional violinist, was part of a musical ensemble that performed in the Jim Hudson Lexus Hospitality Tent. “He’s been playing the violin since middle school and he went to Julliard,” McCullough said. “I’ve been waiting for this for months,” she said. McCullough said she looks forward to dressing up and “seeing (her) baby play.” She said affirmatively, “The rain could not stop me. Not today, honey.”

• Judy Ferrell and Mary Hill of KershawHealth helped set up the hospital’s complimentary breakfast and coffee station behind the grandstand. “We come to the Cup regardless of weather,” Ferrell said. She explained that the Cup benefits KershawHealth “and has for 40 years. We are so very grateful for the support of everyone that comes out,” she said.

• Sims Brown of Camden is one of the race’s “event officials” working with the “results board and timer.” He and his wife, Robin, dressed in full Cup fashion, said they were having a wonderful day. Robin Brown said, “Rain or shine, it’s just as enjoyable.”

• Kershaw County Council Chairman Gene Wise was also having a fine time. “The day has been great. We’ve had good weather, but even if it were raining I’d be out here.” Wise explained that he gives out trophies to the race’s winners. “The Cup is also a good chance for me to talk to companies that may be interested in the area,” he said.

• Camden Mayor Tony Scully and Dr. Dick Davis of Camden both said they were having a “wonderful day” and fully enjoying the races. “The Cup is such a nice event,” Davis said. “The rain never threatens us.”

• Kershaw County Council Vice Chairman Stephen Smoak and his family enjoyed a comfortable infield tailgating spot. While holding his youngest daughter, Evie, Smoak said they weren’t particularly bothered by the chance of rain. “We’ve been having a fun day,” he said, and daughters, Liza and Sarah Anne, who were playing nearby, agreed.

• Vicki Havens of Camden had a rather eye-catching tailgate set up at her infield spot. A 3-foot high iron horse stood on top of a table covered in various hors d’ouevres and family pictures. Havens has been coming to the Cup for “years and years” and said she thinks it would be a great idea for there to be “a contest” for best tailgate. She explained that her table was a door used at her daughter’s wedding that “we turned into a table.” She also explained that the pictures she had on display “tell the story of my family and our many years of participating with the Cup.” For Havens, the weather is hardly a concern. “The weather is out of our hands,” she said. “If it gets wet out here, it gets wet.”

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