December 2015 Issue - page 8

Page 8
December 2015
PENNSYLVANIA EQUESTRIAN
A leisurely gallop turned into a dramatic stretch run in the 81st running of the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup,
held November 1 in Unionville, PA. Irv Naylor’s Almarmooq, ridden by Gerard Galligan and trained by
Katherine Neilson, was the victor.
Photo by Marcella Peyre-Ferry
By Marcella Peyre-Ferry
The steeplechasing season
in Chester County wrapped up
for the year with a beautiful day
of racing at the 81st running of
the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, run
Sunday, Nov. 1 in Unionville.
Top honors in the $35,000
PA Hunt Cup went to Irvin S.
Naylor’s Almarmooq, trained by
Katherine Neilson and ridden to
the win by Gerard Galligan.
A field of six went to the
post for the four-mile race over
22 timber fences, but Darren
Nagle pulled up Schoolhouse
Woods after the first fence.
Kieran Norris on Renaissance
Stable’s Aero was left in the
lead going at a leisurely speed.
“There was no pace. The pace
setter was taken out of the race
so we just went on a leisurely
Irv Naylor’s Almarmooq Wins the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup by a Neck
gallop,” Galligan said after the
race.
Last year’s PA Hunt Cup
winner Delta Park was stalking
Aero for the first half of the race
until he lost rider Sean McDer-
mott about half way through
the race. “I stayed closer on the
second lap because everyone had
just so much left it would be a
sprint. Rather than make up the
ground on a sprint, it’s better to
be closer on the end,” Gillian
said.
The stretch run was dramat-
ic, with Almarmooq pulling out
the win by a neck in a time of
10:18:3/5. Running second was
Cornhusker with Mark Beecher
up and Aero in third.
“Cornhusker is a solid horse
in the divisions. It was a wide
open race. Aero’s a good horse.
We were just very lucky it was
our day today,” Galligan said.
“Kathy (Neilson) was confident.
Obviously it was a wide open
race, a very tough race it was, but
Kathy said the horse was in great
form.”
This year’s Hunt Cup card
included two other timber races
as well as a flat race and the
Pony Hunt Cup.
Ledyard Timber Race
The sanctioned races
began with the $15,000 Lewis
C. Ledyard Maiden Timber
Race. The winner, in a time of
6:47:2/5, was Leffingwell Lion,
owned and trained by Elizabeth
C. Korrell and ridden by Steve
Pateman. This was the first win
in America for Pateman, who
is from Australia where they
have racing over hurdles, but no
timber racing.
The pace was set for most
of the race by Annie Yeager on
Spectacular Squall, but when it
came to the stretch it was a three
horse battle between Leffingwell
Lion, Touchdowntony with
McLane Kendriks, and Kieran
Norris on Adios Diablo, with the
three finishing in that order just
heads apart.
“He’s a very good jumper,”
Pateman said after the race. “He
ran at Middleburg. He probably
appreciated the bigger fences
here. He went a lot better.”
The $20,000 Arthur O.
Choate Jr. Memorial Timber race
was won by Darren Nagle on
Grand Manan, an entry of Donald
Reuwer Jr., trained by William
Meister.
“That horse is a nice horse
and he’s green still. He doesn’t
even know what he’s doing
(Continued on page 12)
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