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Sunday, May 26, 2019

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Fylicia Barr on Galloway Sunrise wins Jersey Fresh 4* (2)

ALLENTOWN, Pa.--Riding a horse that she got as a feral, unbroken 2-year-old off a Craigslist ad for $500, Fylicia Barr of West Grove, Pa., won her first four-star victory at the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event in Allentown on Sunday, May 12.

Fylicia Barr on Galloway SunriseFylicia Barr on Galloway Sunrise on cross country (Photo by USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo)It was cold, rainy, and windy, but even the bad weather couldn’t keep Barr and Galloway Sunrise, an American warmblood mare by Duty Officer out of Coco Chanel from the win, despite having one rail down in show jumping.

“She’s a horse that struggles with tension in the dressage and I’ve really been focusing more this winter on the dressage and show jumping phases,” Barr said. “She came out on Friday and just put down one of the best tests she’s put down. She was relaxed, she was supple. She had a little bobble in the second medium trot, but other than that kept going straight through and even with that score it still kept us up in the rankings.”

“I was worried about her fitness coming in to cross-country because I didn’t go south this winter,” Barr said. “I felt she was fit enough but I don’t have a lot of experience at the level so you don’t know for sure until you’re through the finish flags. I knew after the first jump – she was game on the whole time, hunting the flags. It’s just a really cool experience to have a horse who knows their job so clearly.”

 

“WE'VE AWAYS struggled with the show jumping, but my eye was in and she was just jumping out of her skin for me. I’m really pleased with her. Despite the weather she came in and put in an almost foot-perfect show jump round.”

“She was the first horse I did my first Preliminary on. I brought her up from the ground up – I was the first person to ever sit on her back. It’s been a long time coming and I feel like all the pieces finally came together this weekend,” Barr saidd. “It’s really exciting.”

Barr was also the recipient of the USET National Open Challenge Trophy, awarded to highest-placed American in the CCI4*-L.
Arden Wildasin and Il Vici. USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Arden Wildasin from Connecticut on Il Vici climbed from 13th place after dressage to second place following their double clear cross-country round yesterday, and even a single rail today wasn’t enough to bump them out of second place.

“It’s been unbelievable,” Wildasin said. “Coming in today, that rail was unfortunately my fault – I have so much more to learn – I just didn’t have my balance together so I slid the reins, and he tried but it was just unfortunate, but he was amazing.”

Il Vici was the highest placed Thoroughbred in the CCI4*-L, and received the the TIP (Thoroughbred Incentive Program) award.

Meghan O’Donoghue from Illinois on Palm Crescent jumped all the way up the leaderboard from 14th after dressage to fourth following Saturday’s cross-country, finally finishing third place at the end of the weekend.

“He’s been jumping really well for me,” O’Donoghue said. “I was a little bummed to have the pole, but all in all it’s a long weekend so I’m not too upset and hopefully we’ll be better next time.”

With her eyes on Kentucky next spring, O’Donoghue said she plans to get the remaining qualifier she needs to compete either at Rebecca Farm over the summer or at Fair Hill in the fall.

 

BARR MAY have gotten kicked the first time she met “Sunny” as a feral, unbroken 2-year-old, but there was something about the mare’s fire that caught Barr’s eye.

“I’ve always been a fan of horses with a little fire in them,” Barr said.

Now, Barr is reaping the benefits of the patience and hard work it initially took to gain Sunny’s trust and respect.

“She’s knocked us down a few times, but we’ve always come back stronger,” Barr said. “She’s just got the biggest heart in the whole world. She has so much fire inside of her. She’s an absolute competitor and it’s really humbling to sit on a horse like that, that loves their job that much. It definitely wasn’t easy in the beginning, she made us work pretty hard for it, but I learned a lot from her and here we are now.”

“I knew I was sitting in fourth going into cross country, and she is usually pretty fast and clear across the cross-country – that’s usually where she shines – so I was hoping,” Barr said. “I came in, I looked at my watch, I saw we were clear and was just really happy to finish on our dressage score for the day.”

Will Coleman on Off the RecordWill Coleman on Off the Record (Photo by USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo)In the CCI4*-S, Will Coleman of Gordonsville, Va., on Off the Record jumped clean both in show jumping and on cross-country, picking up 4.8 time penalties to rise from fourth place to win.

