The 2014 Dutta Corp Fair Hill International concluded this afternoon with the show jumping phase for the CCI** and CCI*** national and international competitions. Jennie Brannigan (West Grove, PA) and Cambalda (owned by Nina Gardner) were sitting in second place going into show jumping and jumped clean, putting the pressure on over night leader Boyd Martin and Master Frisky. Martin and Master Frisky dropped one rail and added two time faults to their score moving Brannigan into the winning spot to earn both the Fair Hill Bronze (overall winner) and Gladstone Trophy (Highest placing U.S. rider).
Colleen Rutledge of Frederick was the only Maryland entry in the three-star this year and she had a stellar finish to the competition with her homebred Covert Rights. The pair jumped clean and added only one time fault to its score to finish in 14th place overall. Fifty-three combinations started the three-star last Wednesday with the first horse inspection. At the end of the competition, 37 completed.
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It was a banner day for Maryland, as Maryland-bred, Maryland trained and Maryland riden Eighttofasttocatch was the popular winner of this year’s Jim McKay Maryland Million Day, defending his title in the $150,000 Classic in wire to wire fashion at Laurel Park.
The Maryland Million is the one of the most important racing days at Laurel Park with 11 events for runners sired by Maryland-based stallions for combined purses totaling $1 million. The 29th annual event drew a crowd of 18,870 on a picture-perfect Saturday afternoon in central Maryland.
Sent to post as the 3-5 favorite, the Sylvia E. Heft gelding carried Forest Boyce (who grew up pony racing in Maryland) to a driving, 4-1/2 length victory in 1:50.54 for the 1-1/8 mile distance. Concealed Identity beat the rest to finish second, while Turbin was third.
“I let him out a notch earlier this year,” Boyce said. “There were more horses in here I thought could go with me this year. I wanted to make sure I had a nice big lead on them. They had every opportunity to catch us but I also didn’t want them breathing down our necks all the way around.”
This was only the second start of the year for the son of Not For Love. Maryland trainer Tim Keefe gave Eighttofasttocatch a prep in the Japan Racing Association Stakes on the opening weekend here, where he led early but tired to finish last.
Today was different as he dictated the pace throughout and was only under mild pressure to win off as his rider pleased. It was the third Classic score in the last four years for ‘Catcher.
“Everything looks well planned after the fact but he came in well to this race,” Keefe said. “That 24 and change in the first quarter, that was sweet. Forest was just sitting, relaxed over the first half. They couldn’t get close to him today.”
The 8-year-old has now won 10 stakes races at Laurel Park and improved his career earnings to $997,970. He can become the 24th Maryland-bred to reach millionaire status in his final career start here in the Jennings Handicap on December 6.
“He’s won that three times, too,” added Keefe. “We’d like to win a fourth and wind up his career. He’s going to my farm where my wife and daughter are planning to give him a second career as an event horse. You know how thrilled I am when my horses get second careers. My daughter Ryan is 14 and will be stepping up to eventing and she thinks he could be a good horse for her. Any time you can dictate a horse’s career from start to finish and end like this is very fulfilling.”
Eighttofasttocatch paid $3.20. He was the fourth son or daughter of Not For Love to win on today’s card, matching the total the Northview Stallion Station sire had in 2009 and 2011. Not For Love has 32 Maryland Million wins in the last 12 years.
Eighttofasttocatch joins Hall of Famer Safely Kept (Distaff-1989-90-91), Countus In (Ladies-1989-90-91), Mz. Zill Bear (Ladies-1993-94-95), Docent (Sweepstakes-2001 & Classic-2002-03) and Ben’s Cat (Turf Sprint-2010-11-12) as the only runners to win three times on Maryland Million day.
Introduced in 1986, the Maryland Million has been duplicated by more than 20 other states. Hall of Fame TV Broadcaster Jim McKay originally proposed the Maryland Million concept and remained the Chairman of the Board until his death on June 7, 2008.
It was officially announced yesterday morning that the great Cigar, bred right here in Maryland at Country Life Farm, died the evening of October 7 at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital due to complications following a surgery. Social media throughout the country has been sharing stories and photographs of this great horse. Many of which can be found on The Equiery’s Facebook page. If you have your own photos and stories you would like to share, please email email@example.com.
