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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY, 60 ALEXANDRIA PIKE, WARRENTON, VA 20186

VOLUME XXII / NUMBER 6 • THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE VIRGINIA STEEPLECHASE ASSOCIATION • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

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SPORTING LIFE HIGHLIGHTS

Orange County Hunt Team Event Planned for October 30th

The Orange County Hunt Cross Country Team Event will be held Sunday, October 30th at Old Whitewood Farm near The Plains, with the popular Junior Hunter Championship. In 1987, the OCH Team Event, modeled after the English Team Chase, was created to offer an event with something for every level of foxhunter. The OCH Team Event features teams of three to four horses or ponies galloping over a rolling course of walls, coops, rails and hay bales in two main divisions: Limit Hunters and Genuine Hunters. Team prizes are awarded for ideal time, best turned out and best hunt team. A Genuine Hunter championship also is awarded. Call (540) 253-5356 for prize lists. Entries close Monday Oct. 24 by 6 p.m. ••••

tent outside Verizon Center. For the past two years the Washington International Horse Show has been working with the Caisson Platoon, whose primary focus is the burying of fallen soldiers. For more information and to order tickets, go to www.wihs.org. ••••

Annual Cleveland Bay Foxhunt Slated for Farnley Farm

National Sporting Library to Unveil Museum and Inaugural Exhibit

The National Sporting Library, originally founded in 1954 “to preserve and to share the art, literature and culture of horse and field sports” will soon be rededicated as the National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM). A state-of-the-art renovation and expansion of Vine Hill, an 1804 Federal manor house located on the library’s campus in Middleburg, Virginia, will house the library’s rapidly expanding permanent collection of fine paintings, sculpture, and objets d’art. The new museum will be completed in the fall of 2011, and visitors will be welcomed through the doors of this historic brick structure to view exhibitions in an inviting setting, very much like the houses for which these works of art were originally commissioned. Works by American, British, and Continental artists, such as Abraham Van Calraet, John Emms, Herbert Haseltine, Pierre Jules Mêne, Sir Alfred Munnings, John R. Skeaping, Edward Troye, and Franklin Brooke Voss will be on display. The museum’s new wing, a two-story gallery space, will be the venue for exhibitions of animal and sporting art developed by the curatorial staff and researched in the library’s extensive collection of 17,000 sporting books, periodicals, archives, and other media. NSLM’s staff will work with visiting scholars to offer fresh perspective to the accepted masterworks of the genre, and will seek to bring these works and many more that are as yet undiscovered to public view. Paintings and sculpture are currently being drawn from private collections, museums, and other institutions throughout the United States for Afield in America: 400 Years of Animal and Sporting Art, 1585 - 1985. This landmark exhibit, the first to be held in the new museum building, is designed to raise awareness of the importance of works of this genre as a reflection of American history and cultural life and will be on view from October 2011 through January 2012. For more information, go to www.nsl.org or call (540) 687-6542. ••••

Washington International Horse Show

Verizon Center, October 25 – 30 An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show brings top horses and riders from the U.S. and abroad, including Olympic champions, to the nation’s capital to compete for more than $415,000 in prize money and championship titles. About 500 horses participate in show jumping, hunters and equitation events during the six-day show. Entertaining exhibitions, community events and specialty shopping round out this familyfriendly show. WIHS is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. Two performances are held daily, except Sunday. Of special note is Barn Night on Thursday, October 27, when Verizon Center lights up with all the colorful barn-themed face painting in an effort to win contests and get recognized. On Saturday, October 29, Kids’ Day is front and center with free Hillary Dobbs competing on Udento pony riders, fun family activities, face painting and VDL at 2010 Washington more. It all happens from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in a International. Diana De Rosa photo.

Kathleen O’Keefe on Dudley, winner of the Theodora A. Randolph Field Hunter Championship of North America, October 2, 2011, Middleburg, VA, and Will O’Keefe.

COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: Janet Hitchen OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS: Liz Callar www.lizcallar.com John J. Carle II, ex-MFH Diana De Rosa Lauren R. Giannini Elisabeth Harpham Janet Hitchen 540-837-9846 janethitchenphotography.com Horsephotos.com Pat Ike Michael Johnson Keeneland photo Douglas Lees 540-270-1946 Douglaslees@comcast.net Mike McNally Jim Meads, U.K. 011-44-1686-420436 Karen Myers klmimages.com NYRA Betsy Burke Parker Debby Thomas VTA LAYOUT & DESIGN: Kate Houchin

Cleveland Bays gather for annual Cleveland Bay hunt. Liz Callar photo

North American Cleveland Bays will join the Blue Ridge Hunt for a Cleveland Bay Hunting Day at Farnley Farm, in White Post, Virginia, on Saturday, November 19. Hounds are scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. Farnley Farm was home to the late Alexander Mackay-Smith, a noted Cleveland Bay breeder and legendary Blue Ridge Hunt MFH, who played an influential role in the perpetuation of the Cleveland Bay breed in North America. A note of appreciation is extended to the Blue Ridge Hunt and Hetty Mackay-Smith Abeles for this generous opportunity to pay homage to part of the breed’s history. All Cleveland Bay owners and fanciers are invited to attend. A special $75 capping fee will apply on this day for Cleveland Bay owners and breeders. Anyone interested in further information about the breed or participation should contact Marcia Brody at midatlantic.cb@gmail.com. ••••

Foxhound Wins Two Best in Shows

The Hunt Country cluster of back-to-back dog shows in one location was held from September 29 through October 2, 2011 at historic Long Branch, Millwood, Virginia. On Friday, September 30, the Warrenton Kennel Club all breed show had a surprise ending. After considering the group winners, Judge Robert Vandiver picked the English Foxhound “GCH CH Sunup’s Parliament,” known more casually as Parley, Best in Show. The second event, also a Warrenton Kennel Club show, was held on Saturday, October 1, 2011. After winning Best in Show on Friday, Parley decided to do it again on Saturday. This time, Judge Donavan Thompson chose Parley Best in Show. Parley was handled both days by Linda Hylton. Folks are not sure when the last time, if ever, an English Foxhound won back-toback BIS, but it is an exceptional happening for AKC’s rarest breed. It is worth noting when a rare breed takes a Best in Show and, by AKC standards, they don’t get much rarer than the English Foxhound. The breed ranks dead last in AKC registrations with only 17 dogs registered in 2010. Congratulations to breeders Cornelia Dettmer, MD and Sue Whaley, and owners Mr. and Mrs. Craig Heile and Sue Whaley. Thanks to them all for keeping this great breed before the American public. Earlier in the week, on September 29, the English Foxhound Club of America National Specialty was also held at Long Branch and the Best in Breed was “Sunup’s Trademark” repeating his Best of Breed at the win at the Specialty in 2010. He is owned by Vince National Specialty Show Nicholson, bred by Sue Whaley, and handled by “Sunup’s Trademark.” Whitney Meeks. Janet Hitchen photo Regular subscription 6 issues $25.00, U.S.A. First Class subscription $35.00, Europe, Canada, etc. $45.00

is a bimonthly publication. Editorial and Advertising Address: 60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, VA 20186 For information and advertising rates, please call (540) 347-3141, fax (540) 347-7141 Space Deadline for the December/January issue is Nov. 15, 2011. Payment in full due with copy. Publisher: Marion Maggiolo Managing Editor: J. Harris Anderson Advertising: Mary Cox (540) 636-7688 Horse Country (540) 347-3141 Contributors: Aga; J. Harris Anderson; John J. Carle II, ex-MFH; Lauren R. Giannini; Jim Meads; Will O’Keefe; Clare Palmer; Betsy Burke Parker; Virginia Thoroughbred Association; Jenny Young Copyright 2011 In & Around Horse Country®. All Rights Reserved. Volume XXII, No. 6


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

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Rappahannock Hosts Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds

FOXHUNTING

“The Hill,” Boston, Virginia, September 25, 2011 By John J. Carle, II, Ex-MFH

Thornton Hill Jt. MFH Brett Jackson.

Rappahannock Huntsman Michael Brown.

Thornton Hill’s Marner and Vienne Yates.

Thornton Hill’s Suzy Reingold, ex-MFH (Plum Run Hounds).

Thornton Hill’s Sondra LeHew.

Rain was bucketing down at 5 a.m. on Sunday, September 25, casting a foggy veil of uncertainty over Rappahannock’s plans to host the Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds at Larry Levy’s “The Hill.” Less stalwart foxhunters would have cancelled, but the Brown boys’ resolve was solid steel and waterproof, as was that of the Rappahannock Hunt members, and their warm welcome reduced the rain to a persistent mist. A field of approximately 40, split among first, second and “fun” flights, ignored the weather, treating it as an adventure rather than an inconvenience. Huntsman Michael Brown brought a fit pack of 15½ couple of Crossbred hounds that, after waiting patiently for Oliver Brown, MFH, and his Joint Master, Gus Edwards, to welcome the eager throng, frolicked joyfully across the emerald green hayfield to the first covert. As A Rappahannock Hunt “Woolie.” hounds drew westward through hidden pockets of dense sanctuary, it became increasingly obvious that the rain had caused foxes to seek shelter elsewhere, either underground or under roof. Undaunted, hounds drew on, exploring every likely nook, swinging northward through the dense woods bordering “Longlea,” where the infamous “toilet jump” claimed its usual share of victims. Finally, after a long hour of frustration, hounds found a brace near the northern boundary of “The Hill.” 2½ couple got away ahead, but the lowering fog slowed their progress enough for Michael to rally most of his widely spread pack. They settled, unfortunately, on the fox that ran northeastward, as if bound for the Boston Post Office. In the fog, sound carried hardly at all, and all but first flight could only guess at what was happening. Hounds enjoyed a decent burst on this fox, but Rappahannock Jt. MFH Oliver Brown. their pilot knew well that he was

welcome in the adjoining subdivision and hounds were not, and he was soon rewarded with the sound of his pursuers being lifted. Hounds were stopped on a fresh fox that crossed Route 522. Drawing back through “The Hill,” hounds found the line of a fox that 20 minutes earlier had passed Host Larry Levy. close to the car followers, but out of sight of all but a sharp-eyed crow, who quietly remarked on his passage. The wet weather was not to this fellow’s liking, apparently, and he went soon to ground. Gathering his pack, Michael drew down to the usuallyproductive coverts along Devil’s Run, where the second fox of the original brace had nonchalantly sashayed an hour earlier. The pack drew in a huge uphill semi-circle, thoroughly hunting the dense woods and tangled CREP land, then southward to another long finger of woodland that slopes to Devil’s Run. Here they burst into joyous, high-pitched cry that echoed eerily through the steadily thickening fog, seeming to come from several places at once, then suddenly vanishing. The worsening conditions had hounds struggling, their progress of the fits-and-starts sort, but Hill Jt. MFH their resolve undiminished. After Thornton Jeff LeHew. 30 minutes of elusive doubling and circling proved unproductive, this crafty fox set his mark for another ZIP code southward and, when his line led into unpaneled land across Griffinsburg Road, Michael lifted his pack, ending a long, damp, demanding and often – for hounds and Huntsman – frustrating day. Although disappointed by scenting conditions, he was a huntsman justifiably proud of his pack’s performance and perseverance, as he led a wet, muddied and bedraggled field back to the ribald camaraderie of a welcome tailgate. We’ll do it again soon, hopefully under more auspicious circumstances.

Jim Massie, THH; Gus Edwards, MFH, Rappahannock.


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AGA’S SAGAS

IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

Mighty Hunter vs. Mighty Mouth

Not only do I advise Marion on how to run Horse Country, I maintain her yard. You might think that removing lawn cuttings and other debris, fetching sticks and such is the most important part of maintenance. Nope. It is keeping the property free of squatters. If I drop my tail down, let my eye stray from the ball, or fail to jump high enough for the Frisbee, the varmints will take over the land. As we all know, once you allow squatters in the yard, they think they own it. You see, my inherited abilities serve me well for the task for which I am charged. You all know or have read that I am a mighty hunter. I mesmerize noisy squirrels, stalk annoying birds, and flush intrusive rabbits from covert. I leap high in the air to snap bees and wasps. I peck and dance on my toes around slithering snakes. I bark away deer bent on eating our hosta. It’s my yard and I must protect it from squatters. Ye forget, lassie, that I am a mighty hunter, too. But my form of protection is more selective and methodical; I chase the frogs from the garden lights and the pool.

Oh! Bunsen. You do not chase frogs. When the frogs see you coming, they just sit still and you walk right by them.

’Tis nae true. I know the secret to frog-catching. Ye put your head up real close to the wee squatter, open your mouth wide, and when they forget ye are there, they foolishly jump right into your gob! Yuck! I hope you don’t chomp down on them. The thought is disgusting.

Nae, I just carry them gently to the fence and spit them out of the yard. Ye, my dear, expend excessive energy when ye chase a squirrel. Ye run all over the yard. Moreover, ye have that tight little banshee screech in the throat. Not only do I tire watching, I can nae stand the sound. My way is more‌well‌educated.

arriving daily and we are putting them on our e-commerce site, www.HorseCountryCarrot.com, as soon as they arrive. For all the hunters in our group, a new coffee table book, Chicks with Guns, has arrived at the store. We also have The Heirloom Tomato, another coffee table book. I do not eat tomatoes myself, but Bunsen does. All three books are enjoyable. Marion has been opening cartons of fall, winter, and holiday goodies. I’ve put in my order for a new Thermatex dog coat. The cashmere sweaters, scarves, and gloves are in the store. Barbour has begun shipping the fall/winter line of country clothing to us. Stop by and see the new gifts, holiday cards and ornaments, table accessories, and other delights we have ordered just for you this year. Extra special this season are the two new doormats and a rubber comfort pad we designed. Marion just approved the samples. We sold out of the two mats we did a year ago. And, of course, I’ll be working hard testing out the mats, giving them my stamp of approval, ye might say.

As the cubbing season opened, we’ve enjoyed seeing everyone eager to put on his or her new tweeds. On Facebook, I let everyone know there is an extra weekend in October; five Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays this month. Marion has ordered a special treat for guests at Horse Country those days. We are pouring Prosseco on Saturday and Monday, October 29 and 31. Enjoy the extra long weekend with Bunsen and me. We both like a bit of bubble water. Aye, lassie, it helps keep those splendid Highland pipes of mine in fine form. May I suggest an extra glass or two for your wee self?

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Educated?

Aye. Why waste all that good energy ridding the yard of varmints? And I am certainly not going to ruin the manly timbre of me fine Scottish pipes to screech after a fleeing animal.

Oh, Bunsen. It is the thrill of the chase and knowing I am the master of the yard. You would not understand. See, Marion is reading on the porch. She will be so pleased with me when I get up a rabbit and show her how I take care of the place. You can show her how you save the pool from frogs. Yessiree, I know there is a rabbit in the yard tonight. I can smell it. I’ll just sit under the Japanese maple and wait. Bunsen. Looky. There is one fat squatter over there. Iyeeee. Iyeeee. Yip, yip yip. I run like a mighty hunter after the rabbit. Off to the left, I am a mighty hunter; cut to the right, I am a mighty hunter; around the tree, I am a mighty hunter; along the fence line; I am a mighty‌ I am on the squatter. I have it in my mouth and I will just shake it silly. “AHHH! Aga! No! No! No! Let me have it. Give it here.â€? Jean has just walked into the yard and, surprisingly fast, grabs the quarry from my mouth. “Aga, what has gotten into you? Let the little thing go.â€? She takes the rabbit in her hands and walks across the yard to the tall grass field, drops it to the ground and walks to the house to say hello to Marion whose eyes never raised from the book. The rabbit, stunned, walks a few steps. Then, realizing it is free, starts to scamper‌right into Bunsen’s mouth. Educated, lassie.

