THE HUNT: Inside The Insane Tailgate At New Jersey's Wildest Horse Race
The premier event of the tri-state area's social calendar, the Far Hills Race Meeting at Moorland Farms (commonly known as The Hunt), was held on October 18 in Far Hills, New Jersey. Again, it lived up to its wild and boozy reputation.
With the race's long-standing reputation as a tailgate full of boozy post grads, new rules instituted last year prohibited bringing alcohol in through the gate. However, the booze still flowed at the fancy tailgates and picnics set up throughout the horse track's infield.
Attendance was also down -- 32,000 turned out of an expected 35,000 -- due to an increase in ticket prices but that didn't seem to put too much of a damper on the festivities: there were still fleece vests, plaid shirts, and riding boots as far as the eye could see.
Patrons of the annual race cater huge picnics full of booze and fancy foods for their guests.
The race draws many young adults from the surrounding area.
More than 100 New Jersey state troopers as well as dozens of officers from the county and surrounding towns were on the scene to make sure the revelers didn't get to rowdy. The number of arrests or summonses for this year has not yet been released, but the number is expected to be in the low-to-mid teens in light of last year's high of 55 -- the first year the state police were involved in the event's security.
Of the event's 32,000 guests, some go a little overboard.
The race, now it its 94th year, is held as a fundraiser for Somerset County Hospital (now Robert Wood Johnson Hospital Somerset). The hospital has even named its cancer center "The Steeplechase Cancer Center" after the annual event. "I think we're going to be able to make a substantial contribution to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital," Far Hills Race Meeting co-chairman Guy Torsilieri told NJ.com. "They were here today and they're tickled pink with the event. We're going to continue to grow it, upscale it and continue to make it a wonderful fund raiser."
Common infringements include public urination and disorderly conduct.
The range of liquor patrons bring in includes everything from Grey Goose and Captain Morgan to Natural Ice and Bud Light.
Patrons are often quite clever in their alcohol delivery systems.
Binge drinking is a common theme among the younger crowd.
The festivities often leave behind a large amount of trash, from beer cans to wine bottles and everything in between.
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