Page 29

Friday, April 20, 2012

66th Block House Steeplechase

Value of true sportsmanship Editor’s note: This article was written by Austin Brown, son of famed Carter Brown, in 1968. A copy of the article was given to Mr. James Payne of Tryon, who shared it with the Bulletin and asked that it be published in this year’s Steeplechase edition. By Austin A. Brown (1968)

What is a true sportsman? To me it is a person who supports or participates in a sport purely for the love of the game and not for material gains or self- aggrandisement. Who has had the privilege of knowing such a person? I have. The person? My father, Carter P. Brown. At age 75 his record of sportsmanship and love of the game stands untarnished, and is and always has been an inspiration to me. His game? Foxhunting and steeplechasing. He participated as an amateur jockey, and rode in the first Carolina Cup held at Camden, S.C. He also founded the Tryon Riding and Hunt Club, and put together a pack of fox hounds for the club which he hunted himself. He developed more than 500 miles of riding trails through the beautiful countryside around Tryon. He started the now famous Tryon Horse and Hound Show, the Hunter Trails, the spectacular Joint Hunter Trails in which different hunts from throughout the south came to Tryon to compete against each other. In 1947, however, he founded what was his true love, the Block House Steeplechase. From the time of my earliest recollection, his love of fox hunting and steeplechasing was unquestionable. My older brother Carter and I were each taken for our first horseback ride when we reached the

page

29

ripe old age of two weeks. I might hasten to add that these rides are a matter of record and not a matter of memory on the part of Carter and me. For the record, a photograph of each of these rides was taken, and they show my father on his horse with his son sitting in front of him in the saddle. I am told that no photograph was taken of our nervous mother! From that time on, horses and riding were to become of major importance in our lives. Both my brother and I were given our own ponies when we reached the age of 3. At age 4 we rode in our first horse show. At 7, dad taught us to jump, and at 8 he took us fox hunting. Although our ages were five years apart, my brother and I were both brought along on the same schedule in regard to what we did at that age. When I was about 9, my father decided we should have the Brown Family Point- To- Point. This was a race in which my father, my brother and I would ride. The prize - a tin cup! It was cross-country with each rider riding a different measured course from a different starting point to a mutual finishing point. We each synchronized our watches before going to our respective starting points, and then started at a specified time. The first couple of years of the race, a “babysitter” was sent along with me to make sure I got home in one piece. The excitement and competition of that race among the three of us was fantastic. None of us could have been more “up” for it if it had been the Kentucky Derby. There was no way for me to go to sleep the night before the Brown Point- to- Point! The race was run every year until the war came along and Carter went into the U.S. Air Force. It was run for the last time in 1946, but not as a point- to – point, but as a race within a race, so to speak. We shipped our three horses (Continued on page 30)

Steeplechase Preview  

Steeplechase Preview

Steeplechase Preview  

Steeplechase Preview

Advertisement