09 Mar 2009

60th Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point Races

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photo: Karen L. Myers
Anna McKnight falls early in the 4th Race

Last year’s races encountered both a hailstorm and gusts of high wind powerful enough to knock over a porta-potty containing at the time a prominent local physician. Nature, by way of compensation, this year delivered a day that seemed like summer.

As the Winchester Star reports, close to 3000 spectators attended the Blue Ridge Hunt’s traditional Spring Races at Woodley Farm near Berryville.

The meet featured 9 races, flat and over timber, and attracted competitors from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

The scariest moment came early in the 4th Race for the Clarke Courier Cup when Tap Tap, a nine-year-old bay gelding, mistimed his takeoff and stumbled over a hurdle, causing jockey Anna McKnight of Monkton, Maryland to come off.

The fall resulted in a broken wrist and a compressed vertebrae and McKnight needed to be taken to Winchester Medical Center, but happily is expected to make a full recovery, and will soon be resuming riding.

Earlier in the day, Sam Cockburn, who won in his first ride last weekend at Casanova, riding the 8 year-old chestnut gelding Old Fellow in the 2nd Race One Mile Seven Furlong Amateur/Novice Hurdle also suffered a fall, and he too suffered a broken wrist. Cockburn is expected to be sidelined from racing for four weeks.


Correction 3/11: I had originally identified the rider who suffered the broken wrist as Anna McKnight, but my wife Karen assured me that I was wrong and that she had heard officials identifying the victim otherwise, so I re-wrote my posting.

Anna McKnight’s mother, Mrs. H. Turney McKnight, MFH of Maryland’s Elkridge-Harford Hunt, however, read the posting, and wrote a comment informing me that it was indeed her daughter who experienced the more serious injury last Saturday.

Further correction, 3/11:

A commenter informs me that Sam Cockburn, the jockey who fell in the Second Race, contrary to the Winchester Star report, also fractured a wrist.


My apologies for all the mistakes and confusion and best wishes to both riders for a speedy recovery.

12 Feedbacks on "60th Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point Races"

Carrie M

Such a fall is always scary to see, particularly close-up. Reminds me of volunteering on the cross country course at the Rolex 3-day and seeing several falls.


We are not horse or racing fans, but live in the Berryville area. I assume that you do, as well. Just curious: is that so?


I do. I live in Bluemont.


Anna actually did sustain several injuries in the fall. She compressed vertebrae in her back, suffered a concussion, and also broke her wrist.

mom mcknight

Anna did suffer a broken wrist and a compressed vertabrae. She is going to be fine…moving all limbs, smiling, and worrying about her teeth and will ride again. What do you say when your most precious thing gets hurt and is so very lucky that it was not worse. She is the most amazing rider I have every seen! talented and brave and willing! Many thanks for all the kind words. Liz McKnight


What about the horse? Is Tap Tap ok??


The mistake was Karen’s fault. I thought that the injuries were the other way around, but my wife insisted she had heard officials saying otherwise, so I re-wrote my report. Karen has more pictures for you. She will be emailing you.



Tap Tap recovered his footing and didn’t even fall.


Sam did break his wrist as well. He had pins put in place, and will be out of riding for about 4 weeks. Though, he assures me he plans to start riding in 2 weeks.


Thank you for the correction. So much for relying on the Winchester Star, and what Karen overheard.


Yes, It seems that Anna is like her Mom.

As i remember, Liz broke her arm after a fall and was back in the saddle practically before the plaster (cast) had dried.!!

he he..
glad Anna is ok.. and none the worse for wear.


Are there any more pictures of this years races at Blue Ridge? I’ve been having trouble locating some. thanks


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