Below is the official press release from the Kentucky Horse Park, where Cigar lived out his retirement years.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 8, 2014) – Thoroughbred champion Cigar died last evening, Wednesday, Oct. 7, at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital from complications following surgery for severe osteoarthritis in his neck. Foaled April 18, 1990, the Hall of Fame horse and longtime visitor favorite at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions was 24.
At retirement, Cigar’s career had a total of 19 wins out of 33 starts with earnings of $9,999,815, which was a record at that time. He was voted Champion Older Male and Horse of the Year in both 1995 and in 1996.
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With over 10,000 people voting online, countless videos being viewed, blog reads, social media sharing and more, this year’s Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover was one for the record books, bringing Pimlico and Maryland to the center of the country’s attention and helping to push off-the-track Thoroughbreds to the top of many people’s horse wish list.
The America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred contest paired ten top trainers with ten Thoroughbred ex-racehorses, showing their progress throughout the summer on RRP’s website. The trainers represented a variety of equestrian disciplines, which showcased the versatility of the breed. The disciplines showed were Polo, Show Hunter, Eventing, Ranch Work, Steeplechase, Fox Hunter, Show Jumper, Barrel Racing, Dressage and Pony Club.
The horses were brought to Pimlico on October 5 for a final demonstration of their skills before hundreds of people in the stands, a panel of guest celebrity judges and via live streaming online with more than 5,000 viewers. In the end, it was Icabad Crane, owned by Graham Motion (Fair Hill), and trained by Eventing Olympian Phillip Dutton (PA), who took home the win. The nine-year-old gelding ran third in the 2008 Preakness Stakes and his team of trainers from Dutton Eventing pulled out all the stops for the win including allowing Dutton’s 13-year-old daughter Olivia hack him around the track after Dutton jumped a five-stride line in four, five, six, seven, and even eight strides, showing just have responsive Icabad has become. “He is very adjustable and such a sensible horse,” Dutton said. “The last time he was at Pimlico was when he ran in the Preakness Stakes in 2008, so to give it a go in front of the grandstands says a hell of a lot about the horse.”
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During the last weekend in September, Ocean City Police Horse Benson was assaulted in two different incidents. According to Delmarva Now, two men, in separate incidents, punched Benson and attempted to grab his saddlebag. Each man was arrested. Benson was not seriously harmed – and we can probably all agree that those men are just lucky Benson didn’t punch back. Surely Benson will receive Police Horse of the Month!
by Jennifer Webster, first printed in the October 2014 Equiery
On September 12, beloved hunter trainer and rider Elizabeth Solter lost her battle with breast cancer. She was 47. People and horses loved Elizabeth Solter. She was able to inspire both to go places and accomplish things–to do things they weren’t even sure they could do. “You never lost your confidence, because she always believed in you. She made you believe,” recalled Hunter (Boggs) Messineo, a Davidsonville native who began riding with Solter in 2005. The two remained close friends even after Messineo sold her horse and stopped showing.
Another client and friend, Cindy Allner (Reisterstown), remembers “an exceptional horsewoman who–beyond her riding ability–loved and respected her mounts. They would do things for her that no one else could get them to do.” Allner also noted that Solter had an “extraordinary ability to teach (to others) what was innate to her.”
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From the Maryland Horse Breeders Association
Hurray for Maryland! Seven of the top 10 prices at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearlings sale, held Monday, Sept. 29 at the sales pavilion in Timonium, were Maryland-breds. Six sold for six-figures, including the two most expensive of the sale.
Ellen Charles’ Hillwood Stable spent $260,000 for the sales topper, a colt by Flatter bred by Richard Golden’s Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds. The colt is the second foal out of Golden’s homebred stakes winner American Victory (by Victory Gallop); second dam is multiple graded winner Who Did It and Run (by Polish Numbers). At the Keeneland sale less than three weeks earlier, a Giant’s Causeway colt out of Who Did It and Run bred by Golden sold for $200,000.
Hillwood Stable was also the top bidder for the second-highest price, and top-priced filly, when securing a daughter of Pure Prize out of Maryland-bred champion He Loves Me (by Not For Love) for $200,000. From the consignment of breeder Dark Hollow Farm, the filly is the granddaughter of graded stakes winner Palliser Bay. Her dam He Loves Me is a graded stakes winner
of $355,698 and a full sister to stakes winner For Kisses.
Other Maryland-breds selling for $100,000 or more are:
- $195,000. Glad All Over, ch.f., Trappe Shot—Argentesque, by Silver Deputy. Bred and sold by Thornmar Farm; purchased by Marette Farrell, agent.
- $120,000. B.f., Include—Touchnow, by Pleasant Tap. Bred by Dark Hollow Farm, Dorsey Brown and Arnold Davidov; sold by Dark Hollow Farm Agent I; purchased by Matthew Schera.
- $100,000. Dk.b./br.c., Quality Road—Magger Bags, by Indian Charlie. Bred by Legacy Farm; sold by Paramount Sales Agent XVI; purchased by 40 West Stables.
- $100,000. Ch.f., Congrats—Striking Kathy, by Smart Strike. Bred by Timothy J. Rooney; sold by Bill Reightler, agent; purchased by Nick De Meric, agent.
The overall sales average was $21,905, as 275 yearlings brought $6,023,900. A total of 89 Maryland-breds (32 percent of the sale total) sold for $2,622,600, 44 percent of the gross sales, for an average of $29,467.
Leading Maryland sires
Friesan Fire, a son of A.P. Indy standing at Country Life Farm in Bel Air, was the top first-year sire by gross sales and the second-leading sire overall. Fourteen of his 15 yearlings sold for a combined $327,000 (average $23,357). He was the only regional sire with a six-figure sales horse, when his Pennsylvania-bred son out of the Citidancer mare Mrs. Vanderbilt was sold by breeder Cut N Run Farm out of the Bill Reightler consignment for $130,000. Steven W. Young, agent, made the purchase.
Not For Love was the sale’s third-leading sire with nine yearlings sold for $325,000 (average $36,111).
According Delmarva Now and to the National Park Service, on Monday, September 15 a sports car hit a horse while driving on the causeway leading from the mainland to the Maryland side of the barrier island. This is the third such collision this year.
The car left the scene, but a witness called 911 after seeing the horse fall down.
The horse got up and walked away before authorities arrived. But based on the witness’ description, Park Service officials think the horse was N2BHS-CK, nicknamed Johnny’s Star. But a search that day could find no horses that appeared injured, including Johnny’s Star.
None of the three horses involved in vehicle incidents this year have died. But the park has recorded 29 vehicle-related horse deaths since 1982.
Park officials are urging all visitors to heed the posted speed limits – and to drive slower than the posted speed limits when approaching horses on or near the road.
The Maryland Horse Council has joined Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, Inc., Trail Riders of Today, Inc., Potomac Bridle and Hiking Trail Association, Inc., Equestrian Partners in Conservation, Inc.; Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Inc., Montgomery County Road Runners Association, Inc., The American Hiking Society and the International Mountain Bicycling Association, Inc. in a Petition to Intervene in the PEPCO/Exelon merger proceeding currently before the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC case # 9361). The purpose of the intervention by these outdoor user groups to seek to have Exelon, should the merger be approved, grant more public access to its rights of way for recreational use.
The following candidates for seats in the Maryland General Assembly were endorsed by vote of the Maryland Horse Council Board of Directors at its Quarterly Meeting on August 26th in New Market, Maryland.
This is the first time that MHC has endorsed candidates for office. The endorsement decisions were based on the candidates’ proven track record of support for MHC and our issues and concerns, including support for: equestrian training and competition facilities and equestrian sports; farmland preservation; the Thoroughbred industry, breeders and racing; opposition to Sunday hunting; and attendance at MHC events.
- Senator Thomas V. (Mike) Miller – Senate
- Delegate Michael (Mike) Busch – House
- Senator Thomas (Mac) Middleton – Senate
- Delegate Maggie Macintosh – House
- Delegate Sheila Hixson – House
- Senator Joan Carter Conway – Senate
- Senator Roy Dyson – Senate
- Delegate Susan Aumann – House
- Senator J.B. Jennings – Senate
- Delegate Stephen Lafferty – House
- Delegate Eric Luedtke – House
- Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith – House
- Delegate David Rudolph – House
- Guy Guzzone – Senate
- Steve Arentz – House