[Editor’s note: This is a true story and Jean saved the rabbit yet again.]

When Marion did not raise her head as I chased the squatter all around the yard, I wondered what she was reading that had her so engrossed. Her mind was back in the ’50s reading the new book about the American show jumper Snowman and Harry Deleyer titled The Eighty Dollar Horse by Elizabeth Letts. New books are

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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

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Dick Francis’s Gamble

BOOK REVIEW

By Felix Francis

Reviewed by Lauren R. Giannini

Dick Francis’s Gamble by Felix Francis gets off with a bang literally and sustains the reader with its lively pace and clever plot from start to finish. We started the book after dark one evening and didn’t stop until we reached the final sentence of “Gamble” somewhere around 1:15-1:30 a.m. We devoured it: yes, it was that good. Essentially, former jockey Nicholas Foxton turns to the high-roller world of high finance after a bad crash at Cheltenham crushes his atlas vertebrae into the axis. Even though he heals, experts decree that one good bash to the cranium or neck could kill or paralyze him and British Jockey Club officials set him down for life to save his life, so to speak. After a second opinion upholds the BJC and scares him pretty badly, Nicholas does very well, being one to give it all he’s got rather than riding a conservative finish. His new life comes crashing down around his ears, however, when he witnesses the murder of fellow IFA (International Financial Advisor) Herb Novak at Aintree on Grand National day. What ensues is a wild race as Nicholas tries to keep ahead of Herb’s assassin, who melts into the crowd, pocketing gun and silencer. Staying out of gunshot range, however, proves to be a life-threatening challenge. The main plot of why Herb becomes the target for a professional hit man finds itself tangled up in Herb’s private financial affairs when Nicholas learns he has been named executor of the dead man’s estate. Why on earth does Herb have 20-plus credit cards? What sort of midnight oil did he burn visiting Internet gambling sites? What are those initials with money amounts carefully notated? What does Internet gambling have to do with a nonexistent factory and housing funded by the European Union? Why does Nicholas have suspicions about Patrick Lyall and Gregory Black, the founders of the firm where he works, well, make that past tense, seeing how he has fallen out of favor after being arrested for attempted murder… Gamble is the first novel openly written by Felix all on his own since the grand master of mystery passed away in February 2010. We are pleased to sing the praises of the son, who has come into his own with a distinct, yet very Francisy branded stamp on the genre made famous by his late, great father. We have always loved Dick’s protagonists and their first-person narratives that even today take you into their heads and into the thick of the action. Felix takes his readers into Nicholas’s man-cave and, without any warning, turns it inside out. His live-in girl friend of six years, Claudia, an artist, makes lots of phone calls to an unidentified number and disappears routinely for several hours, too often. Nicholas wonders if she’s found someone else even as he realizes how much he loves her. Finally being told that she has ovarian cancer. Nicholas holds Claudia’s hand, literally and figuratively, even while he’s running for his own life as a very business-like killer stalks him. Felix lays a great trail that keeps the reader engrossed, thereby concealing the grand denouement about the bad guy behind the murder and attempted murders, 100-million euro swindle of the European Union, and the threatening note found in Herb’s overcoat. Of course, we didn’t stop to ponder and piece together clues: that would have reduced the wild ride that we enjoyed to the nth degree. May Gamble thrill your mystery-loving spirit as sweetly as it did ours! We’re looking forward to the next solo effort by the legitimate (pun intended) heir of Dick Francis: may the master rest in peace when Mary and he aren’t whispering Muse-like inspirations in their son’s very worthy literary ear. We get the impression that the master of mystery was grinning up there in elysian pastures from the back of one of his favorite mounts, because his younger son Felix had not only picked up the baton, he had grown into a most worthy wordsmith, to boot. Available at Horse Country, 800-882-4868 or www.horsecountrycarrot.com. Hardback, dust jacket, 352 pages. $26.95.

A premier riding facility in the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Located in Rappahannock County, within hacking distance of the Thornton Hill Hounds. • Full Board/Field Board • Indoor & Outdoor Arenas • Endless Cross Country Trails • Clinics/Lessons • Training/Sales • Local Event Sponsor • An hour from 8 of Virginia’s finest fox hunts.

540-987-9778 268 Fletchers Mill, Woodville, VA Turkeyhillstables1@gmail.com

www.turkeyhillstables.com


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

6

THOROUGHBREDS

“…. It is the horse that makes us human.”

Prison Inmates, Thoroughbred Horses Form Symbiotic Bond Through Second Chances Program Anonymous

“Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are.”

By Betsy Burke Parker

Old English saying

James River Correctional Facility, State Farm, Virginia. Barn No. 4 - Jason Ross smiles while he works, the gap between his front teeth visible when his lips roll back in a little laugh. Taking a soft body brush from the box on the sawdust-covered stall floor, he swipes it with an expert swish across Kippy’s copper coat. She shines like a new penny. The mare stops shaking her head for a split-second – she’s annoyed to be inside the barn on a crisp fall day. For now she acquiesces to the pampering. Ross swaps out the brush for a rag, gently rubbing her face and neatening the thick forelock over her crooked white blaze. Kippy stares off in the middle distance. Her herdmates munch lush clover a hundred feet away, but she sighs at the pleasure of the good, old-fashioned strapping and appears to shrug, accepting the temporary confinement with good grace. With a huge black hand, Ross gives Kippy a pat. “Good girl,” he coos. Big man. Bigger horse. Friends. She rubs her head on his orange shirt. “We’re goin’ out soon, girl.” He pats her again and can’t help look at the top of the pasture hill. There, outside the neat three-board fence lining the mare’s paddock, razor wire and chain link ring the perimeter of this most unusual horse farm near Richmond. It’s then you realize, Ross’s simple statement packs real punch. An inmate at the Virginia Department of Corrections James River Facility for the past four years, Ross is about to be a free man. Jailed in 2007 for selling narcotics – pure, high-dollar cocaine to college kids around Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Ross has been inside for 48 months and 10½ days. Not that he’s counting. Like Kippy – formally Kippy’s Nancy – Ross is part of the Second Chances program connecting prison inmates and homeless retired racehorses. The innovative, symbiotic relationship stems from the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s outreach linking volunteerism and the horse community with the relentless needs of unwanted horses and society’s fringe. A lot of it’s about physical bonding, officials say, as much as about emotional and spiritual growth. Some stories of the inmates, human and equine, are heart-breaking, others wrenching. All of them smack of harsh reality.

Panoramic view of the James River pastures where retired Thoroughbreds enjoy life on the farm. Betsy Burke Parker photo.

you, though, when you talk to him is the softness in his voice when he talks about what he’s learned through the horse program, how earnest he is about his job in the Second Chances stable. “I like workin’ here, with the horses,” he said, snapping a rope to Kippy’s halter. “I’ve learned a lot.” In many ways, he adds, he feels he’s “one of the lucky ones” at the prison, working with horses and learning a new way of handling life’s everyday dramas to set him up for his quickly approaching freedom. To get into the program – and to stay in – inmates have to stay clean, with no bad marks for poor behavior, late roll call or fighting in the cells. “I like being here, at the barn,” he said. “I take it seriously.” Ross put Kippy in the pasture and leans against the barn wall to talk. His dark eyes soften as he recalls the chain of events that landed him at this human processing plant. Brought up on the mean streets of north Philly, Ross was a good student through high school, making his mom, an elementary school teacher, proud with classwork, and his father, absent but supportive, proud of his ability on the basketball court as defensive guard. But it went downhill, Ross said, before he left Philly, getting worse when he moved to Blacksburg. He hoped to get into college, taking courses at a local community college in preparation, but he fell in with a bad crowd. Ross saw first-hand how easy it was to buy vials of coke around the train tracks, carefully counting and weighing. Reselling was no problem. He found a ready market around mainline Philly, a bigger one around the

What Happened – Jason

Everybody except his mama calls him by his last name, Ross. His mom calls him Jason. Her baby boy. Her firstborn. Ross says just about the most painful part about his 2007 arrest was his mom’s disappointment when he told her. Peddling coke carries a serious sentence in Virginia – five to 15. “I wasn’t usin’,” he said. “Well, smokin’ a little. But ….” He stops. He’s learned not to make excuses. “I got caught. I know what I did was wrong.” Jason Ross is 6’3”, a little over 200, at 27 an imposing man with the physique of an athlete. What strikes

Inmate James Ross with “Kippy's Nancy.” Betsy Burke Parker photo.

college town in Virginia. Ross was on the wrong track. Until one midnight. Nailed for possession, to lessen his sentence, one of Ross’s buyers ratted out the dealer. Ross thought he was just going to collect payment. He was surprised by a dozen pistol barrels aimed at his right temple, armed Montgomery County, Virginia, officers who’d staked out the darkened downtown property. “Yeah, I was scared,” Ross recalled. “I knew it was over. I’d done wrong and I got caught.” Ross fast-forwarded through the judicial system, finding himself at the James River facility in central Virginia, a low security but high-tech prison filled mostly with drug dealers, tax thieves and DUI offenders. For the first time since childhood, Ross’s routine was regimented, punctuated by mandatory roll call and seven days a week of hard labor. Inmates work on the grounds, in the kitchen cooking and preparing meals for some 450 incarcerated at the correctional facility like Ross did when he first arrived, to running the on-site dairy that provides fresh milk for Virginia’s 50 prisons. The prison, one of three in the neighborhood, is on the Virginia Department of Corrections’ 4,051 prime acres on both sides of the James River west of Richmond in Goochland and Powhatan counties. Work programs such as Second Chances allow prisoners to earn income – 45 cents an hour at the stable – to purchase hygiene and other commissary items. Work opportunities teach inmates employable skills and help them gain a work ethic, something many offenders didn’t have before being incarcerated. Some tasks provide on-the-job training in skilled work areas, such as in the printing or furniture shops operated by Virginia Correctional Enterprises. Others, like Second Chances or a dog training program for strays, benefit prisoners doubly, giving them real-life skills for animal care when they’re out, and providing an inimitable brand of “fuzz therapy” that TRF’s Anne Tucker feels is imperative to reclaiming a sense of humanity in an otherwise cold, cell-bound existence. “My goal in this process is to build a better network,” she said. “For the horses, it has to start at the track, before a horse runs ‘one too many times.’ For the men, it has to start here, building better relationships, learning a better way of living. I think, through the horses, we can build a better life for everybody.”


What Happened – Kippy

Born to regal lines, Kippy’s Nancy was born in Florida in 1997. Stakes-placed winning sire Kipper Kelly fathered record-holding sprinter Kelly Kip among others, and breeder Jerry Brunelle had high hopes his tiny chestnut foal would follow suit. Dam Queen Nancy, though unraced, carried the strong Damascus and Tom Fool blood. Kippy – as the small filly came to be known – started out at the top of the game, training and running in New York and New Jersey. When soundly beaten at the $25,000 maiden claiming level, first at Aqueduct then at Monmouth Park, Kippy was dropped to $20k at the Meadowlands, then to $15k at Boston’s Suffolk Downs. The filly finally broke her maiden at the rock bottom level, $5,000 maiden claimers at Suffolk, making her 24th start in 18 months. What Kippy’s Nancy lacked in sprint speed she made up for with durability, and for that, she was rewarded with a grinding schedule. She earned a few placings – second at Monmouth, third at Rockingham – so she was paying her way, sort of. But it was hell. Forty months, 60 starts, four owners, three trainers, three wins and $28,000 in earnings. Tough. When slogging in ninth in her final start – beat 20 lengths in a six-furlong bottom claimer at Suffolk – Kippy’s connections finally gave up, but her performance record hardly warranted sending her to the breeding shed. Not quiet enough to make a lead pony and not fancy enough to make a show horse, there were few options. Thoroughbred racing doesn’t have a Social Security plan. Champions and stakes horses are fine — retirement to the breeding shed, perhaps, others finding their way through an active network of sporthorse pros to second careers in the show ring, polo field or eventing circuit. But when a horse runs out of his conditions, or never earns her keep in the first place, many owners are eager to shed the expense of caring for them, a burden that can last 20 years or more. Few low-end racehorse owners have a back 40 where retirees can live out their years, Tucker explained, and not every horse is suited to a sport career, especially directly off the track. Most race trainers aren’t aware, or tapped into, the show network. It was for this reason the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation was created in 1982 to help house and, in some cases, rehabilitate, retrain and rehome retired racehorses. Second Chances started at the Wallkill Correctional Facility in upstate New York when the estate of philanthropist Paul Mellon, owner-breeder of Kentucky Derby winner Sea Hero and English Derby winner Mill Reef, endowed the program $5 million in 2000. James River opened their stable, built by inmate labor in a redesigned dairy barn, in 2007. For Kippy’s Nancy, it wasn’t a moment too soon. From Boston, she’d gone briefly to her last trainer’s farm, resurfacing a year later at Virginia’s Montpelier estate, home to Virginia’s first TRF retirement herd. She stayed there 2002-2007, but being relatively easy to handle, and sound, she was a prime candidate for retraining, and maybe rehoming, through Second Chances. She was one of the first horses to arrive at James River in 2007. “The horses are the best rehab I’ve seen. After a month, the men are completely attached to the animals,” said Polly Bauhan, herd manager and TRF board member. “They learn problem-solving skills through the horse work. Real-life stuff.” Horses, program farrier – and program graduate – Tamio Holmes said, “don’t give a damn” about the tough-guy image most inmates embrace. “I’ve been in prison a few times, but the horses are going to keep me out of here for good.” The first horse he cared for, Covert Action, won Holmes’ heart, the former inmate said. It was watching the farrier work on the horses that piqued his interest in the program he initially scoffed. Holmes remembers the

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day he traded a sneer for pure fascination of the art of the blacksmith. He watched, rapt, as a farrier hammered and shaped new shoes to put on a Second Chances horse. Holmes was hooked, signing up for the program that day. The horses “taught me that trust has to be earned through patience.”

Mutual Benefit

Working closely affects both man and beast, program organizers say, with inmates visibly changing as they develop the non-judgmental relationships with the horses, well-known to every little girl with a pony but otherwise foreign to a hardened criminal. “You can see them change, literally,” Tucker said. The horses, for their part, bloom with turnout and the more natural atmosphere of farm life as opposed to the racetrack, many becoming easier to handle and, some, through the riding program, develop good gaits and learn the basics of jumping so they’re readily adoptable to sport homes. Prisoners spend most mornings on routine farm chores and horse care – feeding, mucking, grooming, hotwalking after exercise (an exercise rider comes three days a week to work the horses), holding for the farrier and vet, pitching hay, unloading feed. Normal stuff on any horse farm around the world. Afternoons are spent in informal classes where they learn from horse professionals and volunteer instructors who teach everything from diet and physiology to evolution of the species and routine medical treatments. “I just did a section on horse nutrition,” Ross said, saying he learned about digestion of hard feed (in the foregut) and forage (in the hindgut.) “It makes a difference, the type of food and how the horse processes it.” For just a minute, Ross could be any C-level pony clubber in a quiz bee practice session instead of a hardened criminal doing time. “You have to be careful not to overload the foregut,” he said sagely, picking up a flake of hay to show the stemmy roughage he’s learned should be the base of any horse diet. Through Second Chances, inmates can qualify for the well-regarded Groom Elite program offered through the Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association (HBPA). Groom Elite grads are in demand at racetracks and farms, Tucker said, certification well worth the time spent in class. But the bigger benefit, she added, is far greater. “Having a horse rely on them for survival is the first time some of them realize they’re not the center of the universe.” The program has solved much of the recidivism rate, though at 28 percent, Virginia’s is already far lower than the national average of 40 percent. “We want it lower, still,” Bauhan said. According to TRF’s John Rainey, the rate for program grads is markedly lower, about 12 percent. For his part, Ross knows he won’t be back in jail. “Oh, yeah, I’ll miss these guys,” Ross flapped his hand, motioning towards Tucker working in the barn office, to Holmes in the center aisle tacking on a shoe. “And especially the horses.” He does not expect to stick with the horse business, having already gotten a job through a cousin with a moving company for when he gets out. “But I will definitely miss them.” “No knowledge is wasted in my book,” Tucker said. “[These guys] may not stay with horses, but they learn lessons about life while working here.” Former TRF president Robin Traywick Williams said she has been deeply touched by the program’s success, from the very beginning. “It was mid-August of 2007,” she recalled. “The first class of inmates had been selected and the first horses were due to ship in around Labor Day. Suddenly, it occurred to me [most of] these men had never seen a horse, other than maybe a police horse. “So I rode an old mare of ours over to Barn 4 for them to play with,” said Williams, whose farm is adjacent to the facility. “At that point, I’d been working on the project about 25 hours a day, and I was getting a lit-

Rider Jess Bowen takes retired TB She's Judge Garza, aka “Skittles,” through her paces in the ring. Every effort is made to retrain the horses for purposeful lives in new, caring homes. Debby Thomas photo.

tle grumpy. But I never will forget riding up to the barn and seeing those men, waiting out front like a kid waiting for Santa Claus. They swarmed all over that horse, laughing and asking questions, and all my grumpiness fell away. “You know, I thought, we’re not just saving horses, we’re saving people, too.” For more details on the James River program, log onto www.JamesRiverHorses.com.

Showcase Presents James River Program to Public

Approximately 200 people attended the Sept. 18 Adopt-A-Thoroughbred Day at the James River Chapter of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. A nonprofit organization providing lifetime care and adoption services for ex-racehorses, the program is housed at the James River Work Center, a minimumsecurity prison in the Virginia Department of Corrections system. The free event featured exhibitions of the chapter’s 27 horses, all registered Thoroughbreds under the care of the inmate handlers. Most are available for adoption, some are in various stages of re-training for sport homes. Among the attendees was Glenn Moody, the premier hunter course designer in Virginia. Through the innovative Second Chances program, TRF fosters a unique partnership exchanging JRWC land use for an equine care vocational training program for offenders. “We’re opening our barn doors to the public this one time during the year to give as many people as possible a first-hand look at what these courageous Thoroughbreds have to offer,” said TRF’s James River chapter board president Anne Tucker. “The day [gave] visitors an opportunity to learn more about our mission of rehabilitating horses and men through the nationally-acclaimed Second Chances program.” The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1982 with the mission of saving ex-racehorses from potential neglect, abuse, and exportation for slaughter. The TRF accomplishes its mission by providing ex-racehorses with lifetime care through rescue, rehabilitation, retraining, retirement, fostering, and adoption services. The program has 22 facilities in 13 states throughout the U.S. housing more than 1,100 ex-racehorses, many of whom are up for adoption. Eight prison facilities host Second Chances programs for the oldest and largest charity devoted to equine rescue. The Greener Pastures program through James River provides rehabilitation for Thoroughbreds and vocational training for inmate caretakers. Thirty-three men have been certified in the Groom Elite training program for horse care and stable management. – By Betsy Burke Parker


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Sandanona Puppy Show

PUPPY SHOW

Millbrook, New York, July 17, 2011 By John J. Carle, II, ex-MFH • Pat Ike photos

Jack Tinker with Tewksbury “Newport.”

Delaney Foxx and Champion Basset Sandanona “Banker.”

Colin Anderson and Wiley Sansberry from Old Chatham.

Judges Parker Thorne, MFH, Millbrook; Jake Carle, ex-MFH, Keswick.

ly balance and a The delightful cool champion’s panache. spell that gave welHe should light up come relief to the Beagle ring at Rappahannock Bryn Mawr for years County, Virginia, was to come. And happily ensconced in “Banker” took the Millbrook, New York Basset tricolor over as well, delivering “Absinthe” in a close ideal conditions for call. He is a very free the Sandanona Hare mover at this age, Hounds’ Puppy Show. and hopefully he’ll First stop was the retain his grace with “old” kennel at age. The Grand “Thorndale,” where Veterans – Hounds of Renown Class Champion of the Betsy Park, MB, MBH conducted a Basset Bitch, Sandanona “Roulette,” 2nd; Beagle Bitch, Sandanona “Promise,” 1st. Show was “Bluegill,” tour of the Beagles’ and Bassets’ cool, spacious com- with “Banker” proudly in Reserve. In the special class, “Veterans – Hounds of plex, where once were housed the Millbrook Harriers that my father, Ned Carle, had imported from England Renown,” the ring was full of hounds with impeccable for the original Oakleigh Thorne. At other times A. H. credentials, both in the field and “on the flags.” Hounds Higginson and Joseph B. Thomas kept their hounds here I’ve been thrilled by afield and judged on the boards – although Mr. Thomas was rather unflattering in his were everywhere, so ’twas like a family reunion. After a opinion of this lodging, calling it “too damp.” I was delightful sorting-out, Parker and I put the still-exquiluckier than Mr. Thomas’s pack, for I stayed in one of site, ancient Beagle bitch, Sandanona “Promise,” just the most fascinating houses imaginable, with hosts Judy ahead of Basset bitch Sandanona “Roulette.” These girls and David Sloan. What imagination and skill can do to show almost as well as they hunt and are blessed with a 1960s rambler is nearly mind-boggling. Architectural lovely dispositions. What a splendid way to end any show! Digest should come calling! The show was a delight, held at the kennel in the shade of a gnarled, veteran maple and caressed by a soft breeze. The happiest surprise was my co-judge, Parker Thorne, Joint Master of the Millbrook Foxhounds, who is, as well, a world-class wing-shot and rated polo player. And can she judge a hound! All the major shows will soon know her name. We had a full slate, too, with Beagles from Sandanona and Old Chatham and Bassets from Sandanona and New Jersey’s Tewksbury. Juniors show all the entries; and what an excellent job they all did, ever smiling and with endless patience. Sandanona gave notice immediately of things to come, as they leapt to the head of the first class with their dapper Beagle doghound, “Bluegill,” shown with veteran aplomb by Tucker Giles. Sandanona then took top honors in Basset Doghounds. Resplendent in her red-plaid sundress and flashing the winningest of smiles, Delaney Foss showed six-month-old “Banker” to his best advantage. Correct and a jaunty mover, Banker made his elders look awkward. Lisabeth Kelly guided Old Chatham “Bluebell” to the blue ribbon in a Beagle Bitch class that took some sharp looking. Thankfully, Parker has very sharp eyes…and a wit to match. Sandanona “Absinthe,” another very young hound, put the blue bauble in Ian Hogan’s hand and a grin on his face in Basset Bitches. It will be most interesting to watch “Absinthe” and “Banker” mature. In the Beagle Championship no one was “singin’ the blues” as young “Bluegill” and “Bluebell” floated Tucker Giles collects the Grand Champion ribbon for beagle, ’round the ring like butterflies born on the breeze. But Sandanona “Bluegill,” as Reserve Champion “Banker” looks on. “Bluegill” is truly exceptional, a “10” mover with love-


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PONY CLUB

Old Dominion Pony Club Visit and Talk at Kennels By Clare Palmer • Karen Myers photos

Clare Palmer and Ross Salter.

On the evening of August 26, over 30 children and adults arrived at the Old Dominion kennels. Greeting them were Gerald Keal, Huntsman; Ross Salter, 1st Whip; and Clare Palmer, the organizer of the evening’s event. Topics on the agenda included stable management, hunt etiquette, hunt attire and managing kennels. The presentation began at the stables, where the attendees met the six hunt horses. Clare talked about how she keeps the horses fed and fit for the staff to do their jobs and about “making” a new horse for this duty. Models dressed in hunt attire – informal, formal, staff, and “what not to wear” – were asked to explain the reason for their clothes. No one realized exactly how many things a stock tie could be used for; some were very inventive!

Hunt etiquette came next and questions and answers were batted about, the most important being respect for the hounds and staff as they have a lot to do in a day’s hunting. Clare was a little flummoxed when asked what to do if a horse bit a hound! Moving on to the kennels, Gerald presented the dog hounds and then the bitches, explaining why he hunts them separately and about care and feeding. The children were let loose in the puppy yard and riot then ensued, puppies, children, and some adults having great fun. Refreshments were served to some very tired but happy children at the end of an entertaining and informative evening that was enjoyed by all.

Clare Palmer.

Ainsely Colgan and Sterling Colgan. Connor Poe.

Huntsman Gerald Keal.

Casey Poe, Connor Poe, Colby Poe, Sam Barnes.

Colby Poe.

Casey Poe, Lucy Arnold, Brighton Craig.


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EDITORIAL

Confessions of an Anglophile By J. Harris Anderson, Managing Editor

I confess to being an Anglophile. I wouldn’t necessarily want to live in the UK; Virginia works just fine for me. But there is a great allure to pronouncing “been” as “bean” rather than the inexplicably Americanized “bin.” I’d like to “go on holiday” instead of “take a vacation.” The latter conveys a sense of vacating from where you are, not necessarily a voluntary action (as in “take a hike”), while the former connotes a festive mood of merJ. Harris Anderson is rymaking. My TV is set to record every episode of currently undergoing therapy Masterpiece Classics (although at times I find it hard to for his acute Anglophilia. understand what’s being said – must be a glitch in the Michael Johnson photo TV’s sound system). I’ve owned a couple of British cars. This was many years ago, and the cars were already well-aged when I acquired them. Both were testaments to the old joke: Why do the British drink their beer warm? Because the same people who make their cars make their refrigerators. (I’m told this has improved since I was last stranded on the roadside looking jauntily dapper in a tweed jacket leaning against my broken down – for the umpteenth time – ’75 MG Midget.) Eventually, I found a more practical approach to indulge my Anglophilia, one that requires no maintenance and causes no frustration: lose the cars, keep the tweeds. Fortunately, being heavily immersed in the horse world provides ample opportunity to don a nicely tailored tweed jacket and enjoy the sensual pleasure of its elegant cut, perfect fit, and exquisite feel. Cub hunting season is prime time for tweeds, of course. But the enjoyment is hardly limited to those two months out of the year. Some of the many other times one can go sporty in tweed include: Driving to formal season meets. Tailgating in the field après hunt. Attending a breakfast at the host’s home or hunt’s clubhouse. Hunting on weekdays in formal season with clubs that allow midweek ratcatcher. Hunting with farmer packs that allow ratcatcher any time. Attending the races, horse shows, and hound shows. Fundraisers, garden parties, or any other event that calls for elegantly casual attire. A lucky few can even wear their tweeds on workdays. Regrettably, the de rigueur days of jacket and tie have been increasingly replaced with something called “business casual.” I interpret this to suggest replacing one’s dress shirt and tie with a turtleneck, which goes nicely with a tweed jacket. Of course, there is tweed, and then there is tweed. The former may provide a slight air of the desired style, but on closer inspection the details fall lamentably short. The latter is the real deal, perfection incarnate. (Think Dick Van Dyke’s laughable attempt at a Cockney accent in Mary Poppins versus Richard Burton’s Hamlet.) Another fortunate aspect of living in Virginia rather than the UK is that I can easily find tweed jackets of Burton-level quality as close as Warrenton, where the racks of Horse Country Saddlery are literally lined with hundreds of them. If there’s a challenge to be had, it’s only that one can make a half day’s project out of sorting through the vast array of patterns, colors, fabric weights, and styles to determine which jacket will become the latest addition to one’s cherished collection. On the whole, though, that’s not a bad way to spend an afternoon, particularly considering the pleasant company and helpful staff. Happily, one does not have to live within close proximity of Warrenton to enjoy a facsimile of this experience. All these splendid jackets can now be viewed and ordered through the Internet via Horse Country’s new online store, www.HorseCountryCarrot.com. The entire range of tweed jackets, for both ladies and gentlemen, is available through this portal. Too bad the Internet wasn’t around during my old MG days. It would have been a handy way to fulfill my constant need for parts and repair manuals. I admit the old sports car bug threatens to bite me again from time to time. I’ll see someone tooling by in a classic, impressively restored British motorcar and feel a twinge of nostalgia. But then, when I get home, I slip on a Horse Country tweed hacking jacket, do up a bow tie, grab a matching tweed cap, clamp a pipe between my teeth, and the motorcar desire goes away. Definitely better to forget the cars, keep the tweeds.

Located on the historical site of the Kelly’s Ford Civil War Battlefield as a part of a 500 acre estate, the Kelly’s Ford facility has all the amenities to train you and your horse! • A 80’ x 140’ heated and lighted indoor arena, a 90’ x 150’ sand outdoor arena, two 150’ x 300’ grass competition arenas, and two 60’ round training pens • Five levels of cross-country jumps - Introductory through Training Level • Extensive, picturesque, & groomed scenic trails • 12’ x 12’ box stalls with barred partitions for horse boarding • Use of clubhouse & swimming pool as a boarder • Certified Riding School with 25 horses for all equestrian disciplines Due to the location along the Rappahannock River, you are also directly adjacent to the 4,500 acre Chester Phelps Wildlife Management Area, a Virginia treasure abundant with wildlife and scenic trails. The Inn at Kelly’s Ford offers ten luxurious suites, a casual yet elegant restaurant for fine dining, Pelham’s Pub for your favorite beverage and light fare, and two houses, each with a paddock and two-stall barns.Whatever your needs, KFEC will satisfy!

October 8, 2011

November 12, 2011

May 14, 2012

VHSA/BHSA Hunter/Jumper Open Horse Show

The Event at Kelly’s Ford USEA Recognized Training, Novice, Beg. Novice Un-Recognized Introductory Elementary

Kelly’s Ford Horse Trials USEA Recognized Training, Novice, Beg. Novice Un-Recognized Introductory Elementary

16589 Edwards Shop Rd., Remington,VA 22734 • (540) 399-1800 Kellysfordequest@aol.com • www.innatkellysford.com/equest.html


Jenny’s Picks

It’s calendar time again! We have our usual supply of lovely offerings for the 2012 season shown back and front at www.horsecountrycarrot.com. Check them out! This year we opted to carry Norman Fine’s Foxhunting Life rather than the MFHA’s calendar, which most members will order from them anyway. Norman’s is already in stock, and it is a beauty, at $19.00. Of course we will also be carrying the Foxes calendar, just one this year, at $13.99, plus many others. New this year is a boxed daily calendar featuring horses: What Horses Teach Us, at $13.99. Felix Francis’s latest mystery, Gamble, has hit the shelves and is flying off them fast! Several staff members, myself included, were so caught up in the story that we stayed up till the wee hours of the night to finish it; we concur that Dick’s son is a worthy successor to the popular late author. See Lauren Giannini’s book review elsewhere in this issue. Lauren is also reviewing another hot seller: a new biography of Harry de Leyer and his revered showjumper Snowman, the gray workhorse de Leyer rescued from a slaughter-bound truck at the New Holland auction. It’s a heart-warming story that I loved when I was a child, and I’m delighted the author has written a new biography: The Eighty-Dollar Champion.

For you Rita Mae Brown fans, take heart! She tells us the publishers have consented to another in the Sister Jane Series. More on this when publication time nears. Meanwhile, Murder Unleashed is due out in October, so we should have it in stock by the time you read this. A sequel to A Nose for Justice, this one finds Mags and her great-aunt Jeep involved with a group of squatters living in an abandoned housing development – without electricity or water. The murder of a former banker in one of the houses starts the ball rolling. As is always the case with Rita Mae’s animal series, the two dogs also get involved in the multiplying murders. Hardcover, 288pp. $25.00

Marion found some different books at a trade fair that she thought our readers might enjoy, either for themselves or as gifts. The following are for our adult readers:

Dickson, Paul. Toasts. If you’re ever embarrassed by being asked to give a blessing or a toast and don’t know quite what to say, this book is for you: over 1,500 toasts, sentiments, blessings and graces await your selection. Some are humorous, some noble, some cynical. There are even a few curses thrown in to boot. A little history is given with some. One example, a toast for someone with whom you have quarreled: “Here’s looking at you, though heaven knows it’s an effort.” Hardcover, 243pp. $19.95

Goldman, Amy. The Heirloom Tomato. Once believed to be poisonous – the fruit is not, though the plant is a member of the

IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

HORSE COUNTRY BOOKSELLERS Specialists in New, Old & Rare Books on Horses, Foxhunting, Eventing, Polo, Racing, Steeplechasing & Sporting Art 60 Alexandria Pike, Warrenton, VA 20186 • 800-882-HUNT • 540-347-3141 nightshade family – the tomato has become a favorite all over the world and has been developed into hundreds of varieties. While commercial varieties have been bred to create uniform, attractive fruits that ship well, they have often lost in taste what they gained in visual appeal. Heirloom tomatoes are enjoying a boom in popularity among small growers. Within the covers of this book lie a host of colorful varieties whose shades range from almost purple through red, orange, yellow, and green, with sizes from the pea-sized “current” tomatoes to the large “beefsteak” types, photographed by Victor Schrager with all the care given to a fashion model. After an overview breaking down the categories of tomato by shape and size, leaf and use, the author moves on to a photo gallery of different cultivars. Each is described fully with information on use, origin, even alternate names. There follows a selection of recipes to entice you to use these fascinating fruits. A beautiful book for the kitchen or the coffee table! Hardcover, 260pp. $35.00

Kidder, David S., and Noah D. Oppenheim. The Intellectual Devotional. The religious have their daily devotionals; now here’s one for intellectuals. The authors have selected “365 daily lessons from the seven fields of knowledge”: history, literature, visual arts, science, music, philosophy, and religion, each a page long. Fascinating reading! You may find it difficult to stop at one page a day. Hardcover, 377pp. $24.00

Kidder, David S., and Noah D. Oppenheim. The Intellectual Devotional – Biographies. This volume is devoted exclusively to biographies of 365 famous people you should really know about, divided into seven categories: leaders, philosophers, innovators, villains, authors and artists, rebels and reformers, and preachers and prophets. Like the original, it may be difficult to put down, and you’ll undoubtedly find names you’ve never heard of before. Hardcover, 376pp. $24.00

Kidder, David S., and Noah D. Oppenheim. The Intellectual Devotional – American History. 365 daily readings are divided into seven fields of knowledge: politics and leadership, war and peace, rights and reform, business, building America, literature, and the arts. If you paid any attention at all in your American history classes, you’ll recognize a goodly number of names, but there are still many that didn’t get into the books I studied! Hardcover, 378pp. $24.00

Shaw, Hank. Hunt, Gather, Cook/Finding the Forgotten Feast. Our ancestors were hunter/gatherers long before they began

raising crops and livestock and becoming sedentary. If you’d like to emulate them and don’t know where to start, Shaw’s book is a great guide to learning to live off the land. Fish, game animals, and plants are all featured, along with some recipes (anyone for “braised squirrel Aurora”?) He gives explicit instructions on preparation of animals (gutting, scaling, etc.) and other foods such as dandelions and acorns. (Yes, you can eat acorns, with the right preparation to remove the tannins.) Hardcover, 324pp. $25.99

We have also found some new ones for very young readers.

Lewin, Ted. Stable. Deep in New York City is one of the last remaining stables in the metropolis. Ted Lewin’s beautiful watercolors illustrate his portrait of Kensington Stables and the horses it houses, including a series of head studies of each one, with descriptions of what goes on every day: pony rides, lessons, carriage rides, and more. Hardcover, $17.99

Markle, Sandra. Race the Wild Wind/A Story of the Sable Island Horses. Most of us have heard of the wild ponies on Assateague Island in Virginia, known as Chincoteague ponies, but there are other islands that support small bands of wild horses as well. This is the tale of a group that wound up on a crescent-shaped island off the coast of Nova Scotia: Sable Island. With colorful illustrations by Layne Johnson, Markle imagines how the horses might have arrived and what happened when they came ashore. Hardcover, $17.99

McCully, Emily Arnold. Wonder Horse. Adults have enjoyed a recent biography of the amazing trick horse, Jim Key, “world’s smartest horse.” Now we’re offering a book for the youngsters about Jim Key and his master, the former slave “Doc” Key, and their climb to fame. Illustrations by the author. Hardcover, $16.99 This one is suitable for readers in the 8-10 year old range.

Wedekind, Annie. Little Prince/The Story of a Shetland Pony. A little palomino pony finds a sudden and unwelcome change in his lifestyle from a posh high-rise innercity stable to a backcountry farm that has become home to a wide array of unwanted and unusual animals when his young mistress decides she wants a bigger pony to show. He is befriended by a three-legged dog, a camel, an emu, a reindeer, and a water buffalo, who help him adjust to life on the “Funny Farm,” as it’s called. Hardcover, $16.99

11 Lastly, here are a few instructive horse books for you adults.

Bertschinger, Linda. Alchemy/Transform your Horse in Lightness. A few weeks ago a lady from the Shenandoah Valley came into our store to show me a book she had produced. The lovely color photographs of a number of different breeds performing in hand, on the longe line, and under saddle prove that this trainer can adapt her dressage methods to a wide variety of horses for a wide variety of purposes. She has even worked with world-class endurance rider Valerie Kanavy’s horses. It is not a “heavy” book in terms of substance; it is more geared to the rider who has not had a great deal of experience with dressage. She focuses on three exercises to improve lightness and introduces us to a number of her horses with an account of what problems they had. Hardcover, 64pp. $40.00 Blake, Henry. Thinking with Horses. Using numerous examples from many years of working with horses, the author explains how horses attempt to communicate with us by their actions, and how we should read them. As with all case histories, this makes for fascinating reading. Softcover, 199pp. $16.95

Beck-Broichsitter, Johannes. Lateral Work. The author goes into great detail on only one phase of Linda Bertschinger’s training: that of lateral work. Excellent diagrams and color photos illustrate his points. This is the first book I’ve come across that deals solely with lateral work. One of the excellent Cadmos series. Softcover, 128pp. $29.95

Bush, Karen. Curing Bad Habits. Many of us have horses with a habit or two we’d like to break. Among those covered here are biting, kicking, bolting, mounting problems, cribbing, weaving, pushiness, headshyness, loading reluctance, jumping problems, jigging, water crossing antipathy, and lots more. Softcover, 96pp. $22.99

Pratt-Phillips, Shannon. Your Horse’s Weight. I’m sure none of our readers would dream of allowing the animals in their care to be malnourished, but sometimes the problem of overweight horses can be overlooked, especially in the show ring, when a little excess avoirdupois might be preferred by some judges. (Back in the ’60s this was a serious problem with Arabians, for instance, who were often shown just in hand and got minimal exercise.) Whether you’re trying to put weight on or take it off, the author gives you sound nutritional advice. Color and b&w photos. Softcover, 109pp. $16.95 Van Damsen, Birgit; and Romo Schmidt. My Fat Horse! If your horse has a weight problem, the authors have some solutions. Profusely illustrated with color photos, this Cadmos volume gives explicit illustrations of how to check for excessive fat and what to do to get it off. Softcover, 80pp. $19.95


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

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Janet Hitchen Photography (540) 837-9846 Email: Janeth@crosslink.net

www.janethitchenphotography.com

FIELD HUNTERS

Dudley Does It All

Winner of North American Field Hunter Championship Adds Up for Numbers Game By Betsy Burke Parker

Portraits a specialty

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Middleburg, Virginia – After her victory in the 2011 North American Field Hunter championship, Kathleen O’Keefe has three notches on the prestigious trophy. After her victory in the 2011 North American Field Hunter championship, Susie Hart counts three victories in the headline event. How does it add up? Making something of a dream-team for the annual foxhunter competition, O’Keefe rode Dudley, a gray three-quarter-bred owned by Hart and husband Pug, to claim the championship. “I am so excited right now,� said Hart after the historic victory, one hand patting Dudley’s neck, the other pressing her cell phone to her ear as she gave Pug Hart, at the Timonium yearling sales in Maryland where he was vetting horses for clients, a play-by-play of the win. “This is his win as much as it ours. Dudley is that ‘once in a lifetime’ horse.� The week-long championship was run Sept 26 through Oct. 2 in northern Virginia’s “hunt country,� with competitors taking part in four days of hunting with recognized packs. Riding alongside mounted judges, contestants hunted with the Casanova Hunt, Blue Ridge, Middleburg, and Piedmont Fox Hounds. Mounted – and car-following – officials conferred during and after each day’s meet, selecting a few finalists for the championship, which took place October 2 at Glenwood Park, north of town. Fourteen horse and rider pairs took part in the final test, which began with a mock “hunt� around the open property for judges to get a final look at their favorites. A small crowd assembled in the open viewing area, far fewer than usual due to record cold, blustery conditions and threatened rain. “Field Master� Nelson Gunnell took the group on a 20-minute cross-country ride, after which the field gathered in front of the grandstand area to complete a final test. Riders were to gallop away from the group, jump a stack of telephone poles away from the crowd, do a hairpin turn to another solid big pole jump, then pull up to “drop a rail� on a show fence. They were then to trot that lowered fence, turn and jump a big coop in front of the crowd, and halt afterward. Few of the finalists made any major mistake, giving judges Andi Gilman, Beth deStanley, Barbara Batterton, Chris Ambrose, and Ken Shreve a difficult job. “They were all amazing,� Gilman said. “Hard to choose,� agreed Shreve. Still, once the judges huddled to compare notes, they came up with Dudley as the clear winner. “He was foot-perfect,� Gilman said, noting how the gelding was able to quietly hold his position towards the front of the “field� no matter what pace the master set, both on regular hunting days and at the championship finals. “What an amazing horse.� O’Keefe agreed. Winner in 1996 with Lord Hugh and in 2006 with Gol Lee, the Bealeton-based professional described Dudley as “a great catch ride.� “He jumps like an overgrown pony,� Susie Hart said of the 17-hand, 9-year-old, three-quarter Thoroughbred, one-quarter Percheron. “I mean, you can’t imagine how rock solid this horse is.� Originally bought as a young horse to make up as a “gentlemen’s hunter� for Pug Hart, an equine veterinarian who was once master of the Loudoun Hunt West, Dudley “instantly took to hunting,� Susie Hart recalled of the horse’s history in the hunt field. Pug Hart led the field regularly on Dudley, but two recent back surgeries and bilateral hip replacements have kept him out of the saddle for a couple years. “I hated to see Dudley just wasting away in the [turnout] field,� Susie Hart said. Winner in 2003 (with Bay) and ’04 (with Aladdin), Hart knew Dudley had what it takes to win the championship. “There was only one person in the world I wanted to ride Dudley for this,� Hart said. “I knew Kathleen would give him the best chance to win.� O’Keefe has had Dudley in training since the summer, working him back to fitness after months of inactivity. “I’m sure I’ll have to pry him away,� Hart said with a laugh when asked if Dudley was going to return to her Loudoun County farm. The reserve championship was awarded to Holly Muldoon (Orange County Hunt) on Beaux. “Best Turned Out� went to Roger Dickerson (Commonwealth Foxhounds) and Medicine Man. “Most Suitable� was given to Hands Down and Jennifer Nesbit (Keswick Hunt), and the Sportsmanship Award was given to Jean Derrick (Belle Meade Hunt) who rode Dixie. The championship began in 1984, brainchild of Virginia Fall Races board member Dot Smithwick, who died earlier this year, and Kitty Smith. They created the championship as a way to showcase the nation’s top foxhunters – typically left out of show competition – as well as another way to support the race meet’s beneficiary, the Loudoun Hospital. The championships are named for longtime Piedmont Fox Hounds Master Theo Randolph, whose Armanative won the first championship. The event was not held in 2009 “due to the economy,� officials said, explaining that a lack of early entries forced organizers to cancel the event rather than run it with few competitors. “It’s a real championship,� Hart said. Though most riders come from the mid-Atlantic region’s hunt country, the event is open to all foxhunters.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

13

Theodora A. Randolph Field Hunter Championship of North America

FIELD HUNTERS

Glenwood Park, Middleburg, Virginia • October 2, 2011 • Janet Hitchen photos

Reserve Champion Field Hunter Beaux, ridden by Holly Muldoon, Orange County Hunt.

Field Hunter Champion Dudley, ridden by Kathleen O'Keefe, Casanova Hunt, and owned by Hart Farm.

Jan Reutz Sportsmanship Award winner Jean Derrick, Belle Meade Hunt, on Dixie.

Judges: Barbara Batterton, Chris Ambrose, Beth deStanley, Andi Gilman, and Kenny Shreve.

The finalists.

Best Turned Out: Roger Dickerson, Commonwealth Foxhounds, and Medicine Man.

Most Suitable Hands Down and Jennifer Nesbit, Keswick Hunt.

Field Master Nelson Gunnell leading the field on Sienna.

Julie Gomena on Mr. Fater, Piedmont Hunt.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

14

FOXHUNTING

Liz Callar photos

The contestants for the North American Field Hunter Championship were selected from four host hunts to qualify for the finals.

Middleburg Hunt, Glenwood Park, 9-26-11 Huntsman Barry Magner with Whipper-in Josh Warren leaving Glenwood Park.

Middleburg Hunt, Glenwood Park, 9-26-11 Julie Gomena, Piedmont Fox Hounds.

Blue Ridge Hunt, Bartley, 9-29-11 Shawna Stout, Piedmont Fox Hounds.

Piedmont Fox Hounds, Atoka, 9-30-11 Huntsman Spencer Allen.

Middleburg Hunt, Glenwood Park, 9-26-11 Jt. MFH Penny Denegre leading the field.

Casanova Hunt, Eastern View, 9-27-11 Jt. MFH Joyce Fendley leading the field.

Blue Ridge Hunt, Bartley, 9-29-11 Huntsman Dennis Downing followed by Catherine Stimpson.

Piedmont Fox Hounds, Atoka, 9-30-11 Jt. MFH Tad Zimmerman; Barbara Batterton, Judge; Jt. MFH Gregg Ryan.

Casanova Hunt, Eastern View, 9-27-11 Huntsman Tommy Lee Jones coming home.

Blue Ridge Hunt, Bartley, 9-29-11 Andi Gilman, judge.

Piedmont Fox Hounds, Atoka, 9-30-11 Wendi Wilson Gunnell, OCH and Snickersville Hounds.


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011


Horses and People to Watch IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

HORSE RACING

21

Virginia Thoroughbred Association

Evans Yearlings Top $6.5 Million The Edward P. Evans/Spring Hill Farm dispersal of yearlings concluded during the eleventh session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. The dispersal sold a total of 50 horses for $6,527,000, averaging $130,540 each. Evans, who died of acute myeloid leukemia on New Year’s Eve 2010, moved his Thoroughbred operation to Virginia in 1969 and became one of the top owners and breeders in the nation. The Evans’ estate’s horses will be sold in two blocks. The 50 yearlings were sold at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale and the broodmares, foals, and horses of racing age will be auctioned at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. The star of the show of the Spring Hill yearling consignment came as no surprise – Hip #183 was a The Elusive Quality colt, out of full brother to the brilliant performer Quality Road. the Strawberry Road (AUS) mare The Elusive Quality colt, out of the Strawberry Road Kobla, fetched a final bid of $650,000. (AUS) mare Kobla fetched a final bid of $650,000 Keeneland photo from Rick Porter. The colt’s dam, Kobla, is a full-sister to champion three-year-old filly Ajina. The colt’s brother, Quality Road, set track records when winning the Grade I Florida Derby at three and the Grade I Donn Handicap at four, and also established a new course record when winning the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga while amassing earning in excess of $2.2 million. Quality Road won the M. Tyson Gilpin Virginia-bred Horse of the Year Award in both 2009 and 2010. The second highest price paid for an Evans-bred yearling was $500,000 when English bloodstock agent John Ferguson paid $500,000 for a half-brother to Grade 1 winner and 2010 Virginia-bred champion Malibu Prayer. Other high priced Spring Hill yearlings included: 158 B.C. Lemon Drop Kid - Christmas Gift - $325,000, Brushwood Stable 174 B.C. Indian Charlie - Gold Mover - $350,000, Shadwell Estate Company, Ltd. 398 B.C. Medaglia d’Oro - Tap Dance - $470,000, Mike Ryan, Agent 655 DB/BR.C. Lemon Drop Kid – Charitabledonation - $340,000, Ben Glass, Agent 664 CH.C. Lemon Drop Kid - Christmas Card - $360,000, Robert S. Evans 1143 GR/RO.C. Pulpit - Quiet Dance - $350,000, Besilu Stables 1145 GR/RO.C. More Than Ready - Quiet Now - $325,000, Shadwell Estate Company, Ltd.

•••• Audley Enjoys Another Successful Keeneland Audley Farm in Berryville, Virginia, has consistently sold a quality group of Virginiabred yearlings at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale and this year was no different. When the final hammer fell, Audley had sold eight yearlings for $925,000, averaging $115,625 each. The Clark County nursery sold three six-figure horses led by Hip #862, a colt by Indian Charlie, out of the stakes winner Hatpin, who sold for $325,000 to Shadwell Estate Company, Ltd. Other high priced Audley yearlings included: 739 DB/BR.F. Dixie Union - Dundrummin’ - $140,000, Goldmark Farm, LLC/Todd Quast, Agent 1801 GR/RO.F. Macho Uno - Elusive - $110,000, Michael Dubb & The Elkstone Group 1840 CH.C. Scat Daddy - Gone Golfing - $85,000, Solis Bloodstock

•••• Evans Named National Breeder of the Year Again For the second consecutive year, the late Edward P. Evans has been honored as the 2010 national breeder of the year by the Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association. Evans built a formidable Virginia breeding operation at the 2,700 acre Spring Hill Farm.

D. G. Van Clief, Don Robertson, Robert S. Evans, Dave and Erin Keely, Denis Byrne, Meredith Park, Chris Suttle, Racheal Swackhammer, Jeffrey Adams, Katie Lee, Shannon Aukema, Kenny Edwards and Lisa Reynolds in the winner’s circle following Edward P. Evans’ induction into the Virginia Equine Hall of Fame. VTA photo

In 2010 Evans raced four graded stakes-winning homebreds. Leading the pack was multiple Grade I winner Quality Road (Elusive Quality – Kobla, by Strawberry Road), who won the Donn Handicap (Gr.I), Metropolitan Handicap (Gr.I), and the Woodward Stakes (Gr.I). Evans’ other top runners included Grade I winner Malibu Prayer (Malibu Moon – Grand Prayer, by Grand Slam), and Grade II winners A Little Warm (Stormin Fever – Minidar, by Alydar) and Dixie City (Dixie Union – City Sister, by Carson City).

Virginia-Bred Quiet Giant Wins Graded Stakes Quiet Giant, a homebred of the late Edward P. Evans, scored a dominant five-length victory in the $252,500 Hill ’N’ Dale Molly Pitcher Stakes Gr.II at Monmouth Park. Fresh off a sparkling 6¾-length tally in the Lady’s Secret Stakes at the New Jersey track, Quiet Giant rated just behind early pacesetter Debonair Darling before taking charge under jockey Julien Leparoux. She drew away for her fifth career stakes victory and first in a graded stakes. The four-year-old Virginia-bred filly boasts strong family connections. A daughter of European Horse of the Year Giant’s Causeway, she is out of the Grade 2-placed Quiet Giant. stakes-winning Quiet American mare Quiet Dance and is Horsephotos.com a half-sister to 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam. The victory increased her earnings to $405,389 with seven wins from 12 starts. •••• Virginia-Bred Deputy Fling Wins Monmouth Stake Following up his victory in the $50,000 Bert Allen at Colonial Downs, Deputy Fling found room on the inside late and came bursting through to post a three-quarter length victory, stopping the timer in 1:02 2/5 for 5½ furlongs over firm turf in the $65,000 Gilded Time Stakes at Monmouth Park. Deputy Fling came into the Gilded Time fresh off a 4½-length score in the Bert Allen Stakes at Colonial Downs on the same day the 2010 Virginia-bred champions were honored. The gelding by Deputy Storm from the Woodman mare First Fling has now earned $96,732 for owner Magalen O. Bryant. •••• Lazy Lane Breeds Saratoga Graded Stakes Winner For the second straight year Joe Allbritton’s Lazy Lane Farm has produced a graded stakes winner at Saratoga – last year the Upperville nursery produced Position Limit who won the $150,000 Adirondack Stakes Gr.II and this year homebred Hot Summer captured the $102,000 Victory Ride Stakes Gr.III on the Travers Stakes undercard. Hot Summer, by Malibu Moon out of stakes placed Summer Delight by Quiet American, passed six opponents in the final quarter-mile to gain the win. The now multiple stakes winner completed six furlongs in 1:10.18 under Cornelio Velasquez for her second graded stakes win of the year and cemented her credentials as a contender for the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint Gr.I in November at Churchill Downs. Hot Summer was sold by her breeder at the 2009 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $180,000. She is half-sister to stakes placed Southwest ($220,646). The win pushed Hot Summer’s lifetime record to 7-4-0-2, $245,700. •••• Virginia-Bred Winchester Wins Grade 1 Sword Dancer Twenty-four years after winning the Sword Dancer Invitational at Belmont Park with Theatrical, Virginia owners and breeders Bert and Diana Firestone were back in the Saratoga winner’s circle after Winchester won the Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational. Winchester’s sire Theatrical, who was also bred by the Firestones, also won the famous turf stake at the upstate New York racetrack. For the six-year-old Winchester, it was his sixth Winchester. victory from 23 career starts and his fourth Grade 1 NYRA photo triumph. At three, Winchester won the Secretariat at Arlington Park. Last year, he took the Manhattan and the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, both at Belmont Park. •••• Virginia-Bred Yearlings at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling Sale Hip #12 - filly, by Afleet Alex, out of Noworriesforme, by El Corredor. Bred by Lady Olivia at North Cliff, LLC - $100,000 Ronald Nicholson. Hip #26 - filly by Malibu Moon, out of Real Candy by Real Quiet. Bred by Hickory Tree Farm - $170,000, Robert V. Lapenta Hip # 159 - colt by Malibu Moon, out of Long N Lanky by Cozzene. Bred by Hickory Tree Farm - $100,000 Marc Keller, Nicoma Agent.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

22

Uncommon Valor and Thoroughbred Heart

EVENTING

By Lauren R. Giannini

On May 31, 2011, fire claimed the lives of six event horses stabled in the barn rented by Boyd Martin from Phillip Dutton at True Prospect Farm (PA). Three riders, Lillian Heard, Caitlin Silliman, and Ryan Wood, who had been asleep in the barn’s upstairs apartment, managed to get out three horses, but heavy black smoke and lung-searing heat forced them outside. Firefighters kept them from trying to go back in for more horses. Suffering from smoke inhalation and shock, the trio would be treated and released later from nearby Jennersville Hospital. Meanwhile, they stood around feeling helpless and horrified. Heard had to deal with the vivid memory of standing outside her mare’s stall, unable to do anything for her horse, because the stall door had melted shut, thereby sealing Ariel’s fate. The riders weren’t alone for long: word of the barn fire spread throughout the rural community of West Grove and into Unionville and Kennett Square. Friends and strangers alike came to offer help, but there was little comfort that May night: horses were trapped and the blaze continued unchecked. When Dutton arrived, he braved the conflagration and managed to bring out one more horse. It was Silliman’s mare, Catch A Star, with severe burns all over her neck, back and hindquarters. Shortly thereafter, Martin arrived on the scene and engaged in what he termed “a bit of an altercation with the firefighters” before disappearing with Dutton around the barn. Dutton and Martin, both Australians who became Americans, are strong and fit athletes. At any given horse trials, they have been known to compete as many as nine horses from Novice to Advanced. For this reason alone, they can be considered the ironmen of three-day eventing. That fateful night, they had only one thought – save the horses – and they knew that their lives were at stake, but not even that possibility could stop them. Horses were trapped and, fire or no fire, they felt compelled to go back in. Parts of the barn were impassable, but even blinded by smoke they were familiar with the layout. Spurred on by adrenaline pumping to levels beyond anything they had ever experienced in competition, Martin and Dutton managed to muscle one more horse out of the inferno: Neville Bardos, an Australian Thoroughbred, had started his eventing career with Martin’s wife Silva and developed into a four-star horse who would partner with Martin at the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games. They tried to make another attempt, but there was no hope for the horses still inside as the fire raged out of control. It took firefighters more than two hours to control the blaze and, except for walls constructed of stone, the barn burned to the ground. The event horses who perished were: Ariel, Call Me Ollie, Charla, Phantom Pursuit, Cagney Herself, and Summer Breeze, owned either personally or in syndicate, and profoundly irreplaceable. The surviving horses – Neville, Otis Barbotiere, Catch A Star, Ambassador’s Rose, and Minotaure du Passoir – were taken to the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Veterinary Center, fortunately only minutes away. Neville had sustained the worst injuries from his extended exposure to smoke and flames: even with the best ICU care, the vets couldn’t offer any hope that he would live. Before we get into the miraculous story of Neville Bardos – after all, Thoroughbred enthusiasts will tell you there is nothing quite like the heart of a good ’un, whatever the job description, sport, or discipline – let’s hark back to what eventing is all about and why the tragic events of the summer of 2011 that rocked True Prospect Farm’s eventing microcosm should make all Americans very proud to be represented internationally by our elite riders and horses.

The Roots of Modern Three-Day Eventing The equestrian triathlon of dressage, endurance (crosscountry) and show jumping, known today as three-day eventing, began as a competition called “The Military.” The warhorses used in the Cavalry had to be able to respond to signals from their riders while they engaged the enemy with saber, sword and gun on the battlefield. With the disbanding of the Cavalry, “The Military” opened to civilian riders, male and female, who competed on an equal playing field, thanks to the horses. Combined Training or three-day eventing, dressage, and show jumping are the only equestrian competitions at the Olympics. Traditionally, Thoroughbreds off the track have been a primary source of eventing horsepower, but the sport of three-day changed dramatically in 2004 for the Athens Olympics. The FEI (International Equestrian Federation) opted to adopt a CIC format, meaning just the cross-country. The CCI (Concours Complet Internationale) format for Speed and Endurance day included four phases: Roads & Tracks (A & C) which covered about 15 miles, Steeplechase (B), and the cross-country jumping test (D). A combination of factors resulted in this change: the cost of putting on an international three-day event (wildly expensive) and enough open land for Speed & Endurance (at a premium in most world venues). Plus, many European teams relied on warmbloods or crosses, which weren’t bred for the speeds required. The Short Format was born, relegating the Classic Format to nostalgic threeday organizers who continue to keep it alive at the Preliminary and Training levels. A period of adaptation and experimentation followed. Oddly enough, the warmbloods and various heavier, slower breeds favored by western Europeans began showing more Thoroughbred blood. The Australians and New Zealanders based in the US and Europe discovered their homebred Thoroughbreds are highly prized by other riders. The horses that came up from down under and its environs tended to be tough hardy specimens, like the riders who imported them. In fact, the horses had the same rangy scope as the Thoroughbreds that competed so successfully during the ’70s and ’80s. As for the riders, they’re cut from the same bolt of cloth as anyone who served in the Cavalry. Male or female, they all had to navigate daunting and solid crosscountry jumps while galloping at about 24 miles per hour. If you’ve never walked a cross-country course in person, you can get a good idea of what the eventing at the international level entails by going to youtube.com and searching for Rolex or Burghley or Badminton cross-country. After watching a few clips, you might conclude that the riders are highly trained and skilled equestrians who are very brave and perhaps slightly crazy. EventingNation.com uses this catchy phrase to describe the cross-country: “red on the right, white on the left, insanity in the middle.” But the bravery required to gallop over natural terrain jumping solid and humongous fences can’t be denied – not now in the modern manifestation of eventing and certainly not in its evolution from Cavalry and war steeds as “The Military.” It takes real guts to face the challenge of being that good a rider, and many might feel the call, but most won’t last the distance. What Goes Round, Comes Round In the devastating aftermath of the fire at True Prospect, good things did emerge, much like the silver lining of every cloud, but at great cost. The horse community opened its hearts and wallets to help out the people who lost literally everything: eventing enthusiasts and folks who might not know a corner from a chevron skinny or elephant trap but who cared enough to open their hearts and their wallets.

Ryan Wood jumped in the PRO Bareback Puissance at Plantation Fields on Sept 19 for the benefit of Operation Homeland. FYI: that wall is close to 6-feet, and no, Ryan didn’t win, but he sure tried. Photo by Elisabeth Harpham

Rolex 2008 winners: Phillip Dutton and Connaught, owned by Bruce Duchossois, and his step-daughter Leelee Jones. Lauren R. Giannini photo

Caitlin Silliman and Catch A Star in 2010; rescued by Phillip Dutton from the barn fire and badly burned, after treatment at New Bolton, the mare has been nursed back to health by her devoted owner/rider. Photo by Elisabeth Harpham

The horse community rallied after the fire at True Prospect, but ACE wanted to do more than settle the claim and donated $10,000 in memory of the fallen horses to the USET Foundation whose Development Committee co-chair Bruce Duchossois matched it: (l-r) Boyd Martin, Kirk James (COO Hub International), Bob Courtemanche (Div. President ACE Group Private Risk Services), Duchossois, Philip and Evie Dutton. Lauren Giannini photo


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

Fundraisers sprouted here, there, and everywhere to help. Martin’s business lost about $100,000 in tack and equipment and he had the added burden of veterinary bills for the horses injured in the fire. Heard, Silliman, and Wood lost clothes, personal items, everything they kept in the barn’s apartment. The community rallied in many ways: from farriers donating shoeing to suppliers sending feed or hay to pledges from horsemen, businesses, equestrian clubs and associations for money, various merchandise, and services. The support provided some relief to the emotional traumas of that fateful night at the end of the Memorial Day Weekend. In all the reports, however, little was said about the bravery exhibited by Dutton and Martin in their last-ditch effort: the horses were their lives – they had to try. In spite of having grooms and farm help, both horsemen were hands on with their equine charges. They knew their horses inside out and upside down. They lost animals that were like members of their own families, children with four legs and a tail, genus equus. Dutton brought in grief counselors, because everyone at True Prospect felt shattered. Boyd and Silva Martin were dealing with their own grief and that of their three children, as well as that of their owners, riders, students, and their help. In July Martin’s father was hit by a truck during a bicycle race and died shortly after his son flew home. Then Silva lost her father. Dutton bid fond adieu to Woodburn, one of his top four-star horses, who was euthanized. Heard had watched her mare succumb to the heat and flames. Silliman’s mare would recover, thanks to her diligence and attentive care tending the burns. The experience profoundly impacted on Wood, who had no horses in the barn, but cared for them as if they were his own. Phillip and Evie Dutton, according to Heard, were like the mom and dad of the whole True Prospect community. They had their hands full. Training and competing as professionals at the top of the game might be a business, but where horses are involved, there is lots of emotional investment. The tragedy touched everyone associated with True Prospect Farm. The Martins and the Duttons had to put on a game face, but they were bleeding inside. Several of the horses who perished were contenders for a berth on the 2011 Pan American Games eventing team. The others were just starting their careers and only time would tell how well they would do. Bruce Duchossois became a three-day horse owner totally by chance. He competes in the Amateur Owner Hunters and happened to have a barn for rent at his farm in Aiken when the Australian three-day team needed a place to train and acclimate their horses for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. They leased his farm for two years. “Phillip Dutton liked it so much, he came back,” recalled Duchossois. “I didn’t know the man well, only by reputation, and he said, ‘why don’t you get involved?’ Six months later he said, ‘I’ve found a horse you might like.’” The rest as they say is history. Duchossois has owned several top horses campaigned by Dutton, including Connaught. He’s quite hooked on the sport, especially after watching Dutton pilot his horse to the Pan Am team gold and individual silver in 2007 and then win the 2008 Rolex Three-Day. They have been partners in the ownership of True Prospect Farm for about five years, which meant that Duchossois was involved, especially when the insurer of the property settled the claim. That turned out to be one of the most astounding “silver linings” involved: ACE Private Risk Services, the high-net worth personal lines company of global insurance carrier, settled the claim quickly and gracefully. In fact, they were so moved by the story of the tragedy at True Prospect, they talked about doing something quite unprecedented in the insurance world: they wanted to honor the horses lost in the blaze by making a donation in their memory to the USET Foundation. Duchossois, a trustee of the USET Foundation and co-chair of the Development Committee, which raises funds for our elite equestrian programs, heard about ACE’s plan and offered

to match whatever amount they gave. It turned into a $20,000 memorial, all told, in honor of the fallen horses. “I think that what ACE Private Risk Services is doing is phenomenal,” said Duchossois. “Insurance – you can’t live with it, you can’t live without it – and what these ACE people have done is really above and beyond. It was a beautiful old stone barn, and the horses – well, they were priceless. To settle the way they did and then to come back and make a donation to the USET Foundation in the memory of the horse – well, it’s unheard of. It opens eyes that they are good people and that they want to give back. I was blown away.”

Bravery Beyond The Call of Duty Bob Courtemanche, Division President of ACE Private Risk Services, and W. Kirk James, Chief Operating Officer of Hub International (the broker that matched up ACE with True Prospect), visited the farm on August 16. Courtemanche presented the check for the USET Foundation to Duchossois, with the Duttons and Martin in attendance. ACE’s donation to the USET Foundation does much more than honor the six fallen event horses. It pays tribute to the sport of “The Military” and the incredible bravery of the people who risked their lives to save the five. “We protect property, but at the end of the day, we protect people,” said Courtemanche. “If we can help to make a sad situation better by honoring the bravery and compassion of the people at True Prospect Farm, that’s part of our job. It’s not just property they lost in that fire. They lost horses, and they aren’t replaceable the way machines are. I’m learning about partnership between horse and rider.” ACE and HUB International, along with the entire eventing world got to witness a miracle when Neville Bardos confounded the veterinary experts at New Bolton. He wasn’t supposed to survive, let alone compete again. Perhaps it’s the partnership with Martin who willed the horse to live or Thoroughbred heart, albeit one bred in Australia. He was tough, but he couldn’t earn his oats as a racehorse. One of Martin’s friends tried him as a jumper: that didn’t work out either. Martin, who enjoys a challenge, offered $850 for the horse. In 2002 Silva Martin started eventing Neville, but it took a few years and her husband to bring out the horse’s upper level qualities. In 2006 Neville won the Melbourne Cup CCI** and was imported to the US early in 2007 where he placed well in two three-stars, Jersey Fresh and Fair Hill International. The following year he finished 8th at Rolex in his first four-star debut and was short-listed for the Beijing Olympics. They won Fair Hill CCI*** in 2009 and last year finished fourth at Rolex CCI**** and made the team for the Alltech World Equestrian Games where they were 10th, highest placed of the Americans. So, Neville’s miraculous recovery added yet another silver lining, and Martin said, “Neville’s breaking all the laws and defying all the odds. Initially he was fighting for his life and then a couple days later it looked like he’d survive. Then a couple weeks later, it looked like we could ride him again, and now we’re just taking it day by day, but it looks as if he’s about to take on the world’s toughest four-star at Burghley in England. It’s exciting and emotional at the same time with all the terrible tragedies that I’ve gone through. It’s the one thing that’s kept me going.” That was shortly after Neville and Martin placed fourth in a very competitive Advanced field at the Millbrook (NY) Horse Trials where Martin rode another of his four-star horses, Remington XXV, to second place. In fact, the “ironman” placed with nine horses all told, four at the Advanced level. Martin and Nev made their debut at Burghley over Labor Day Weekend, finishing seventh to the delight of everyone who had been following their story and cheering for their uncommon valor. Support Our Team Neville Bardos and Boyd Martin are just one good example of the people and equines who represent the US in international competition governed by the Federation

23 Equestre International (FEI). The United States Equestrian Team Foundation assumed the role of fundraiser after the 2003 birth of the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) as the national governing body. The USET Foundation started in 1950 as the USET, the independent entity that selected, trained, equipped, mounted and financed our teams in show jumping, dressage, and eventing. Nowadays, the USET Foundation raises 60 percent of all the funding that supports our international teams. It’s easy to get involved and donate on any level, because every little bit helps. Next time you see that familiar acronym, USET, think about what it means to help riders like Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton, who risked their lives to save a failed racehorse from Down Under who made good in eventing. You can designate how your donation is dispersed by the USEF by discipline. ACE, of course, limited its donation to eventing in the memory of those six fallen horses. “It’s important that everyone be involved, for everyone to be able to participate at whatever level they can,” said Duchossois. “It is the United States Equestrian Team.” The bravery shown at True Prospect, the heart of a Thoroughbred who defied the odds to compete again, the riders who dedicate their lives to making the team and displaying the red, white and blue on their red team jackets are all very good reasons for the American people to show their national pride. For more information about contributing, please visit: www.uset.org

Lillian Heard and Share Option, her three-star horse, who was recuperating from an injury at a friend’s farm when Lill lost Ariel in the barn fire. Photo by Mike McNally

Boyd Martin and Neville Bardos during the jog, the mandatory vet inspection, at the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games: on May 31 Boyd risked his life to bring this horse out of a burning barn, helped by fellow former Australian Phillip Dutton - both representing the USA at home and internationally. Lauren R. Giannini photo


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

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ACROSS THE POND

An Old English Puppy Show, Rydal Fell Hound Show, and a Hunt Open Day By Jim Meads

North Shropshire Hunt Puppy Show Huntsman since 1985, Martin Jarrett, showing the Young Bitches to the Judges Otis Ferry, MFH (South Shropshire) and David Seels (North Staffordshire).

North Shropshire Hunt Puppy Show, August 6, 2011 Couple of Young Hounds being shown by their excited walkers.

North Shropshire Hunt Puppy Show The five Joint Masters: Pip Harney, Andy Wheals, Phil Jones, Will Warner, Tullis Matson.

North Shropshire Hunt Puppy Show Champion Young Hound, “Rascal” (by Belvoir “Ranger”).

Rydal Hound Show, August 11, 2011 Judging Foxhounds between the rain squalls.

Having spent the summer photographing a seemingly endless assortment of white or lightcolored hounds, it came as a pleasant change to visit the North Shropshire Hunt Puppy Show, where the pack comprises mostly black and tan Old English Foxhounds. The venue was at their temporary kennels at Haston Farm, to the north of Shrewsbury, but I was reliably informed that the brand new, purpose-built kennels would be ready well before the opening meet. The sun was shining as the five Joint Masters, Pip Harney, Phil Jones, Tullis Matsen, Will Warner, and Andy Wheals, welcomed their guests, and a large crowd had gathered by 4:30 when the judges, Otis Perry, MFH South Shropshire, and David Seels, who hunts the North Staffordshire Hounds, entered the show ring. This year there were three couple of young doghounds and five couple of bitches from the five litters bred by four different stallion hounds, including two by Belvoir “Ranger” ’05 and one by Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn’s “Parker” ’08. Now in his 27th season as huntsman, Martin Jarrett had his young entry well training and in fine condition, which always helps the judges. In the doghounds, first place went to “Doric,” by Belvoir “Ranger” ’05 x Sir W. W. Wynn’s “Doubtful” ’08, while in the bitches, top spot was taken by “Rascal” (by “Ranger” x “Pocket” ’07), and it was she who took the Championship. In an exciting extra class, which brought much impromptu advice and applause, the best looking couple were the sisters “Grammar” and “Graceful,” to the delight of Clare Churchill, who managed to control her happy puppies in the ring. Then we all took afternoon tea as the sun set. My final major hound show of the 2011 season came on August 11, and as I left home at 5:30 to drive the 183 miles to Rydal, in the Lake District of northwest England, it was dark, chilly and wet. When I pulled into the showground three hours later, the rain had almost stopped, but low clouds were preventing us

from seeing the Fells (hills) in all their majestic glory, although hundreds of hardy foxhunters were making their annual pilgrimage to Rydal for the year’s biggest show of Fell Foxhounds. Proceedings began as usual, with the local pack, the Coniston’s puppy show, with all hounds being shown by their walkers. This year the judge was new Eskdale and Ennerdale Huntsman George Wilkinson, and no less than 55 Fell Foxhounds came under his scrutiny. Eventually, the Coniston Champion was announced as the Entered Bitch “Rival,” walked by Alan Cummings, and to prove her class, later in the day she became overall Champion Bitch. Then the Open classes began, with Charles Frampton, MFH Portman, and Chris Ogilvie, a former Coniston huntsman, now living in Scotland, doing the judging. The prestigious Group of Five Hounds, the Dog Couples, and the Bitch Couples were all won by the Ullswater, whose Huntsman since 1996, John Harrison, formerly hunted the Toronto and North York Hounds in Canada. The young doghounds class was won by Barry Todhunter with Blencathra “Rebel”; the Entered Dogs went to Ullswater “Stormer,” and the young bitches to their “Chorus,” with the senior ladies class won by Coniston “Rival.” In an exciting Fell Hound Championship, the tricolor went to Ullswater “Stormer,” to the delight of John Harrison and Joint Master Ron Barry, a former top professional steeplechase jockey.

Rydal Hound Show Champion Beagle, Newcastle & District “Wisdom.”


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

A good show of Harriers was judged by Lydia Harvey, whose late husband Tony was a Master of the Easton Harriers, 1963-68 and 1971-90. Proving just how good the overall quality of the Harriers was at Rydal, no fewer than four different packs won a class. In the Unentered Dogs, it was Holcombe “Charger” in charge; in the older dogs it was Pendle Forest “Lifeboy”; in the young bitches High Peak “Argue” took the prize; and in the Entered Bitches Pendle Forest “Destiny” was unbeatable. The much soughtafter Group of Four was won by the Dunston, while in the Championship, the all-white Pendle Forest “Destiny” took the tricolor, although being small, but perfectly formed. There were huge classes in the Beagle show, which kept the judges Patrick Comber, ex-MH Warwicks, and Jeff Hall, ex-professional Huntsman to the Ampleforth, busy, even continuing during the heavy rain squalls throughout the day. The Newcastle dominated affairs, taking three classes, with the Derby, Notts & Scaffs winning the Unentered Bitches, and the Group of Four, to the delight of Joint Master and Owner of the pack since 1981, Gerald de Ville. In the Championship, Newcastle “Wisdom,” the Entered Bitch, took the title, with her kennel mate “Glazier” being Reserve, and it was Joint Master since 1983 Rupert Gibson who received the Dalesman Silver Trophy. The Breed Champions were then judged to find the Supreme Champion of 2011, and this went to Pendle Forest Harrier “Destiny,” thus bringing huge smiles to the faces of Master since 1977 Michael Bannister and his professional Huntsman Richard Lloyd, now in his 23rd season with this North York pack. In 1955, I first photographed Fred Hart, when he was 2nd whipper-in at the Belvoir Hunt. Over the next 24 years, he served with various fox hunts and the Devon and Somerset Staghounds until moving to the Tanatside in 1979, where he remained for the rest of his career as Kennel-Huntsman, Huntsman, or Joint Master. Sadly, Fred died on August 29, and on September 8, Guilsfield Church was full to overflowing with hunting friends for his moving memorial service, where North Shropshire Huntsman Martin Jarrett blew “Gone Away,” bringing tears to many eyes. Quite by chance, two days later, his hunt, the Tanatside, held an Open Day, as they hadn’t been able to have a puppy show this summer. A big crowd attended and were greeted by the Joint Masters Marge Teague and Sarah Hodgetts, and a glass of wine! Fifth season Huntsman Richard Evans was soon in action, showing first the young entry and their walkers, and then all 35 couple of working hounds, making a colorful scene in the ring. Then we all adjourned to the Huntsman’s house for a splendid evening, with a barbeque, drinks, and wonderful company, and with the hunting season just beginning.

Tanatside Hunt Open Day, September 10, 2011 Huntsman Richard Evans showing the Young Doghounds to the spectators.

Rydal Hound Show Champion Foxhound Ullswater “Stormer” with Huntsman John Harrison and Joint Master Ron Barry.

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Rydal Hound Show Champion group of four Harriers were the Dunston with “Chocolate” “Happy” Champions” and “Dorset.,” shown by Huntsman Michael Karyan.

Rydal Hound Show Champion group of 5 foxhounds were the Ullswater, shown by Huntsman John Harrison.

Rydal Hound Show Champion group of four Beagles Derby, Notts and Staffs “Factor” “Charity” “Tinder” “Digit” shown by Huntsman Richard Archer, (center is Gerald De Ville, M.H., who owns the pack.)

Rydal Hound Show Best Unentered Dog Foxhound Blencathra “Rebel” with Huntsman Barry Todhunter.

Rydal Hound Show Mrs. Lydia Harvey presenting the Beagle Champion silver salver to Newcastle & District Master (since 1983) Rupert Gibson.

Joint Master and Huntsman Fred Hart died August 29, 2011 after 30 years with the Tanatside Hunt.

Rydal Hound Show Grand Champion Pendle Forest Harrier “Destiny,” with Master (since 1977) Michael Bannister, Huntsman Richard Lloyd, Show Chairman Claire Logan-Stephens, and Steward Nick Mowbray.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

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RACING

Virginia Fall Racing

By Will O’Keefe • Douglas Lees photos

Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Point-to-Point Maiden Hurdle Race, 2nd Division Black Bag – 1st, Paddy Young up, Winning Vow – 2nd.

Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Point-to-Point Open Hurdle Class Mark – 1st, Paddy Young up, Fogcutter.

Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Point-to-Point Maiden Flat Philology – 1st, Paddy Young up.

Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Point-to-Point Maiden Timber Elusive Prince – 1st, Roddy Mackenzie up, Manhattan Box – 3rd, Honour Emblem – 4th, Sur La Tete - 2nd.

Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Point-to-Point 9-10-11 When the Thornton Hill Hounds and Fort Valley Hunts combined earlier this year, the base of support for the point-to-point was widened, and a nice crowd was on hand September 10 at Thornton Hill Farm near Sperryville. Recent rains from hurricane Irene set up the course perfectly for a great day of steeplechase racing. The emerald green grass, bright white snow fences and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background, left first time visitors in awe. Rider Paddy Young had the type of day that you only dream of, and his brilliance matched the beauty of the venue. Young had five mounts on the card and rode into the winners’ circle following each of his rides. He had a hat trick over hurdles, winning three races, and added two more wins on the flat. The maiden hurdle race was run in memory of Dorothy Smithwick, and 10 remained after scratches necessitating a split. This was music to Paddy Young’s ears as he had been asked to ride two of the entries. In the first division he was aboard Randleston Farm’s Autumn Riches for trainer Jimmy Day. After racing within striking distance the first time around, Autumn Riches went to the front for the second circuit. Magalen O. Bryant’s Enchanted Circle (Chris Read) made a run at the winner at the top of the stretch, but Young let out a notch and won handily by 1½ lengths. Alicia Murphy’s On The Corner (Jacob Roberts) was third. In the second division Young put Dominick Falini’s Black Bag on the lead at the drop of the flag, and the result was never seriously in doubt. Magalen O. Bryant’s Winning Vow (Chris Read) was up for second place but was 4½ lengths back at the finish. Bruce Smart’s Bonded (Willie McCarthy) followed in third place. Black Bag is a family affair as he belongs to Young’s father-in-law and is trained by his wife. The open hurdle race attracted a good six horse field, but at the finish it was a one horse race, and guess what, Paddy Young was up on the winner, Debra Kachel’s Class Mark. In the race Class Mark assumed command the second time around, responded when Fogcutter launched a rally approaching the last fence and steadily pulled away in the stretch to romp by fifteen lengths. Bruce Smart’s New Mambo (Robert Walsh) was second and Fogcutter (Jeff Murphy) held on for third. Leslie Young put Paddy up on her Philology in the six furlong maiden flat race, and the result was a nine length score over Bruce Smart’s Hidden Melody (Jeff Murphy) with Debra Kachel’s Embezzle (Jacob Roberts) third. In the race Philology moved to the lead with less than a half mile to run and won as much the best. Finally in the six furlong open flat race the other riders had a chance as Paddy was without a mount. This race scratched down to two starters, and Simon Hobson’s Forest Bell (Eilidh Grant) was the short priced favorite based on two wins on the flat and one over hurdles on the Spring point-to-point circuit. Tom Hulfish’s What A Warrior (Jeff Murphy) provided the competition but was no match for the winner, who led all the way and widened to win by 12 lengths. Forest Bell is a Virginia bred and if all goes well should be heard from again in the Old Dominion Turf series. This past Summer Ricky Hendriks claimed Djokovic for $20,000 from a winning effort on the flat at Delaware Park. He was making his first start “in the country” in the 1¼ mile open flat race, and the manner

Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Point-to-Point Open Flat Djokovic (leading) - 1st, Paddy Young up, Madame Envy - 9th, Triton Light - 8th, #7 Hey Doctor - 5th.

in which he won under Paddy Young left everyone very impressed. When asked he moved to the lead with slightly more than three furlongs to run and won as his rider pleased by eight lengths. Betsy Mead’s Forgotten Man (Jeff Murphy) ran well but was no match for the winner, and Debra Kachel’s other entry, Secret Style (Mark Watts) finished third. Racing action switched to the mountainous timber course for 2½ mile maiden and open races. Both of these races were highly competitive as the fields ran as a group most of the way. In the maiden timber race Irvin S. Naylor’s Elusive Prince (Roddy Mackenzie) made a move to join Sur La Tete on the front end approaching the second fence from home. Elusive Prince had the lead over the last fence and held Sur La Tete safe through the stretch to win by a length and a half. Kathy McKenna was the winning trainer. The open timber race was won in front running fashion. Mark Watts sent Manown Kisor, Jr.’s Gather No Moss to the lead at once and controlled the pace from the front while the remainder of the five-horse field was not far behind. Jeff Murphy made a run at the leader with Magalen O. Bryant’s G’day G’day in the stretch but Gather No Moss held on and won by a head. G’day G’Day was second, and Sara Collette’s Genghis (Roddy Mackenzie) was third. Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds Point-to-Point Open Timber The winner was Gather No Moss – 1st, Mark Watts trained by Mike up, G’Day G’Day – 2nd. Berryman.

Blue Ridge Fall Races 9-17-2011 The Blue Ridge Fall Races has been a tremendous success story for its ability to raise money for its beneficiaries. Since the inception of the race five years ago, the Friday night calcutta and race day activities have raised significant funds for local charities. This year’s fifth running of the race meet at Woodley Farm near Berryville was run to benefit the Youth Development Center, Inc., and once again the generosity of the community was outstanding. One local owner made a significant pledge at the calcutta that hinged on the outcome of his horses at the races. When Michael A. Smith’s Humdinger won the open hurdle race, the money was on its way to the bank.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

Humdinger has been money in the bank for years winning nine races over hurdles and two VSA championships for leading trainer Neil Morris. In this race Chris Read was content to keep Humdinger in third while Julia Theriot’s Triton Light (Jeff Murphy) and Kick On Stable’s The Editor (Willie McCarthy) set the pace. The fivehorse field was tightly bunched when the field turned for home but Humdinger emerged from the inside to take over the lead shortly after the last fence. He beat Bruce Smart’s fast closing Bonded (Paddy Young) by a head at the finish but was not hard ridden saving something for future engagements. Al Griffin’s Aero had won three races this spring with the latest being under rules at Willowdale, and these past performances earned him the favorite’s role at Blue Ridge in the three horse open timber race. In the race Paddy Young took the lead with Vicky Bower’s Wazee Moto with Sara Collette’s Genghis (Roddy Mackenzie) a close third. They ran in this order until the field turned for home. At this stage Jeff Murphy let out a notch on Aero, and he quickly took command. He led over the last fence and continued to draw away in the stretch to win by 3½ lengths over Wazee Moto with Genghis tiring to third. Doug Fout trained the winner, whose next start will certainly be a timber feature under rules. Neil Morris got his second win on the card with Kinross Farm’s Sur La Tete. A former hurdle champion, Sur La Tete had been retired but came out of retirement this spring to pursue a new career over timber. He has been gaining confidence with each start and put all the pieces together at Blue Ridge to break his maiden with Jacob Roberts up. Sur La Tete was allowed to settle off the pace and moved towards the leaders the last time around. He took the lead with six furlongs to run and was never under pressure winning by 4½ lengths over his stablemate, I Hear Banjos (Chris Read), who was second best with Northfield Farm LLC’s Expel (Liam McVicar) third. The maiden hurdle race attracted 19 entries; and when only three horses scratched, the race was split. In the first division Bonita Farm’s Imperial Gin with apprentice rider Kristin Fischer saved ground while remaining in contact with the leaders. Imperial Gin went to the front on the final turn, was joined by Magalen O. Bryant’s Quiet Flaine (Jeff Murphy) at the last fence and proved best in the run in. Quiet Flaine just missed by 1¼ lengths, and Mary Fleming Finlay’s Ditch (Roddy Mackenzie) took third place. John W. Boniface, Jr. trained the winner. In the second division of the maiden hurdle race, Three Roses Stable’s Ghost Tracker finished first for trainer Danielle Hodsdon and jockey Roddy Mackenzie. Ghost Tracker was never far back, took the lead the second time around and opened a clear advantage. Kinross Farm’s Its A School Night (Chris Read) came charging in the stretch and just missed by a neck. Michael A. Smith’s Bundestag (Paddy Young) was third. Doug Fout had his second win on the card when Magalen O. Bryant’s Southwest ran away and hid from the six other starters in the open flat race. Under Carl Rafter Southwest stole the start and steadily improved his position to gallop home all alone by 18 lengths. Mike Dalton and Bonita Farm’s Isabel Harp (Kristin Fischer) and Cynthia Polk’s Roguish (Liam McVicar) finished second and third but were never a threat to the winner. In the maiden flat race Silverton Hill LLC’s three-year-old Darkwatch appeared to have the race won when he put Joan Lewis’ Tribal Shelter (Liam McVicar) away on the turn for home. Another three-year-old, Embezzle seemed a beaten horse, but Jacob Roberts asked for another gear when they turned for home. He was gaining with every stride and got up to win by a head. Tribal Shelter took home third money. Ricky Hendriks trained the winner, and rider Jacob Roberts notched his second win. Junior and senior field masters chases opened the card with Linden Ryan serving as field master. In the junior race Erin Swope won the large pony division on Jordan, and Natalie Harpole got City Diplomat home first in the horse division. The senior field masters chase went to Chris Harting and her Summer Witch.

Colonial Downs 9-18-2011 There isn’t a day of racing in America quite like the races at Colonial Downs on Sunday, September 18. Add a training flat race and a steeplechase race to a full card of standardbred races, and you have a one of a kind day. The training flat race at the classic distance of 1¼ miles on the turf ran as an exhibition race without wagering. It’s probably just as well that there wasn’t betting because Kinross Farm’s multiple stakes winning Researcher would have been bet off the board. If that entry wasn’t enough, trainer Neil Morris also entered Kinross’ Saint Dynaformer, whose flat form would have probably made him the favorite if not for Researcher’s presence. In the early going Chris Read rated Researcher slightly off the pace. When Read asked him to quicken approaching the last turn, Researcher sprinted away to a 10length advantage. Jacob Roberts had Saint Dynaformer in overdrive in the stretch, but Researcher was on cruise control and held off his stablemate to win by ½ length. Researcher has been running in stakes company on the flat this year and has been fourth twice, but this was his first win since winning a $1,000,000 race at Charles Town in April, 2010. Kinross Farm purchased Researcher from Rutledge Farm prior to that effort and is hoping that lightning will strike again. Their last purchase from Rutledge was multiple hurdle stakes winner Sur La Tete, who was the leading money earner in 2004. Researcher is due to debut over hurdles at the Virginia Fall Races. The next race was a hurdle race for horses entered to be claimed for $15,000

27

down to $10,000. This race also had a prohibitive favorite as Debra E. Kachel’s Lake Placid was entered for $10,000 and had leading rider Paddy Young in the irons. Trainer Ricky Hendriks claimed Lake Placid at the Middleburg Spring Races for $10,000 and proceeded to win back his purchase price and more with victories at the Virginia Gold Cup Races and at Parx Racing (formerly Philadelphia Park). After finishing far back in the novice hurdle stakes race at Belmont in June, Lake Placid was put on the shelf and this was his first start since. With money in the bank, Hendriks had a license to steal and he did. Lake Placid not only increased his earnings by $9,000 but was claimed by J. W. Delozier, III for leading owner Irvin Naylor. In this race Paddy Young went to the front at the first fence and shared the lead with Karen Gray’s Cuse. When Cuse gave way the second time around, Lake Placid was alone on the front end and coasted home first by 13½ lengths. He paid $4.40 for a $2.00 wager, which was very generous considering his superiority. If races won is the criterion for claimer of the year, Lake Placid has a firm grip on that title. If it’s money won, he and New York Turf Writers stakes winner Mabou should have an interesting fall. Stay tuned. Foxfield Fall Races 9-25-2011 The racing action at the Foxfield Race Course near Charlottesville on September 25 included three maiden hurdle races and two races on the flat. One of the maiden races was restricted to fillies and mares, and Tuatha De Danann Stable’s Red Dirt Girl put on quite a performance in her third career start. She debuted with a third place finish in July at the open house meet in Saratoga and tried stakes company in her next start finishing a credible fifth. This form made her one of the favorites at Foxfield, but directly in her path was William Pape’s Beating the Odds (Brian Crowley), who had run second while beating Red Dirt Girl at Saratoga. In the race on Sunday, Beating the Odds assumed pace setting duties with Red Dirt Girl in a stalking position. With one more time to go around Red Dirt Girl assumed control; and when Beating the Odds was pulled up, Red Dirt Girl romped home alone under Robbie Walsh for trainer Richard Valentine. Jonathan Sheppard’s Cubist finished second but was no match for the winner, who won handily by 10¼ lengths. Mar Jim Farms LLC’s Smart Hokie (Bernie Dalton) was a well-beaten third. In the maiden hurdle race Jeff Murphy put LazenbyBanksMadden Stable’s Hue of Crimson in a perfect spot from the start. Positioned within striking distance while saving ground on the inside, Hue of Crimson took the lead with three fences to go. As the 12-horse field raced to the last fence Hue of Crimson had the lead but at least half the field was in contention. The cavalry charge fell short, and Hue of Crimson won by 1½ lengths. Jonathan Sheppard’s Sergeant Karakorum (Brian Crowley) was second and Randleston Farm’s Autumn Riches (Paddy Young) was a close up third. Doug Fout trained the winner. In the maiden claiming hurdle race leading rider Paddy Young rode Dale K. Thiel’s Sir Dynamite to perfection. Sir Dynamite was never worse than second while setting the pace with John Grigg’s first time starter, Scammed (Bernie Dalton). With three furlongs to run Scammed retired, but Magalen O. Bryant’s Winning Vow took up the chase. Young had saved enough horse while setting the pace, and Sir Dynamite was not hard pressed to hold off Winning Vow (Chris Read) by 1¼ lengths. Michael Leaf’s Durer (Jacob Roberts) finished third. Ricky Hendriks saddled the winner, and Paddy Young widened his commanding lead in the riders’ standings. The training flat race attracted a congested 14 horse field. Bernie Dalton got Jubilee Stables’ Argentine bred Wantan away with the leaders and settled him in third place in the early going. With three furlongs to run, he took a share of the lead and claimed sole possession of the lead entering the stretch. He coasted home to win by 2½ lengths with Hudson River Farm’s Arcadius (Brian Crowley) second and Jane Gunnell’s Maestro Magic (Mark Watts) third. Ted Thompson was the winning trainer. The popular Virginia-bred flat race attracted last year’s champion, Forest Bell. Flashing his usual speed, he went to the lead under Eilidh Grant and won as his rider pleased by five lengths. Forest Bell has won four flat races since winning the Old Dominion Championship at Great Meadow last fall, and owner/trainer Simon Hobson has him honed to repeat. The second and third place finishers were an entry trained by Lilith Boucher. Mede Cahaba Stable’s Class Indian (Bernie Dalton) and Richard Sander’s Opening Movement (Richard Boucher) dueled to the finish with Class Indian proving best.

