The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

Tailgates, pop-up shops and horse races: “The Hunt” 2023

Photo by Ava DeSena
The Far Hills Race Meeting on Oct. 21

Every third Saturday in October, New Jersey hosts an iconic fall event, the Far Hills Race Meeting, better known as “The Hunt.” Hosting well over 30,000 people, this year was the 102nd race meeting. During this event, people from the New Jersey area come together to tailgate, showcase the best of fall fashion and see exciting horse races.

The history of “The Hunt”’ began with the Essex Hunt, a fox hunting event founded in 1870 in Montclair, NJ. The Essex Hunt later evolved into an event to show the farmers and landowners gratitude for allowing hunters to use their land. In 1916, the event moved to the Grant B. Schley Estate, known today as the Moorland Farm. Eventually, it was named the Far Hills Race Meeting or “The Hunt’’ for short. This iconic horse race in Far Hills, NJ is just one of the race circuits along the east coast, made up of about 70 of the most prestigious racehorses. Now, it has become a social event for all ages.

With “The Hunt” being around for over a century, many feel inclined to attend even after leaving New Jersey. Craig Gil, a former resident of Bridgewater, NJ has been attending the event for many years. “My family has been coming here since the 1960s,” he said. “My parents started bringing me when I was young, and then as they got older, I took over the spot on the lawn and started running my family’s event.”

These races occur during peak fall, and most people dress to impress to honor the season and event. Leather, denim and cashmere are commonly worn at “The Hunt.” A student at Seton Hall Prep who attended the event, Francis Jaso, said, “While I was there, I noticed a group of teen girls and boys wearing a broad range of brands. Some wore Patagonia vests, Burberry, or small luxury designer goods. All of the people at ‘The Hunt’ were able to dress perfectly for the occasion. Some people even matched the theme with authentic leather and fall tones. Everyone was dressed so nicely.”

“The Hunt” is more than just a horse race. The venue also offers a series of flea markets called Vendor Village. The market appears as soon as you walk into the fields and scan your ticket. The market sells a variety of jewelry, clothes, belts and more to attract customers. Just past Vendor Village, tailgating groups on the lawn can be seen.

As for the events of the day, before a race, you are able to bet on a horse with anyone you came with or anyone holding a bet. The betting generally costs around three to five dollars a horse. If your horse wins, you can declare your money and split the money evenly with whomever else bet on the winning horse. This year there were seven races, 70 horses and a $250,000 purse according to 

Tickets for this event can be purchased on and the usual price point for general admission is $110. If people choose to make the drive to, cars will be used as a proper tailgate setup. However, with driving comes an additional cost: To park at “The Hunt,” you must purchase a 30 dollar parking pass. To ensure a traffic-free day, the train is the best option to save time and money.

When October rolls around next year, make sure to put on your boots and cashmere and head over to “The Hunt” for an iconic New Jersey experience.

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