Only two horses contested the Frank A. Bonsal Memorial Open Timber at the Green Spring Valley Point-to-Point on March 31 in Cockeysville, Md., but those two made a good race of it.
Eric Poretz rode Jeremy A. Batoff's Certain Swagger, trained by William Dowling, and he led most of the way,
Happenstance and Harry's Boogie Biz, trained and ridden by Mark Beecher, made a run at Certain Swagger in the stretch but couldn't catch him, and Certain Swagger won by 3/4 of a length in 7:58 2/5.
Poretz and Beecher also finished first and second in the four horse field in the Novice Timber, with Poretz on Caves Farm's Western Exchange, trained by Dowling, winning by 4 1/2 lengths over rider/trainer Beecher on Upland Partner's Coastal Moon in 7:13.
James and Riley McDonald's Colonel Carillo (Ire), trained by Joseph Davies and ridden by Chris Gracie finishied third.
BEECHER prevailed in the Heavyweight Timber, training and riding Upland Partners Mystic Strike to win by 2 lengths over owner/trainer Charles C. Fenwick Jr.'s Puller, ridden by Brett Owings, with Wits End Stable LLC's Duc de Savoie, trained by Dowling and ridden by Evan Dwan third.
Lauren Schock trained the first, second and third placed horses in the Field Master's Side Saddle race.
Julie Nafe on owner/trainer Schock's McCrady's won by 12 lengths over owner/trainer Schock's Galon Hapus, ridden by Rebecca Barker, and Steve Hayes' Drifter, ridden by Mary Musheno.
"I've been riding McCrady's for two years now," said Nafe. "I ride him in both side saddle races and in Foxhunter Timber races."
Skylar McKenna rode Move Up Stables & Sally Read's It's Nothing, trained by her mother Katherine Neilson, to win the Junior Field Master's Chase (JFMC), thoroughbred horse section by 1 1/2 lengths over Parker Hendriks on Stewart Strawbridge's Guts For Garters, trained by his mother Sanna Neilson, with Colin Smith on Molten Man, owned and trained by Mimi Schmitz, finishing third in the seven horse field.
"It was a fun race," said McKenna. "Everything went very well. I tried to maintain first or second position behind the field master."
The junior races had three or four times more entries than the adult timber races, which bodes well for the future of point-to-point racing, and many of the riders are members of famous racing families.
The Small Pony Flat race was won by Scarlet Davies on Hickory over an eight horse field, Abigail Murphy won the Medium Pony Flat race on Roger That over a five horse field and Ellie Nickel won the Large Pony Flat race over a five horse field.
Teddy Davies on Count Chocula won the JFMC, medium pony section, over a six horse field, Colin Smith on Balls to the Walls won the JFMC, large pony, over a field of two, and Theo Sushko on Rocky's Affair won the first section of the JFMC, Horse section over a five horse field..
The Amateur Flat was won by Suzanne Stettinius on Broad Reach, owned by Jennifer Pitts and trained by Jazz Napravnik.
Marko Milojevic rode owner/trainer Jacqueline Savoye's Major Anthem to win the first section of the Training Flat, and Archie MacCauley rode Ballybristol Farm LLC's Andi'amo (Fr), trained by Leslie Young, to win the second section.