WEST GROVE, Pa.--An Elkridge-Harford Hunt team of three horses trained by Joe Davies won the Foxhall Farm Cup team race contested over land hunted by Mr. Stewart'a Cheshire Foxhounds, much of which, including the start and finish, is owned by Dixon Stroud who served as host along with Cheshire MFH Sanna Neilson.
The team of Chris Gracie on Kinross Farm's Pocket Talk, Eric Poretz on Sportsmans Hall's Hill Tie and Ashton Williams on Riley McDonald's Colonel Carillo triumphed in a field of 21 starting teams of two to four riders, finishing in 12 minutes and five seconds in the approximately four mile race for the fastest time.
Another 11 teams competed for the Full Cry Trophy for the average time, which was won the the Green Spring Valley Hounds team of Michael Wharton on his Grinding Speed, Anne Litz on her Graynumberfive, Alex Fulton on his Mad Rebel and Suzie Owings on Wharton's Knocked Out.
"The course was good, and the footing was good," said Poretz.
After three nor'easters, it was amazing that the footing was good, but Dixon Stroud and his crew had also worked very hard drag snow away and put filings down to improve the footing before each of the fences.
Stroud hosted a sumptuous hunt breakfast at his house following the event, and the awards to the victors were presented then.
"LAST YEAR was Hill Tie's first season racing over fences," said Poretz. "He broke his maiden last year at Potomac, and he's going to run at Brandwine on April 1."
"We bought Pocket Talk in England," said Davies. "We bought Colonel Carillo in Ireland. He had won a point-to-point in Ireland."
Calling the Foxhall Farm trophy a "Cup" is a bit of a misnomer, as you can see from the picture, because it's a tad larger than a cup.
"Riding Grinding Speed is like riding a cloud," said Wharton of the horse who was a very successful race horse over timber, ridden by Mark Beecher, and he was Timber Horse of the Year. "He had a couple of years of racing left in him when we retired him, but he'd done everything, so I decided to retire him and hunt him."
"All four of our horse are Maryland-breds," said Litz.
The Mt. Carmel/GSVH team of Amy Fenwick, Tommy Fenwick and Daisy Fenwick placed second in the Foxhall Farm Cup race with the Cheshire Hounds team of Gerard Gilligan, Ivan Dowling and Stephanie Dowling third.
In the average time competition, the Green Spring Valley Hounds team of Erica Gaertner, Shocky Gillet and Whit Foster placed second with the Cheshire team of Sally Reed, Anna Coyne and Lia Frazier third.
The winning hunt takes the Foxhall Farm Cup home and gets to host the next year's competition.