December 2013 Issue - page 10

Page 10
December 2013
Pennsylvania Hunt Cup
by Marcella Peyre-Ferry
From a large starting field
that was thinned by falls, Kieran
Norris piloted Merrifield Farm’s
Foyle to a win in the 79th running
of the $35,000 Pennsylvania Hunt
Cup, held Sunday, November 3 in
Unionville, PA.
This was the first PA Hunt
Cup win for Norris, who took
Foyle to the front early and
stayed there while the timber
fences took their toll on eight
entries of the 12 horse field
that either fell, lost a rider or
were pulled. “I could hear it.
I wasn’t looking back. I can
see who’s sinking tomorrow
in the papers,” Norris said. “It
was always in the back of my
mind (to go out front). I thought
they might go a bit faster, but
there was no pace in the race. I
decided my jump was so good I
would go for it.”
Norris finished the four mile
course in a time of 8:55 followed
by Darren Nagle on Delta Park,
Sean Flanagan on Hot Rize, and
Mark Beecher on More Fascina-
tion. The first time Norris rode
Foyle, he took him to a win in
the Virginia Gold Cup. “He’s a
fantastic horse,” he said. “He’s
a brilliant jumper. He could go
four and a half and I think he
could go shorter too. He’s very
Ledyard Timber
Race Split
There were originally just
three timber races and a flat race
on the day’s card, but the Lewis
C Ledyard Maiden Timber Race
was oversubscribed and ended up
being run in two divisions.
The first division was won
by Snow Secret Gin, owned by
Walden 4 Inc, ridden by Vincent
Chenet and trained by Franck
Mourier. Chenet was in from
France to ride and flew back that
evening. He was not as fortunate
in the Arthur O. Choate, Jr. Me-
morial allowance race where he
fell with Self Made Man.
The second division of
the Maiden Timber was won
by Nat Grew, owned by Caves
Farm and ridden by Jody Petty.
Petty had Nat Grew so far ahead
during the race that he looked
like he was running alone most
of the time, finishing easily in
a time of 6:26 with more than
16 lengths to the second place
finisher. “We were settled in
behind but the guy in front of
us was too danged slow for us,
not for me, for him (the horse),”
Petty said. “At the downhill
fence Willie hit the
horse got enough daylight, he
was gone.”
The win had Petty excited
for the owners of the horse. Nat
Grew had been run over hurdles
a few times, but was such a nice
horse that he was sold to Howie
Wolfe of Caves Farm in Owings
Mills, MD as a show hunter. He
proved himself in the show ring
with major victories under the
name Petty Cash for rider Katie
Cooper. “He actually won the
Maryland Thoroughbred Classic
in September two years ago, then
he had a break,” Cooper said.
“He was too exuberant to be a
show horse. We hunted him, and
messed around with him for a
few hunt trials.”
Petty urged Wolfe to give
the horse a try over timber. In
his first timber race he finished
second by a half length. This
was his second time over timber.
“He’s a gritty horse. I’m not
surprised my heart’s pounding,”
Cooper said “Jody does a great
job with him. He’s a fantastic
Owner Howie Wolfe was
also thrilled by the win. “It’s very
exciting. It was a great run. If
you don’t get excited you should
crawl in a hole,” he said, unsur-
prised by the ease of the win.
“That’s the way he runs. The
question is, was he going to finish
as strong as he started out and the
answer is yes.”
Choate Memorial
In other action, winning the
Arthur O. Choate, Jr. Memorial
Allowance Timber was Wor-
ried Man, owned by Harold Via
and ridden by Paddy Young.
The pair was followed in sec-
ond place by Armata Stables’
Cornhusker, ridden by Mark
Beecher and Irvin S. Naylor’s
Almarmooq under James Slater
in third.
Rounding out the day was a
flat race, the Athenian Idol, won
by Address Unknown, owned
by Irvin S. Naylor and ridden by
Carol-Ann Sloan.
Foxchaser’s Races
The Hunt Cup also has a
card of Foxchaser’s Races for
junior riders. The small and
medium ponies raced together.
Taylor Leatherman won with
medium pony Splash, while
this year’s winner of the small
pony division was the only small
entry, Bailey with rider Elizabeth
Scully. “He’s really fit right now.
He was pulling out my arms. We
beat some of the mediums too,”
Scully said.
The large pony winner was
Jordan, ridden by 15-year-old
Erin Swope of Westminster, MD.
“I’ve been racing since I was nine
years old. I like jumping and go-
ing fast,” she said. Some of the
riders had to circle to stay behind
the field master before they were
released to race to the finish, but
Swope waited. “I just kind of
held her a little behind everybody
in case there was any trouble up
The junior horse race gave
placings to Thoroughbreds and
non-Thoroughbreds although
both divisions ran together.
Madeline Parisan of Rising Sun,
MD, on Lord Snowdon was the
Thoroughbred winner. “It was a
lot of fun. This was my first time
here. It was a really good experi-
ence,” Parisan said.
The non-Thoroughbred
winner was Amanda Howe of
Oxford on Something Special.
“He’s actually a Belgian Sadd-
lebred - he was a rescue,” Howe
said. “He’s been an eventer
forever and I decided to race
him here last year. Last year we
were third, this year we were
The Thoroughbred division of the Foxchaser’s Race for junior riders was won by first-timer,
Madeline Parisan, and her bay gelding Lord Snowdon.
All photos by Marcella Peyre-Ferry
Galloping far ahead of the pack, show-ring-hunter-turned-timber-racer Nat Grew and rider Jody
Petty won the Maiden Timber Race in the Thoroughbred’s second outing over timber.
Kieran Morris and Foyle launch over timber on their way to winning the 79th Pennsylvania Hunt
Cup in a race where two-thirds of the competitors either fell, lost a rider, or were pulled.
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