The city of Camden has rolled out a new display of decorative flags in honor of the contribution horse racing -- one of the most ancient of all sports -- has made to the overall cultural heritage of the community.
According to city officials, a fluttering 40-flag display of jockey silks -- the colors jockeys wear in races that are the registered “colors” of the owner who employs them -- now fly along Broad Street in historic Downtown Camden, representing six very famous owners of steeplechase winners in Camden and around the world. In addition, flags printed with the new Camden: Classically Carolina brand logo with the “Steeplechase” icon are interspersed among display of jockey silks flags.
Especially selected by staff at Camden’s National Steeplechase Museum, owners’ colors represented among the flags display include: Augustin Stables, Steeplechasing’s all-time leading money-winning owner; Harold Via Jr., owner of 2007 and 2008 Eclipse Award-winning Chaser “Good Night Shirt;” Timber Bay Farm, Mrs. William Entemann, owner of champion steeplechasers “Romantic” and “Yaw;” Mr. and Mrs. William Lickle, prominent owners of Cup winners “Victorian Hill” and “Master McGrath;” William Pape, owner of four-time Eclipse Award winning champion, “Flatterer;” and Mr. and Mrs. George Sensor, Camden residents and owners of 2013 Carolina Cup winner, “Sunshine Numbers.”
“No other sport in Camden enjoys a more notable heritage or any finer tradition than horse racing,” said Camden Mayor Tony Scully. “We are all inspired by the classic grace and strength of this noble creature, which has been and remains a symbol for our community. As the steeplechase capital of the world, we want to demonstrate our pride and gratitude for the impact horse racing and other equine sports have had and continue to have on our suburb quality of life.”
The timing of the new display of flags coincides with the start of the fall racing season in Camden, when the equine community swells the resident population of approximately 7,000 to more than 10,000, and attracts roughly 12,000 Colonial Cup race fans annually.
Saturday marks the 45th annual running of the Marion du Pont Scott Colonial Cup steeplechase race. Camden is hosting “Horse Around” Colonial Cup weekend as a run up to the running of the Colonial Cup. Beginning Thursday evening, “Horse Around” weekend events take place in locations all around Camden.
Silks or colors, worn by each jockey in a race to represent a horse’s owner, are among the oldest traditions in racing. Colors initially evolved out of necessity -- in ancient Rome, chariot drivers wore different colors so spectators could differentiate between them during races.