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Thursday, March 30, 2017


Memorial service for Georgie Stapleton, 73, who was instrumental in saving Cheshire Hunt country.

WEST CHESTER, Pa.-An overflow crowd attended the memorial service for Georgianna Hannum Stapleton at the Church of the Loving Shepherd in West Chester on Saturday, Feb. 25. She had died of cancer on Jan. 17 at the age of 73.

georgiestapletonGeorgie Hannum StapletonLuckily, it was a lovely, warm day, because a dozen rows of chairs had to be set up outside the doors of the church to accommodate the large number of people, and even so, there were more people standing five of six deep outside another door.

The sun stayed out for the whole service, although a heavy rainstorm hit just as the reception, held at the Wilmington Club in Wilmington, Del., began.

A large crowd was also in attendance at the reception, which included the Club’s traditionally delicious hors d’oeuvres served in the large reception room.

Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds moved the time of its meet to 8 a.m., to accommodate the memorial service, which began at 2 p.m.

“My mother had a life long love of the countryside,” said Jeb Hannum.

Along with her, at that time, mother-in-law, Mrs. John B. Hannum, MFH of Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds, Stapleton fought for conservation of the hunt’s land, resulting in zoning laws restricting properties to 50 acres or more that could not be subdivided.

“In 1976, my mother started her company, Country Properties, that had the unique mission of conserving the countryside,” said Hannum. “She was a great business person. I worked for her twice, and I learned so much from her.”

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Cheshire, unable to ready course, forced to cancel March 26 Point-to-Point

UNIONVILLE, Pa.—For the first time in 58 years, after a freak March snow and ice storm and continuing freezing temperatures made preparing the course impossible, Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Fox Hounds was forced to cancel its annual point-to-point, scheduled for March 26.

cheshirept2ptSusan Oakes 0n Fort Henry, winner of the 2016 Cheshire Point-to-Point Side Saddle race. Photo by Daria KillingerIn a morning meeting at the Plantation Field race course on St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17, Master of Foxhounds Anne Moran, Chairman of the Races Jock Hannum, Co-chairman of the Races Kirstie Grabosky, Cheshire Race Course Coordinator Franny Sharon and Plantation Field Coordinator Jacob Embree held a lengthy discussion concerning the condition of the course.

“We listened primarily to Franny because of his experience with the course and with tractors on the course,” said Hannum. “One of the things we considered was the ability of Jaime Hicks, a truly great farmer, one of the greatest in Chester County, with his tractor, as well as Jacob’s ability and his machinery, for them to rake the field to break up the snow.”

“Franny said that because of the continuing cold temperatures and the mammoth snow drifts in front of the fences that they wouldn’t be able to get the course ready,” said Hannum. “He said, `We cannot deliver you a race course that Cheshire deserves.’”

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Devon Horse Show adds exciting new Eventing competition

DEVON, Pa.—The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, May 24 – June 4, is adding an exciting and very different type of new competition to its schedule, an Arena Eventing class.

devon at nightModeled after eventing, but without the dressage and show jumping phases, this new competition is scheduled for the first Sunday evening, May 28, and offers $50,000 in prize money.

With that amount of prize money, Devon’s Eventing class is one of that discipline’s most lucrative competitions and as such is expected to draw many of the sport’s top riders.

Only Rolex Kentucky, with $400,000 in prize money and Wellington Eventing, with $100,000, offer more money for one event.

Devon has limited the Event to 40 entries, but it is open to both eventers and show jumpers, and at least one show jumping rider, Kevin Babington of Gwynedd Valley, Pa., has already committed to competing.

Olympic veterans Phillip Dutton of West Grove, Pa., and Boyd Martin of Cochranville, Pa., were both consulted as the concept of the class was developed.

“It’s a fantastic way of bringing a form of our event to the public,” said Martin. “This will be a real spectacle, exciting and action packed.”

Devon’s Eventing competition will introduce the sport to an entirely new set of spectators.

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The Horse of Delaware Valley

Editor: Sara Cavanagh

Since 1980