The 93rd Virginia Gold Cup Races: Winning on the Horse and Hat Front!


May 5, 2018 Sharing the Details teamed up with Purple People Media  to exclusively  cover this year’s Virginia Gold Cup (Steeplechase races) at Great Meadows, located in The Plains, VA. Attendees paid around $100 upwards to several thousands (beyond VIP) to attend this Spring tradition and Social event. Pets are not allowed to this event but children under 12 years old can get in for free! Races were also held rain or shine.

Every year, around 45,000 horse (or what I like to call HAT) enthusiasts attend the Virginia Gold Cup to watch hurdle and timber races, Jack Russell Terrier races, participate in the tailgate contest, make massive bets, smoke the finest cigars, and participate in the most creative hat contest known in the DMV area.

Did you know that The Virginia Gold Cup is one of the nation’s largest steeplechase races?  The event is held every year on the  same day as the Kentucky Derby and is attended by celebrities, socialites, visitors from around the world. This is also one of the Washington, DC region’s largest and oldest outdoor events.

Feature photo & This photo of myself is courtesy of Purple People Media

The Virginia Gold Cup event was created by eight athletes who met at the Fauquier Club in Warrenton, Virginia and organized a four-mile race alongside the  the nearby hunting countryside on April 3, 1922.  This short race was what inspired the first Virginia Gold Cup race.If you want to learn more about the history of the Virginia Gold Cup, click here. 

For this event, I knew I had to dress to impress.  So I bought a floppy, white, hat and a floral dress from Nordstrom. I also had a gut feeling that traffic was going to be a bit of a head ache so I decided to add an extra 30 minutes to my trip (instead of 1.5 hours, this drive averaged around 2 hours). The Great Meadows park is an hour west from Washington DC and not accessible by public transportation. For those who don’t want to drive up, Lindy Promotions hosted a bus trip.

Pictures Courtesy of Purple People Media

Great Meadows is a 380-acre field events center and steeplechase course located in the heart of Virginia’s Piedmont countryside.

The park grounds were massive. I parked in lot area 4, around the South Rail and was fortunate to be able to pick up a map before the event. Much emphasis of the map was placed on where to get to your next betting booth, and for novice gamblers, here’s some tips courtesy of TripSavvy  and Virginia Gold Cup on How to place a bet.

  1. Win:  The horse must finish first
  2. Place: The horse must finish first or second
    (you collect the amount for second)
  3. Show: The horse must finish first, second or third
    (you collect the amount for third)
  4. Exacta: You must pick the horses that finish first AND second in exact order
  5. Trifecta:  You must pick the horses that finish first, second AND third in exact order
Courtesy of Purple People Media

As I was walking through the course, I noticed there were around 30 vendors selling food, hats, cigars, and beyond! Men and women, alike, smoked cigars in an old-timey-fashion way much like those films you watch in a Turner Classic movie.

Wearing a decked out hat: flowers, curly-cues, and even some Cinco de Mayo inspired flare, was the best way for women and men, alike, to express creativity, tradition, and one’s innate desire to make conversation. Fashion magazines time and time again often advise to always wear a statement piece whenever you go to a social or a gala in order to spark ripe conversation. It was really easy to make conversation at this social because the conversation starter was right above everyone’s heads.

Photos courtesy of Purple People Media

The Jack Russell Terriers were so cute! Watching several of these pooches race made my heart swell. This was a popular race for ladies, such as myself, since these dogs were oh so adorable. Aside from pup watching, I knew I needed a drink to quench my thirst.

After much conversing with notable bloggers, local celebs and even a few socialites, the most popular drink was the mint julep. I had one hand crafted by notable bar- artists from Harry’s Gastro Pub located in VA! This was the first time I ever ordered a mint julep and this may be one of my favorite mixed drinks of all time. Drinking this elixir made me think of something crisp like a fresh glass of sprite yet think of the first bite of a York Peppermint paddy. This drink inspired me to eat more goodies from Harrys!

Harrys was one of the catering sponsors for this event and I have to admit, I do love their food! The cucumber & smoked salmon with lemon cream cheese, bon bons, caramel brownies, avocado and shrimp ceviche, smoked wings, Gochuchang wings, and burger sliders with cheddar cheese won my heart and soul.

Another popular drink and also the official sponsor of the Kentucky Derby was Woodford Reserve Whiskey. All you really need is a few shots and you will feel ready to predict a winner on the first and last race of the day.


Speaking of winners, the big winner of the 93rd Virginia Gold Cup races and the big winner of $100,00 was Casanova-bred Zanclus, bred by Sara and Bruce Collette. Kieran Norris, a Virginia-based jockey, rode the winning stallion. Second in line was Le Chevalier, bred by Julie Gomena and ridden by Gerard Galligan. Ebanour, the clear favorite to win this year and the two-time defending race winner, placed fourth this year.

About Virginia Gold Cup

The Virginia Gold Cup is a non-profit that started in 1922 that holds Steeplechase Racing to support the sport of steeplechase. Steeplechasing in Virginia has been a way of life since early Colonial times when the horse was the primary way of transportation, farming and war. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson met in sporting competition over fences. Organized steeplechase races have run in Fauquier County since 1844.

Beyond the Little Black Dress: Francophile-Dream Fashion Show


As a self-professed Francophile, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend and cover this exclusive Fashion show sponsored by Alliance Francais of Washington D.C. This sparkly event was held at the French Embassy on October 7, 2017. Beyond the Little Black Dress is an exclusive gem that D.C trend-setters and fashionistas usually attend.

