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Steeplechase event returning to Kingston Downs

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The steeplechase is returning to Kingston Downs in 2018 with a new name and under new management. The Georgia Steeplechase will run at the natural amphitheater-like course in a bend of the Etowah River on April 7.

The Atlanta Steeplechase, which had been held at Kingston Downs for the past 20 years, announced plans to close after the 2017 races — citing increased costs and competition.

Anthony-Scott Hobbs announced Thursday during a meeting of the Adairsville council of the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce the new organization had received certification last week from the National Steeplechase Association.

Members of the group attended the Atlanta Steeplechase over the course of the last decade, Hobbs said, and became known as the Steeplechase Turf Club.

“When we heard the Atlanta Steeplechase had folded some of our group gave me a call and said what are we going to do about it. So, we started the gears to get sanctioned, came to agreement with Kingston Downs for years to come and started to move the needle forward,” Hobbs said.

There will be a lot of changes, Hobbs said.

“When it comes to charitable functions, you’ll be pleased that we’ve chosen a couple of local charities right here in your backyard, one of them being the Boys and Girls Club,” he said. “Ultimately all of that fundraising we’re going to try to keep right here in the community.”

The Georgia Steeplechase is beginning to take bids from potential vendors, tent companies, food companies and the like, Hobbs said. Interested companies can get additional information at www.georgiasteeplechase.org.

“It had started to become a little bit of the fabric of our lives,” said Ellen Archer, director of the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “A fresh new branding approach, Georgia Steeplechase, will be beneficial to not just Bartow and Floyd counties, but to the entire region.”