His other two rides, Don Dante and TKS Cooley, finished in seventh and eighth, respectively.

“I thought all three horses jumped really well," said Coleman. "This morning in the show jumping, Chris Barnard builds a great track and I couldn’t really ask them to jump any better – they were all in good form. And then the cross-country today, they went well. Off the Record is getting really experienced now at that level and he made really light work of it. It felt really good. We’re aiming him for Tattersalls in Ireland in a couple of weeks so he’ll be making the trip over there. I think he felt ready to do it so hopefully that will go well. The other two are greener – they’re very quality but this is only their second Advanced so I thought it was a good enough test without being too much. They both finished like four-star horses.”

In the CCI3*S, when overnight leaders Boyd Martin of Cochranville, Pa., on Luke 140 came in 13 seconds over the time, he left the door open for Dana Cooke of Mooresville, N.C., and FE Mississippi to win, if they could come home inside the time.

With only one second of leeway, it was up to Cooke to make the time over a course where only five of 55 riders came in under the optimum time.

“I wasn’t really planning to go for time,” Cooke said. “They were announcing right before we were going that if myself or Mia Farley made the time we could beat Boyd. I tried to ignore that because I didn’t want to make a stupid mistake, but actually my mare is better if I ride her forward and a little faster because I don’t have to pull.”

As Martin said after his winning dressage test on Luke 140, he had no intention of actively trying to make the time cross country.

His partnership with Luke 140 is still brand new, having only completed one Training and one Preliminary event before tackling the CCI3*-S at Jersey.

“I went out with the intention of just trying to get to know him a bit and give him a good ride around,” Martin said. “He was good – he’s everything you dream of in a horse. He’s a very sharp, scopey jumper; he’s got speed and agility; he’s nippy; and he’s a little bit too feisty, which I quite like in a horse . . . he could be a really really exciting horse for me in the future.”

Martin plans to continue to build a partnership with Luke this year at the Intermediate/three-star level with the goal of running for time at the Fair Hill International CCI3*

 

Jack Fisher wins four at Iroquois including G1 Stakes with Scorpiancer (2)

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Jack Fisher had been in a bit of a rut - training three winners at steeplechase meets for three weeks in a row at Middleburg, the Queens Cup and the Gold Cup.

Most trainers would be delighted to be in that rut, but not Fisher - so he broke out of that rut at Iroquois on May 11 by saddling FOUR winners including last year's Eclipse Award winner Scorpiancer to win the $150,000 G1 Calvin Houghland Iroquois Hurdle Stakes.

Scorpiancer left Surprising Soul last jump Iroquois 2Scorpiancer, left, and Surprising Soul at the last jump in the  Iroquois Stakes (Photo by Tod Marks)Fisher's huge lead in Trainer, Races Won now stands at 17, and Jonathan Sheppard, with two wins at Iroquois, now holds second alone with seven wins.

Bruton Street-US' Scorpiancer, ridden by Sean McDermott, won the 3 mile Calvin Houghland for the second year in a row, but this year he really had to fight for it,

Wendy Hendriks' Surprising Soul, trained by her son Ricky and ridden by Ross Geraghty, battled valiantly through the stretch but was finally edged out by Scorpaincer, who won by a length in 5:43:3/5.

"I was delighted with Surprising Soul," said Ricky Hendriks. "He ran really well. He'll have the summer off now."

"Scorpiancer bowed after last year's race, but not badly," said Fisher. "We had him back ready to run in the fall, but the vets said to wait a while."

The Iroquois was Scorpiancer's second race since winning in Nashville last spring, as he had run in the Temple Gwathmey at Middleburg on April 20, where he was pulled up before the finish.

 

"WHEN HE ran at Middleburg, I didn't expect him to win, but I did expect him to finish," said Fisher. He said his not finishing was a disappointment.

"He'll have the summer off and then run probably at Belmont (in the Lonesome Glory)," said Fisher.

Fisher's mother, Mrs. John R. S. (Dolly) Fisher's Schoodic, ridden by Hadden Frost, won the $25,000 Mason Houghland Memorial Timber Stakes at 3 miles by 16 3/4 lengths in 6:42 over Ballybristol Farm's Mercoeur, trained by Leslie Young and ridden by Jack Doyle.