Whenever I cover an exclusive event, my biggest worry tends to go to parking. However, street parking was abundant and free for this show.  I was quite surprised since Washington D.C is notorious for street parking conundrums (towed cars, hefty tickets, and usual antics).

Sherryn in red
Courtesy of Nandor Nagy 

As soon as I walked in, I was awe-struck by all of these glamazons decked in black attire.  Albeit, Black is the go-to color to wear to all D.C events. For a quick second, I thought I was covering a NYFW show in New York City due multiple fashionista, blogger, and press coteries spanning the party.

Beyond the Little Black Dress had an impressive VIP reception before the show. The reception included complimentary cocktails, goody bags, a silent auction and fun red carpet opportunities. The silent auction featured a Saks Fifth Avenue shopping spree, a hand-made silk couture dress, Parisian food goodie bags, and a romantic trip to Paris and Prague. My heart was totally gunning for the romantic trip to Paris!  Whomever won that bid is one lucky human being.

Models in Black
Pictures courtesy of Nandy Nagar

The show, itself, heralded remarkable D.C fashion designers and companies such as Zophia, Mindy Lam, Le Bustiere, SK Paris, and The Jarmal Harris Project. Lucky for me, the French embassy had both high-end coutour and red wine. I was able to savor aromatic notes of cherry while falling in love with Jarmal Harris’s golden gown ensembles being paraded by some of the most beautiful models I have seen in D.C.

Dani Sauter, founder of Blonde in the District, emceed the event to a packed audience. Her heartfelt words on confidence, inner beauty and on supporting designers who create fashion for women of different body types won the audience over. Her powerful words opened up the audience to some memorable eye candy.

I, as well as various bloggers on scene,  were mesmerized by Stephanie Jacek of Le Bustiere’s handiwork. Her European-inspired lingerie opened up a vortex of opportunities for black hued camis, bras, and undies to make a comeback. My personal favorite was the black, silk, lingerie suit paired with a floppy bunny eared-headpiece. Le Bustiere Boutique is located in Adams Morgan and I hope attendees of the show also check out her hosiery, corsets, and swimwear at her store. Her passion for fashion was quite evident that night.

Designer Mindy Lam, of Mindy Lam Couture, weaves swarovski crystals into her signature metal lace jewelry pieces. Her work has a fresh modern take on florals and vintage style. Much like a magician, she grabbed ocean colored blues, twisty metals, and shiny crystals and transformed these earthly wonders into an ensemble inimitable to most. Her pieces were highly sought after at the silent bid and can also be purchased at

One wouldn’t think of wearing aluminum dresses to a party but Stephane Koerwyn of SK Paris opened up this possibility after having several models parade in designs. His aluminum inspired dresses are designed to evoke emotion by allowing enough light to appear through varied forms and reliefs. His work has been displayed in several exhibitions over the past years in Paris, Brussels, London, and Washington DC.

After the show attendees were treated to iridescent macaroons, tarts, and mousse-based desserts in dainty cups from Michel et Augustin. Naturally, this delicious experience was paired with legendary teas from Kusmi Tea. I was privileged to have tasted the Anastasia (orange-blossom-flavored black tea with bergamot & lemon) and the Prince Vladimir (black tea with citrus fruits, vanilla & spices) and I can attest those two teas left a great impression with me.

About The Alliance Francaise De Washington DC

The Alliace Francaise de Washington DC is a 501cs membership-based, non-profit and non-governmental organization. The non-profit’s mission is to build connections through French language and culture. Beyond the Little Black Dress is the alliance Francaise’s largest benefiting cultural programs.

First Model Union World Wide: Exemplary Pursuers of Fashion

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Courtesy of Michael Hutson
The fashion industry is bursting at the seams with models, designers, stylists, photographers, and agencies that are looking for the next Gigi Hadid. However, the industry is scant on multi-faceted agencies that shape models into business moguls. This is where First Model Union World Wide (FMUWW) comes in.

FMUWW is a singular agency, founded by Michael Hutson a.k.a. Monichi, that underscores the importance of the French term Poursuit de la Mode: the pursuit of fashion in business. Michael Hutson is the CEO of FMUWW and a renowned photographer. He believes

“Everyone is trying to pursue some type of industry in the form of fashion.”

With this mantra in mind, he created FMUWW to be an agency that shapes and molds a vast clientele of models, designers, and bookers into business owners. Fashion and sole proprietorship go hand-in-hand with this business concept. It’s unique in that fashion agency clients get real-world business skills, experience, and even contacts to assist them as they go out into the industry to pave their own path.

The overall goal of FMUWW is to educate, elevate, and inspire its clients to be leading future stars that embody true leadership potential. Leaders teach others to succeed, period. In the age of millennial entrepreneurship, this axiom is often not as widely practiced in other fields–let alone the Fashion field.

Often in an office culture, an environment of backstabbing, ruthless competition, and distrust molds into a company’s mission, but FMUWW’s goals and beliefs are a diametrical opposite of society’s norm. In short, it’s a breath of fresh air given the times.

Along with shaping each of its models to be a leader, FMUWW also grooms each to be a brand.

The clientele tends to consist of international models hailing from Ethiopia, the UK, and France, who are given lessons on modeling, posing, and runway etiquette. They are also given courses on how to make their money work for them.

Additional services include on-set traveling, designer housing (Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania), local- and long-distance traveling opportunities, and test shooting.

Are you a model who wants to cultivate your leadership skills? Contact Michael Hutson aka “Monichi” for more information: