Yay for Neigh: Foxfield Gallops Back into Law School Social Calendar

Jacob Jones ‘21
Events Editor

The Foxfield Races are a biannual event where families go to enjoy tailgating and horse races while law students, put in their own special corner, set up canopies and enjoy each other’s company. With over 137 followers on Twitter,[1] the races are clearly the most exciting thing that happens in rural Albemarle County.  According to Wikipedia, the event has been criticized as the “pinnacle representation of the upper middle class [sic] nature of UVA’s student demographic.”[2] It’s hard to disagree, but it’s also hard to argue that the chance to go outside, have fun with friends, and watch horses is a bad thing. So, with that in mind, law students said “yay for neigh,” and galloped on over in semi air-conditioned buses to the event.

Students, mostly 1Ls, started showing up around 9 a.m. for the races that didn’t start until around 1 p.m.[3] The ones who arrived at 9 a.m. probably didn’t get to see much of the races, but the event turned out to be more of an excuse to party.

Students were dressed according to the standard of the early 1900’s. UVA Law boys reverted back to their true form, wearing the preppiest shirts imaginable.[4] Wikipedia, the source of all knowledge, says that people typically dress in a “Southern, aristocratic style,” a description that made me a little uncomfortable.[5] There were all sorts of pastel colors, with salmon shirts, light pink shirts, slightly brighter pink shirts, light blue shirts, and sometimes boys were daring and wore light green. In order to stand out among a sea of pastel, men had to really up their game. Some wore cowboy hats, some newsboy hats, and one even wore a barbershop hat. The best of the bunch went with the bow tie and suspenders look. UVA Law women dressed in much livelier colored dresses with flowers, horses, and other cool patterns that looked pretty snazzy.

Once the horse races started, all bets were off. But the bets were sort of on, as students picked a horse and cheered for it without any background knowledge about the race.[6] Without any meaningful guide for which horse they should choose, students made their decisions based on random factors, such as how small the jockey was, how swole a horse looked, or whether the horse looked pretty in general. In the end, since the law students weren’t near the finish line and couldn’t hear the speaker, the cheering was for naught. Apparently, these races are done in the “Steeplechase” format. This is horse-person speak for a hurdle race. The “jockeys” are people who ride the horses. Apparently, horseracing is like the legal profession, where special words are made up for concepts that there are already common names.

There was plenty of excitement aside from the races. Two people who were just horsin’ around[7] were told that, nay, they could not do that by the dedicated officers of the Albemarle County Sheriff’s Department, and so they reined themselves in with long faces after jockeying for position.[8] Like a pool lifeguard without much else to do, the dedicated sheriffs put an end to two friends who were just having fun. Can’t we just let the players play? Other sources of excitement included hearing over the speaker that one “Mr. Rishi Kumar” had lost his wallet ten minutes after arriving. Plus, there were ponies, a bouncy castle race, and a tractor ride. Come to think of it, a bunch of law students didn’t really fit in with the self-styled “Fall Family Day,” which is probably why the law students were in the far corner of the field. Still, the families could stand to get off their high horse, because law students were well behaved.

By around 1:30 p.m., with most of the horse races seemingly done, the students who had been at the races since morning were mostly gone. While SBA informed us that there would be no cell service and we could not Uber, that turned out to be false. People tired from the heat, sun, and certain other factors like too much “lemonade” began leaving in droves. Plus, the fried chicken had long run out. By approximately 2:30 p.m., most people had left, too impatient to wait for buses. And so everyone else packed up, went home, and recovered to enjoy the last day of Ivy Garden pools being open.


[1] 138 followers to be precise. To be fair, the event has over 3,000 thumbs ups on Facebook. This is probably because the older crowd uses Facebook a lot more than Twitter. It’s probably for the best that older folks stick to Facebook over Twitter. See https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump.

[2] This part of the Wikipedia article does not have a citation, in violation of clearly established Wikipedia rules. In the future, those looking for a source on the matter can look to this footnote. I am hereby criticizing Foxfield as the pinnacle representation of the upper middle-class nature of UVA’s student demographic. This is like, citation-ception.

[3] Shout out to the 1Ls for organizing and bringing food and beverages, even though we kind of made them. Sometimes you get saddled with that kind of responsibility.

[4] See, e.g., “UVA Law Boys,” Libel 110, Youtube.

[5] Yikes.

[6] Picking a horse was a spur of the moment decision.

[7] “Hey, aren’t you the horse from Horsin’ Around?”

[8] That’s five horse puns in one sentence for you neighsayors.