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Charleston jumps onto NSA's spring slate

Posted: December 26, 2016 10:34 a.m.
Updated: December 27, 2016 1:00 a.m.

A new race meet, The Steeplechase of Charleston at Stono Ferry, will join the National Steeplechase Association’s 2017 spring racing schedule. 

The 2017 NSA season kicks off on Saturday, March 25 with the Aiken Spring Races before coming to Camden on Saturday, April 1 for the 82nd running of the Carolina Cup.

As for the stop in Charleston, the first-time spring meet will be managed by the Birmingham, Ala.- based Bruno Event Team which also manages U.S. Senior Open Championships, PGA TOUR tournaments, LPGA events, an INDYCAR race, the upcoming Davis Cup --- USA vs. Switzerland --- and game day activities at the University of Alabama.

Additionally, Hallman is a South Carolina native and received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the College of Charleston and his MBA from the University of South Carolina.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to manage The Steeplechase of Charleston at Stono Ferry,” stated Gene Hallman, president and CEO of Bruno Event Team. “This is an exciting and new opportunity for our company, and we are thrilled to host this steeplechase event.”

“The Board of Directors and I welcome The Steeplechase of Charleston at Stono Ferry and the Bruno Event Team to the NSA family,” said President Guy J. Torsilieri. “We are excited to have a new race meet for the spring, and we look forward enthusiastically to working with the Bruno Event Team staff.

“On many Saturdays in the spring and fall, steeplechase races attract the biggest crowds in Thoroughbred racing. With the Bruno Event Team’s well-established expertise in event management and marketing, we hope to work together to leverage our popularity into a successful meet at Charleston and growth for all of steeplechase racing.”

The Steeplechase of Charleston at Stono Ferry will be the first NSA-affiliated race meet sponsored and managed by a professional event marketer. 

“With Bruno Event Team’s proven experience in so many endeavors, we see opportunities for growth in new markets. Moreover, Bruno Event Team will be able to provide the benefits of its experience to existing race meets that want to expand their markets,” Torsilieri said.

The Bruno Event Team has worked closely with the NSA and the Stono Ferry Homeowners Association to prepare for the new spring meet. 

“We are most grateful for the efforts of Bruno Executive Vice President John Bochnak and Donald Rhea, president of the Stono Ferry Homeowners Association, to bring this event to fruition in a short period of time,” Torsilieri said.

The Charleston meet, to be run on the same race course formerly utilized by the Charleston Cup, is tentatively scheduled to have five races, four over National Fences, with purses totaling $75,000. It assumes the date formerly held by the Stoneybrook Steeplechase, which will not be run this spring.

The fall meet tentatively will be held on the Sunday preceding the season-ending Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup in Camden to be run in mid-November.

“This new race meet will be a tremendous opportunity for our horsemen,” said NSA Director of Racing Bill Gallo Jr. “It will be the third consecutive meet in South Carolina to kick off the 2017 spring season, and it will offer competitive purses. The November meet also will continue our growth in the fall season.”

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