Fisher said that Schoodic had been a nice enough hurdle horse but not a super star, so they had decided to switch him to timber.

Previously campaigned by his breeder, Edith R. Dixon, Scoodic had run in hurdle stakes, winning three times, first in a novice stakes at Saratoga in 2014, then at Radnor in 2016 and at Great Meadow in 2017, but usually running mid-pack.

Bought this year by Mrs. Fisher and switched to timber, Schoodic won his first start at My Lady's Manor in the John Rush Maiden Special Weight and now has won his second start, this in a stakes at Iroquois.

"The strategy was to get him galloping and jumping," said Frost. "I spoke to the people who rode him as a 2-year-old, and they said when you're on the way out to the field he asks, `How fast do you want me to go.' Jack said he's been hunting him this past winter, and he was carried along. I'm please for everyone, especially Schoodic, as he likes to win."

Riverdee Stable's City Dreamer (Ire), ridden by McDermott, won the $100,000 Marcellus Frost  Champion Hurdle, a novice hurdle stakes at 2 1/4 miles, by a neck in 4:23 over Help from Heaven, trained by Kate Dalton.

"That was a surprise to me," said Fisher. "I thought he'd finish fifth or sixth."

"He was flying at the end," said McDermott. "I rode him at Queen's Cup. Then I had him out a few times to teach him to relax. Jack's horses are very fit."

Fisher has 30 horses in his barn, almost all of which win with great regularity.

Fisher's fourth win was in the $35,000 Bright Hour Ratings Handicap hurdle at 3 miles with Bruton Street-US' Lord Justice (Ire), ridden by Mike Mitchell, who won by 4 lengths in 5:50:3/5 over Rosbrian Farm's Stooshie.

Fisher said that Lord Justice had had a breathing problem, but they couldn't figure out exactly what it was, so they gave him last fall off.

"When he came back this spring at the Queens Cup he went to the front, and he didn't like it," said Fisher. "We let him drop back in this race."

 

SHEPPARD trained the winner of the first race on the card, the $50,000, 2 1/4 mile Green Pastures Allowance Hurdle, Sportswear (GB), who was ridden by Gerard Galligan to a 1/2 length victory in 4:18 over Whitman's Poetry, trained by Fisher.

As Sheppard was not at the races, out with a bad cold, assistant trainer Keri Brion saddled Sportswear, who is by Frankel, a top hurdle sire who stands in England..

Sportswear had been running unsuccessfully on the flat and was in the 2018 Keeneland November sale, where he was sold for $30,000.

"Joe Miller picked him out for us," said Brion. "A couple of others bid on  him, but we got him, and now he's had two back-to-back wins."

"His breeding is top class," said Galligan. "I've ridden him twice and won twice, and I haven't given him a tap of the stick yet. He's a good jumper."

Sheppard's own Wigwam Baby, ridden by Aaron Sinnott, won the 2 1/4 mile, $50,000 Margaret Vurrey Henley Filly & Mare Hurdle Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths in 4:23:4/5 over Down Royal, trained by Dalton.

"I rode her at Camden against the boys, and she was fourth," said Sinnott. "She was pretty impressive today."

"The weather plays a past," said Brion. "She loves this going. She looked a winner all the way. She was in Camden with our new trainer, and he did a great job of getting her ready."

 

GEORGE MAHONEY'S Rosbrian Farm owns Markhan, the winner of the George & John Sloan Sport of Kings Maiden Hurdle, trained by Gordon Elliot and ridden by England's leading jockey, David Russell.

Markhan won by 4 1/2 lengths in 4:20:3/5 over Snap Decision, trained by Fisher.

"Gordon Elliot has been a close friend and trainer for me for 15 years," said Mahoney. "He's been very helpful in finding nice horses for me. I bought this horse with the Half Married Syndicate, and they're going to stay partners with me until the end of the year. We had such fun together here."

"Gordon brought him over from England for me along with Stooshie, who was second in the handicap," said Mahoney. "They're both going to Ricky (Hendriks) now,"

"I'm very blessed to have Gordon to help me, to push me in the right direction, and to have Ricky here," said Mahoney. "It takes a team to be successful."

"I have the two from Gordon now," said Hendrks the following day at Willowdale. "They're very nice horses, so I'm excited to have them."

 

 

 

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Historic Coaching Division to Return to Devon Horse Show and Country Fair (2)

DEVON, Pa.--The competitive sport of coaching, a time-honored Devon Horse Show and Country Fair tradition, allows spectators a unique glimpse into 19th century life.

Devon four in handMisdee Wrigley Miller won the Four-in-Hand Coaching championship last year at the Devon Horse Show.As one of the few venues where competitive coaching can be seen, Devon's coaching division is open to entries driven to authentic road coach or park drag.

Held in honor of Robert A. Weaver and John M. Seabrook, this division reminds us to reflect on the beauty and versatility of our equine athletes.

On Sunday, May 26, spectators can enjoy the grand Carriage Marathon down neighborhood streets, a parade of vintage vehicles on their way from St. David's Church to the famed Dixon Oval.

Terry Pickett from Metamora, Mich., will judge the horse division, while Kali Knickerbocker-Maher from Pittsford, N.Y., will judge the ponies.

"For the community to come out and see the horses go along the route is a lot of fun, there is so much energy in the street," said Wayne W. Grafton, chairman of the board for the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair. "Carriages will make their way down the stretch of road in two sections: the horse division first followed by the pony, light commercial and farmers divisions."

 

PINNING FOR the best turnout and presentation of awards will take place in the historic Dixon Oval.

Each exhibitor in the Carriage Marathon will receive a bronze plaque and six ribbons will be awarded in each division.

The Coaching Championship will take place on Friday, May 31, in the Dixon Oval, and the trophy and champion ribbon will go to the coach having won the greatest number of points throughout their five days for the division.

Pickett will judge the coaching division and competitors will be judged on a variety of factors, including performance, manners, presentation and appointments.

In coaching, the road coach is traditionally a more durable vehicle used for public transportation on a scheduled route.

This is different than the park drag, which is the lighter and more elegant version of the former and was a private driven vehicle with seats on top.

Coaching competitors will be individually scored on the driver's skill and turnout, the combination of the coach, horses, appointments and the harness.

In two of the classes, the skills portion will be objective, judged on time and the driver's ability to navigate the course of cones with the fewest knockdowns.

Turnout is subjective and variables include quality of turnout and horses, matching of the harness to the horses, groom's livery, carriage lights, boots, safety equipment and more.

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is the longest running and largest outdoor multi-breed competition in the United States.

With the grandeur of Philadelphia's prestigious Main Line setting the stage, the event features a world-class field that annually ranks among the most prominent internationally.

The event also includes the country fair that offers world-class shopping, rides and games for kids, multiple dining options and special entertainment events.

For more information, please visit www.DevonHorseShow.net.

McLain Ward wins at Old Salem on an exciting new mare (2)

NORTH SALEM, N.Y.--U.S. Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward of Brewster, N.Y., rode Noche de Ronda, a new and promising mare in his string, to win the $10,000 Old Salem Farm Speed Stake CSI3* on Wednesday, May 15, at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows.

McLain Ward on Noche de RondaMcLain Ward on Noche de Ronda (Photo by The Book LLC)In the hunter ranks, Playmaker, ridden by Hannah Isop and owned by JT Farm, was named Grand Hunter Champion during World Champion Hunter Rider Week.

The speed of 30 horses was tested over tracks designed by Ken Krome with 11 finishing clear over the fences.

Ward’s time of 64.24 seconds was more than a full second faster than his student Adrienne Sternlicht, who finished the runner-up in 65.37 seconds riding Pembroke, owned by Starlight Farms.

“Maarten Huygens found this horse for me and we purchased her during the winter season in Florida,” said Ward of the 10-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Ward, Bob Russell and Marilla van Beuren. “Marilla is a lifelong horsewoman and dear friend of my family who really wanted to own a nice grand prix horse.

 

“THE MARE is still not fully developed, but we are bringing her along and Manuel Lecuona of Mexico did a very nice job producing her and jumped her up to the 1.45m grand prix level,” said Ward, 43. “She’s a huge jumper and I think she can jump anything, so I have high hopes for her to be a very successful grand prix horse. Today, I was really thinking about teaching her to turn and move along. She has a big stride and the distances were just showing up nice.”

Ward hails just down the road from Old Salem Farm and has experienced much success at the venue, but also considers it a cherished part of the local community.

“Old Salem Farm is a spectacular property and the Hakim Family has done a wonderful job developing it to what it once was and much more,” he said. “To have something like this right down the road is particularly special for me and this area.”

Rounding out the top three in the first international event of the week, Natalie Dean rode Don’s Diamant to a time of 65.48 seconds. Georgina Bloomberg, whose own Gotham North is based in North Salem, was fourth on Quibelle in 66.73 seconds, while Lauren Tisbo finished fifth on Casco 11 in 66.99 seconds.

 

AFTER SUPERB catch rides from Hannah Isop of Pawling, N.Y., Playmaker, owned by JT Farm based in South Salem, received the Grand Hunter Champion title during the stiff competition of World Championship Hunter Rider Week at Old Salem Farm.

“I got a very lucky phone call from owner Ellen Toon this week!” said Isop, who had not sat on the horse before the start of this week’s horse show. “He’s an impressive horse so I wasn’t surprised at all with his results. His jump gives you a great feeling, but he is very straight forward and I was happy to be able to go in and give him a nice ride and let him show off.”

An injury at the end of the 2017 season sidelined Playmaker for a year, but he made his return to the show ring this spring and is back on top.

The 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Cassini swept the over fences classes in the 3’3” Performance Hunter Division to earn Grand Hunter honors and will compete in the 3’3” Amateur-Owner 36 & Over Division later in the week with Toon riding.

“We brought him back slowly and spent a lot of time on the flat to make sure he was comfortable,” said Toon of the horse’s recovery. “Hannah was fabulous with him this week and my husband Jimmy has done an amazing job bringing him back.

“I am really excited because he is a super nice horse and a beautiful jumper,” continued Toon. “He comes into the ring and catches your eye from the start.”

From Wednesday’s professional hunter divisions, the $5,000 Voltaire Designs Leading Hunter Rider title was won by Holly Orlando.

The 2019 Devon Horse Show & Country Fair Returns May 23 With Special Events Sure to Please the Entire Family (2)

DEVON, Pa.--The Main Line is gearing up for another spectacular start to summer with the 2019 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair.

Devon fai merry go roundDevon fair merry go roundThis annual treasured tradition has benefitted Bryn Mawr Hospital for the past 100 years, with completion of a five-year $2 million pledge bringing the total donation to the hospital on behalf of the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair to more than $18 million.

Complete schedules for the numerous equestrian and Country Fair events as well as ticket, raffle, and vendor information can be found on the Show’s website: www.devonhorseshow.net.

From the exceptional equestrian competition to the ever-popular Ladies Day, event highlights for the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, which runs Thursday, May 23 through Sunday, June 2, include:

▪ Thursday, May 23: Community Night, Alumni Night, Dog Show
The Show kicks off with free admission and free parking after 5PM.

Wear your spirit wear and help support local high school booster clubs promoting Conestoga High School’s football, baseball and rugby teams. Clydesdale Corner becomes Alumni Corner, welcoming all local high school grads with fun activities and special themed drinks and food specials.

 

THE DEVON DERBY is also hosting a special raffle for all those purchasing a raffle book ($10) during the evening.

The 3rd Annual Dog Show presented by What a Good Dog in the Dixon Oval will feature a crowd-pleasing exhibition and four classes: Walk-Trot with Me, Jumpers, Tricks, and Lead Line Costume Parade. New this year are the Halo Awards, honoring dogs who provide service. Owners are invited to nominate their dogs to be professionally judged in three categories. Winners will be recognized during the Tribute to Heroes event on Memorial Day, May 27
▪ Friday, May 24: Border Collies, Sheep, and Ducks
Don’t miss this crowd-pleasing demonstration featuring border collies, sheep, and ducks.

▪ NEW! Saturday, May 25: Children’s Tea Party, Radnor Hunt Foxhounds
Bring the littlest ones to watch the adorable leadline classes and pony hunt teams. Children 12 and under are cordially invited to our inaugural Children’s Tea Party, to be held from 11:30 am-1pm. Come in your finest for tea and goodies, plus an English tea cup and plush as souvenirs. Limited to 40 guests.

In the evening, don’t miss the Radnor Hunt Foxhounds, when horse and rider will elegantly parade with a lively pack of hounds.

▪ Sunday, May 26: Pony Steeplechase, $50,000 Arena Eventing Class
Enjoy the fast-paced pony steeplechase in the afternoon followed by the excitement of eventing in the evening.

Devon Chris Talley Sandros Star Chris Talley on Sandros Star won Arena Eventing in 2018Beginning at 7 p.m., elite horse and rider pairs will navigate 15 standard cross country jumps and 10 show jumps over an impressive 1,000-meter course designed by Olympic gold medalist Mark Phillips held in the Dixon Oval and the Wheeler Ring. Reserved tables including upscale food and a full open bar provide a unique view of this event with Phillips himself for a special insider’s view. Tickets are available online (but sell out fast). Reserved tables can be purchased on website.

▪ Monday, May 27: Tribute to Heroes
Military personnel, First Responders, and their families enjoy free admission and special seating thanks to Patriot Chevrolet Buick GMC Dealerships. A special tribute to our heroes starts at 6:30 p.m., with the winning Halo Award dog recipients honored as well.

▪ Tuesday, May 28: Family Day
The Country Fair offers special discounts on food, midway rides, and souvenirs. Take a peek behind the scenes with free Back-Barn Tours from 3-6 p.m.

▪ Wednesday, May 29: Ladies Day
Devon hatAn annual favorite, ladies are invited to gather in their best hats to enjoy this year’s theme - An Enchanted Garden. Festivities run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and include live music, raffle prizes, an elegant cocktail reception, and beautiful gift bags. Returning this year is celebrity style expert Carson Kressley who will join other local celebrity judges for the Hat Day Contest. NEW THIS YEAR – Stay tuned to the website for an upcoming announcement of fabulous lunch and VIP opportunities!

All ladies donning elegant hats receive free general admission to show grounds until 1 p.m. Tickets and details will be on the website in early April.

▪ Thursday, May 30: Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon
This FEI event features the highest caliber of riders including many Olympians competing for a $250,000 purse. Tickets are $75 each and sell out fast so reserve your seats now for this not-to-be-missed event. See ticket info below.

▪ Sunday, June 2: Family Day/Devon Plant Sale
Bring your children to the Country Fair for musical entertainment and special activities – including the Itty-Bitty Hat parade led by an area drum corps. After the last horse show event, the popular Devon Plant Sale takes place inside the Main Gate, where plants from the show and fair are available at drastically reduced prices. .

Beginning April 1, tickets to the Devon Horse Show & Country Fair can be purchased in one of the following ways: online at Devon Horse Show Tickets, by phone at (610) 688-2554, or in person on the first floor of the Devon Club, located on the corner of Dorset and Berkley roads. The ticket office in the Devon Club is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Access the 2019 ticket information mailer here.

To reserve group tickets or for Eventing or Grand Prix events, contact Vicki McCue, Development and Sponsorship at (610) 964-0550 x210 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Many ticket options are available including an all-performance package, offering the best value for true horse show enthusiasts. Reserved parking for the 11-day event also available online.

Mark Beecher rides one and trains one to wins at Willowdale Steeplechase (2)

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa.--Mark Beecher rode Just Wait and See, owned by Kinross Farm and trained by Richard Valentine, to win the featured $35,000 Willowdale Steeplechase Timber Stakes on Sunday, May 12.

Just Wait and See leads field over water jump in Willowdale 3Just Wait and See leads the field over the  water jump at Willowdale (Photo by Tod Marks)Beecher also saddle David Bell Jr.'s Artic North, ridden by Sean McDermott, to win the $15,000 Maiden Claiming Hurdle.

Jonathan Sheppard also trained a winner at Willowdale, as well as two at Iroquois the day before to move into second in Trainer, Races Won with seven wins, but still far behind Jack Fisher, who has 17 wins.

It was a cold, rainy and very windy day, with the temperature at 47 degrees feeling more like the 30s with the rain and wind, but despite that there was a good crowd in attendance and very few scratches in the races.

"I've been to point-to-points and races in England and Ireland and all over here, and this is the worst I've ever seen," said George Mahoney, whose Rosbrian Farm had one horse running at Willowdale.

Just Wait and See went to the front in the 3 1/2 mile timber stakes and was never threatened, winning by 6 lengths over Bruton Street-US' Lemony Bay, trained by Fisher and ridden by Hadden Frost from a field of seven in 8:13:4/5.

"Richard has asked me to ride this horse before," said Beecher, who was on Just Wait and See for the first time. "He was second in the Steeplethon at the Gold Cup, and I saw Richard as he was coming back from the race. I told Richard that if Just Wait and See came out of that race good that he should run him at Willowdale. Then I got a phone call later saying he was entered and would I ride him."

 

"HE WAS GETTING 10 pounds here, and he's a good jumper," said Beecher. The timber course at Willowdale includes brush fences and a brush water jump as well as the natural timber fences. "He's an Irish-bred, so he's probably run in the wet before."

"The rain falling keeps the ground loose," said Beecher of the going which was soaking wet with puddles but at least not too holding.

Artic North won the Maiden Claiming by a neck over Sharon Sheppard's Mr. Fine Threads, trained by William Santoro and ridden by Graham Watters in 5:00 from a field of 10.

"He's a nice horse," said Beecher. "He ran on the flat and won over $300,000. I've had him for three months. He transitioned from the flat very well for me. He was third in a point-to-point before this. This is great for his owner. He's our farrier, and this is his first win under rules."

Sheppard's win at Willowdale came with Lead Investor in the featured hurdle race, the $20,000 Rose Tree Cup Conditioned Claiming race that drew a field of five.

Taking The Lead Stable's Lead Investor was saddled by Keri Brion as Sheppard was suffering from a bad cold.

Ridden by Tom Garner, Lead Investor won by 7 1/4 lengths in 4:54 over Irv Naylor's Ocean Ready, trained by Cyril Murphy and ridden by Watters with Ebullience, also trained by Sheppard and owned by Riverdee Stable, third.

"He just keeps getting better and better," said Brion. "Aaron Sinnott rode him at Foxfield, where he won, but Aaron got concussed yesterday, so we got Tom Garner to ride. Aaron coached him. Lead Investor is a trier, he tries hard all the time."

"I am the single Taking The Lead owner," said Heather Gregorek, who used to work for Sheppard. "I always tell people he doesn't like me. He likes Irish men. I've had him for three years."

"We got him at Penn National," said Brion. "He was free. He was so lame we couldn't even see him move. Heather gave him some time off. We ran him at Charleston last fall, and then fox hunted him through the winter, He came back better."

"You can't knock that little horse," said Gregorek.

Indigo Heart, owned by Ricky Hendriks' Morningstar Farm, trained by Hendriks and ridden by Paul O'Neill, won the first race, the $10,000 Liam Magee Apprentice Rider Allowance, which was the first of three 2 1/4 mile hurdle races which were followed by three timber races, the last two at 3 miles..

"I bought this horse from Arch Kingsley last summer," said Hendriks. "He's been great to me. He won at Fair Hill Point-to-Point with Eve (Ledyard) riding, and he won the featured race at Aiken, so he's now won two sanctioned races."

"He's been a delight," said Hendriks. "He got a beautiful ride from Paul."

Indigo Heart won by 3 1/4 lengths in 4:48:3/5 over Soluble (Ger), owned and trained by Kathy Neilson and ridden by her daughter Skylar McKenna, in a field of seven.

Neilson also trains Awesome Adrian, owned by Nancy A. Reed and ridden by  Eddie Keating, who won the $15,000 Landhope Cup Maiden Timber.

Awesome Adrian won by 17 1/4 lengths in 6:27:3/5 over Colt Lightning (Ire), owned by Bruton Street-Us, trained by Todd Wyatt and ridden by O'Neill from a field of nine.

"Adrian won at Cheshire Point-to-Point," said Neilson. "He was bred by Nancy Reed."

Kiplin Hall's Katnap (r), trained by Dowling and ridden by Paul Cawley, won the Marshall W. Jenney Memorial Foxhunter's Chase Timber in a cake walk over a very spread out field of 10.

Katnap won by 43 3/4 lengths in 8:32:4/5 over Grand Manon, owned by Armata Stables, trained by Billy Meister and ridden by John Brophy, who had led for much of the race..

"George (Mahoney) talked me into buying this horse," said Jay Griswold, owner of Kiplin Hall.

"It wasn't easy to talk him into it," said Mahoney.

"Katnap came over here to run at Far Hills," said Griswold. "He had a pretty good record. He's run over the Aintree course. He's a lovely old horse."

 

 

 

 

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The Horse of Delaware Valley

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