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Sunday, January 19, 2020
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Youngsters from Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia to participate in the 2018 The National Steeplechase Foundation Domestic Young Rider Trip.

 Edited from NSF Press Release


The National Steeplechase Foundation Domestic Young Rider Trip is a 5-day overnight experience structured towards providing the participant with an in-depth experience of what steeplechase racing in the USA is all about.

Janet Elliots sweater frontJanet Elliot, who will work with these six participants It is for teenagers who are familiar with jump racing and who have a demonstrated interest in learning more about the sport.

The ideal candidate will have expressed interest in being involved with steeplechase racing in the future.

Activities include a hands-on visit to trainers’ barns in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia; attending lectures and discussion sessions with trainers, jockeys, owners and stewards; and attending races at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York.

The 2018 participants include:

HEIDI HERZOG, who won this year's Jonathan Kiser Memorial Scholarship, presented by the Maryland Steeplechase Association.

The scholarship is presented in recognition of a Junior Rider’s race participation, horsemanship, sportsmanship, talent, and dedication to the sport of steeplechasing, and the recipient is selected by the MSA Board from among all Junior Riders currently riding in Junior and Pony races.

The recipient receives a position as a working student for a week with NSA trainer Todd Wyatt and tuition to the National Steeplechase Foundation Domestic Young Rider Trip.

Congratulations to Heidi for being chosen for the scholarship this year.

Heidi lives in Maryland and works for steeplechase trainer Tara Elmore, aas well as helping her mother run Good to Go Farm.

She hunts with a number of hunts in Maryland, and rides in pony races.


HANNAH BELT also lives in Maryland.

Mark Beecher at Winterthur 2018Mark Beecher at Winterthur 2018She has worked for steeplechase trainer Joseph Davies, and currently works for trainer Mark Beecher.

Hannah has ridden in pony races and plans to continue to race this fall. Hannah wants to participate because

Participating in "this will help me get more experience, seeing how different trainers train, and how they work around a horse," said Hannah. "This will help me think about if I'm completely sure that I want to race and train horses when I am old enough."

SAMANTHA ENGLISH lives in southeast Pennsylvania, and both of her grandfathers were involved in the sport of steeplechase.

Samantha works for race horse trainer Lauren Schock and has ridden in pony races and in field master chases.

Samantha wants to participate because "This trip will help me better understand the career I wish to go into. Having the chance to learn from current trainers, owners, and riders would be incredible. I’m ecstatic to sit down and talk with them and go to their jobs and see what it's really like having a job in this intense sport. This program would be just amazing opportunity to learn and experience the reality of the racing world."

CHLOE HANNUM lives in northern Virginia and hunts in the first field with the Orange County and the Snickersville Hounds and is also an eventer.

Chloe works for trainers Speedy and Eva Smithwick.

She has participated in pony racing and in field master chases, and she plans to ride in point-to-point races next spring.

"If I were chosen for this fantastic opportunity, I hope to accomplish a greater understanding of the steeplechase world that I want to enter farther in to," said Chloe. "I would hope to learn more about riding steeplechase horses. For example holding a strong horse, riding a finish and racing strategies. I would also like to learn more about caring for horses, such as bandaging and therapeutic treatments. I hope that I will be able to make new friends and build connections that would help me in the future."

SARAH LEANNARDA lives in Maryland and hunts with the Carrollton Hounds, as well as riding in hunter paces and jumper shows.

Sarah participates in pony racing and in field master chases.

Sarah's mom is an eventer who runs a training program, so Sarah has grown up helping with the horses on the farm.

"If I participated in this trip I would be eager to learn and take any opportunity given to expand my knowledge of steeplechasing and race horses," said Sarah. "I believe that this trip would be an amazing chance to get the best education from the best trainers, and is a once in a lifetime opportunity that would put me closer to my end goal of one day riding in the Maryland Hunt Cup..."

CASSIDY WILCOX lives in southeast Pennsylvania and works for race horse trainer Lauren Schock.

Cassidy participates in pony races, and hopes to ride in point-to-points next spring.

"If I am chosen for this program I will get to learn more about the inside of steeplechases," said Cassidy. "Most young riders are kids of either current steeplechase trainers, owners, or riders. Getting into this program would give me the opportunity to learn more about the ins and outs of the racing ways. Even helping out with Lauren Schock and the Red Hound Stables crew, I don't get exposed to everything that goes on at the races."

The National Steeplechase Foundation Board of Trustees is impressed with this well-rounded group of young ladies.

These six youngsters will have a wonderful, educational five days with amateur jockey Lia McGuirk and with Hall of Fame Trainer Janet Elliot.

The Horse of Delaware Valley

Editor: Sara Cavanagh

Advertising Director: Ginny Jenkins

Marketing Manager: Heather Mullen

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