Virginia Fall Races 10-1-2011 Unseasonably cool weather and some late afternoon rain put a bit of a dampener on the festivities at the Saturday card of the Virginia Fall Races, but the racing action was impressive. The co-featured Dorothy Fred Smithwick Memorial and the National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup brought high classed hurdle and timber horses to Glenwood Park to contest these two stakes races. Run in memory of “Dot” Smithwick, who passed away in June, the hurdle stake was restricted to horses that had not won an open stake. Eight starters were under starter Graham Alcock’s orders; and when he dropped the flag Ross Geraghty sent Irvin S. Naylor’s Black Jack Blues to the front. Black Jack Blues had recently been imported from England where he had won eight of 19 starts with earnings in excess of $40,000. It was difficult for handicappers to figure where he would fit against a proven field that included last year’s three-year-old champion, Mrs. George L. Ohrstom, Jr.’s Demonstrative. Continued


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

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Virginia Fall Races 10-1-2011 The Dorothy Fred Smithwick Memorial Stakes Race Presentation, a celebration of Mrs. Smithwick’s life: Ross Geraghty, rider; Joseph Delozier, trainer (with hand on trophy).

The Dorothy Fred Smithwick Memorial Stakes Race Black Jack Blues – 1st, Ross Geraghty up.

Virginia Fall Races 10-1-2011 Maiden Hurdle Race Black Bag – 1st, Paddy Young up

Virginia Fall Races 10-1-2011 National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup Timber Stakes Aero – 1st, Jeff Murphy up, He’s A Conniver - 3rd.

Virginia Fall Races 10-1-2011 Presentation of National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup Beth Fout; Mrs. George L. “Jacqueline ”Ohrstrom, Jr.; Dr. Alfred C. Griffin, Jr., owner of Aero; Gray Carr Bridgers; Doug Fout, Aero’s trainer; Jeff Murphy, rider.

At the finish the Irish bred Black Jack Blues proved that trainer Joseph W. Delozier, III had found a perfect place for his United States debut. He led throughout the race and was not hard pressed to hold off Demonstrative (Robbie Walsh) and Mrs. Calvin Houghland’s Nationbuilder (Danielle Hodsdon), who rallied to finish second and third but were never a threat to the winner. Demonstrative proved that he is clearly the best four-yearold in training, but was no match for his older foe. Black Jack Blues joined Tax Ruling and Decoy Daddy (Ire) as 2011 hurdle stakes winners for the country’s leading owner, who has traditionally been best known for his timber toppers. The National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup has always been a valuable prep for Virginia’s top fall timber race, the International Gold Cup at Great Meadow. In recent years this race has become a destination in itself with a rich $35,000 purse to accompany a great tradition. Trainer Doug Fout, who is also Clerk of the Course, entered Magalen O. Bryant’s G’day G’day and Al Griffin, Jr.’s Aero to face last year’s winner EMO Stable’s He’s A Conniver and three others. In this race Jeff Murphy settled Aero in a good spot off the early pace set by Anna Stable’s Music To My Ears (Robbie Walsh). The last time down the backside of the course, Murphy asked Aero to quicken his pace. With two fences remaining he had moved to second behind He’s A Conniver (Bernie Dalton). These two raced as a team to the last where He’s A Conniver made a mistake and took out a rail. Aero took advantage, assumed command and won easily by six lengths. He’s A Conniver faded to third as Paddy Young rallied G’day G’day for second. This was a great effort for Aero, who broke his timber maiden at Willowdale in May. The first five finishers all have Virginia connections, and we will all stay tuned for the rematch at Great Meadow. The other timber race on the card was for maidens, and this race resulted in the closest finish of the day. Irvin S. Naylor’s Elusive Prince (Roddy Mackenzie) raced off the pace but rallied to jump the last fence with Jalin Stables’ Monstaleur (Joey Elliott) and Kiplin Hall’s I’m A Hokie (Ross Geraghty). I’m A Hokie faded, but Monstaleur and Elusive Prince dueled through the stretch and arrived at the finish as a team with Elusive Prince winning by a short head. Kinross Farm’s Sur La Tete (Chris Read) finished third. Kathy McKenna was the winning trainer. The first race on the card was won by Augustin Stables’ Rainiero who was ridden by Matt McCarron and was trained by Richard Valentine. Rainiero was far Virginia Fall Races 10-1-2011 back in the early stages but Maiden Timber: Elusive Prince started moving towards the 1st; Kathy McKenna, Trainer; leaders as they raced down Roddy Mackenzie, up.

the backside the last time. He was going best of all in the final quarter mile and took the lead at the head of the stretch to win in hand by three lengths. Magalen O. Bryant’s Air Maggy (Brain Crowley) was second and Randy Rouse’s One Sea was third. The maiden claiming hurdle race was a one horse show. Paddy Young put Debra E. Kachel’s Black Bag on top at the start, and he steadily improved his position winning by a whopping 37 lengths while not being rushed. Trainer Ricky Hendriks continues to hold a hot hand especially with horses owned by Mrs. Kachel. Kinross Farm’s Fu San (Chris Read) and Teddy Mulligan’s Ardagh (Liam Mc Vicar) trailed in second and third. The two flat races proved that there is more than one way to win a race. In the Virginia bred training race Celtic Venture Stable’s Rockmani (Willie McCarthy) led from the start, repulsed a challenge from Karen Eyles’ Petite Lafleur (Liam McVicar) with a half mile to run and won easily by 5¾ lengths. Petite Lafleur finished second and David M. Dobson’s Lord Fox (Paddy Young) was third. In the amateur/apprentice rider training flat race Keri Brion rode Timber Bay Farm’s History Boy from off the pace to win going away in the stretch by 8½ lengths over Hickory Tree Stables’ Double Doors (Jessica Gillam), with Vicky Bower’s Wazee Moto (Eilidh Grant) third. Charles McCann and Jonathan Sheppard were the respective winning trainers.

Virginia Fall Races 10-2-2011 The Virginia Fall Races is the only two-day meet in the sport, and there are races for every type of horse be it over hurdles, timber, or on the flat. The Saturday card had the headliners, but the Sunday card offered opportunities for many horses to compete. There were three maiden races over hurdles and one on the flat, a filly and mare training flat race, and an amateur rider timber race. Augustin Stables and trainer Richard Valentine opened and closed the weekend with winners. Their Chilean bred Rainiero won the opening race on the Saturday card and their Irish bred Radio Flyer won the last race of the marathon weekend. Darren Nagle was up on Radio Flyer, who set most of the pace with only a brief early challenge from Scanden Stable’s Mr Tack (Kristin Fischer). When Mr Tack dropped back, Radio Flyer opened a clear lead; and even though Irvin Naylor’s Fieldview (Mark Beecher) closed some ground in the late stages, he was never a threat. The final margin was two lengths but it was done handily. Fieldview was second and Mr Tack was third. Eight fillies and mares went to the start for a sevenfurlong sprint. Michael Harris sent Mariah’s Promise, who won this race a year ago, to the front; but Kristin Fischer had Fox Ridge Farm’s Upper Gulch well within striking distance. With three furlongs to run, Upper Gulch was gaining with every stride and moved to the lead in the final quarter mile and proved best by two lengths over Irvin S. Naylor’s Lonesome Nun (Xavier Aixpuru) with Gordonsdale’s Deep Run (Carl Rafter) third. Mariah’s Promise was fourth. Upper Gulch is trained by Tom Voss.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

Five three-year-old maidens made their first starts over hurdles in the first race. Last year’s winner, Mrs. George L. Ohrstrom’s Demonstrative, went on to be the three-year-old champion, so watch these horses in the next month. Lilith Boucher has always had a good way with three-year-olds, and once again she had this year’s version, Mede Cahaba Stable’s Class Brahms ready at first asking. Richard Boucher sent Class Brahms, to the lead with Paddy Young and Silverton Hill LLC’s Darkwatch close behind. For most of the race Darkwatch out jumped Class Brahms but on the flat Class Brahms was clearly superior. Darkwatch had the lead with three furlongs to run, but Class Brahms regained the lead on the turn for home and pulled way to beat Darkwatch by 1¾ lengths. Mrs. George L. Ohrstrom, Jr.’s Gawaarib (Robbie Walsh) was third.

Virginia Fall Races 10-2-2011 Maiden Hurdle Race for Four-Year-Olds and Up Almarmooq - 3rd, Bigshot - 1st, Carl Rafter up.

Virginia Fall Races 10-2-2011 Maiden Hurdle Race for Four-Year-Olds and Up Almarmooq - 3rd, Bigshot - 1st, Carl Rafter up.

In the maiden hurdle race another duel on the front end developed. Stonelea Stables LLC’s Bigshot (Carl Rafter) was never far back and hooked up with Irvin S. Naylor’s Almarmooq (Xavier Aizpuru) the last time around. Very little separated these two at the last fence, but Bigshot pulled away from Almarmooq at the head of the stretch. Matt McCarron rallied Augustin Stables’ Ice Bear in the last quarter, but it was too little too late as Bigshot beat Ice Bear by 3¼ lengths with Almamooq holding on for third. Julie Gomena was the winning trainer. The next race was for maiden hurdlers who are owned and trained in Virginia. This race attracted its best field in this race‘s brief history as nine horses were entered and seven started. Kinross Farm’s Its A School Night looked hopelessly beaten the first time around, and he was still last down the backside the final time around. He had moved to third at the last

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Virginia Fall Races 10-2-2011 Maiden Flat, turning for home Royal Rossi – 1st, Brian Crowley (in white on the left putting a move on the leaders) up, Share out – 2nd, Philology – 3rd.

fence but still had a lot of ground to make up. Jacob Roberts asked Its A School Night for a winning move, and that’s what he got. He passed Randy Rouse’s Hishi Soar (Roddy Mackenzie) in mid stretch and won by 1¼ lengths going away. Hishi Soar was second, and Magalen O. Bryant’s Dakota Slew (Robbie Walsh) was third. VSA leading trainer Neil Morris added another win to his impressive 2011 total. In the maiden flat race Brian Crowley on Royal Rossi saved ground while racing in the middle of the 12-horse field. He started to gain ground on the backside and moved to the outside for racing room when the field raced into the final furlongs. He took the lead in the stretch and was narrowly best by ½ length over Bushwood Stables LLC’s Share Out (Roddy Mackenzie). Leslie Young’s Philology (Paddy young) was a close up third. Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard saddled the winner.


IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

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Charles Thomas Hoovler, age 80, passed away on September 28, 2011. He was born on June 22, 1931 in White Plains, NY, to Mary Alicia Sweeney and Carmen Livingston Hoovler, now deceased, and preceded in death by his brothers William Sweeney Hoovler, Carmen Livingston “Mike” Hoovler, Jr., and Robert, who died in infancy. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Wilma Avery Hoovler; his two sisters-inlaw Marian and Rose Hoovler; three daughters and their spouses: Cynthia Leigh Hair and William Harding Hair, Jr., of Warrenton, Va., Karen Anita Crane and Michael Riggs Crane, of Delray Beach, Fl., and Shelley Lynn Payne and George Latham Payne, Jr., of Keswick, Va., five grandchildren and by many nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren. Chuck moved to Virginia as a young boy and quickly adopted his new state. He proudly served in the United States Navy as an Aviation Ordnanceman and a Tail Gunner in Attack Squadron 175 on the USS Roosevelt, USS Coral Sea, and USS Midway from 1948 to 1952. Following his service he attended the College of William & Mary, graduating in three years with a BA in Economics in 1956.Following graduation, he joined Communications, Inc. with his two brothers. He and his brother Bill continued the business and went on to create Ancom, Inc. and BCH, Inc., of Arlington, Va. In 1985, after the sale of Communications, Inc., Chuck embarked on his second career, bringing his business skills, humor and energy to numerous organizations and foundations. This included: the Virginia Gold Cup Association, Executive Board Member, and Director of Traffic/Security for both The Virginia Gold Cup and The International Gold Cup Races; The Meadows Outdoor Foundation (now Great Meadow Foundation) of The Plains, Va., Board Member; The Fauquier Club of Warrenton, Va., Board Member; the Kiwanis Club of Arlington, Va., member; the Fauquier County Economic Development Commission, Chairman; and Lord Fairfax Community College, Board Member, where he was instrumental in establishing full accreditation for community college courses allowing students to transfer into Virginia public universities. For many years Chuck served as Ringmaster for the Warrenton Pony Show, the Warrenton Horse Show and the Upperville Colt and Horse Show. As a landowner and longtime supporter of the Orange County Hunt, he volunteered at their annual events, including the Team Chase in the fall and the Point-to-Point in the spring. He also was a strong supporter of the Middleburg Orange County Pony Club and the MOC Beagles. Chuck’s greatest passion was serving as a Trustee of Glenwood Park in Middleburg, Va. Under his guidance and management, he and his fellow Trustees made multiple improvements to the race course, including new buildings, turf management and historic tree preservation. The most significant of their land conservation achievements was placing the race course into perpetual conservation easement so it will be available for future generations. Given this lifetime of service, Chuck received numerous awards and commendations, including the 2002 Warrenton Horse Show Gilman Volunteer Award, the 2005 Piedmont Environmental Council Conservation Volunteer Award, a Meritorious Recognition Award from the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office for Outstanding Contributions to Public Safety, the 1985 Medallion of Recognition from Lord Fairfax Community College, and the 1989 Great Meadow Volunteer of the Year.


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IN & AROUND HORSE COUNTRY • OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2011

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In & Around Horse Country  

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