Category Archive 'Steeplechases'

26 Apr 2010

2010 Maryland Hunt Cup

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Photo by Brendan Cavanaugh

Weather turned this year’s steeplechase season upside down. The Maryland Hunt Cup was last weekend, and our own Blue Ridge Hunt races, normally second after Casanova’s, were postponed (because of all the snow) and are still coming up.

This year’s Maryland Hunt Cup was exceptionally eventful, full of dramatic refusals, and featured an unexpected ending, proving how much more unpredictable timber races can be.

Baltimore Messenger

9:59 video

20 Sep 2009

2009 Blue Ridge Fall Races

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Photo: Karen L. Myers
Roddy MacKenzie leads at the moment on Triton Light in the Banbury Cross and Foxboro Farms Maiden Hurdle, but Jacob Roberts (3rd from the right) on Maximize went on to win

Karen and I were working yesterday at the Blue Ridge Fall Races a charity event held annually the last three years for the benefit of our local hospice organization.

Click on the above picture for a link to Karen’s preliminary photo essay

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.

07 Mar 2009

60th Annual Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point

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Linda Volrath, At the Start, private collection

Not much blogging is happening today. Karen and I will be working at the 60th running of the Blue Ridge Hunt Spring Races. Karen is passing out the trophies, and I’m checking veterinary papers and issuing entry numbers.

The painting above depicts one of the races at Woodley.

07 Mar 2008

Light Blogging This Weekend

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If we are not rained out, I’m going to be working all day on Saturday and Sunday at the Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point and Hunter Pace Races.


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