The 2016 Maryland Governor’s Cup Series, presented by Farm Credit, got underway on March 20 with the Foxhall Farm Trophy Team Chase, hosted by the Green Spring Valley Hounds in Glyndon. Twenty-one teams from five hunt clubs faced off for the Fastest Time division with an additional eight teams from three clubs riding in the Average Time division. Winning this year were junior riders from Mount Carmel Maisie O’Neill, Hazel O’Neill and Tatiana Sushko. They posted the fastest time at 11:27 over the 3 1/2 mile course. The Howard County-Iron Bridge Hounds team of Trae Reuwer, Emily Melton and Lauren Faulkner won the Average Time division in 15:36.
Next on the racing calendar was the Green Spring Valley Point-to-Point Races, held on April 2 at Shawan Downs in Cockeysville. Annie Yeager and Todd McKenna teamed up to win two of the timber races. Welcome Here Farm’s Serene Harbor won by a length over Jeremy Batoff’s Certain Swagger in the Green Spring Valley Hunt Cup Frank A. Bonsal Memorial Open Timber. Golden Slammer, owned by Upland Partners, won the Daniel Baugh Brewster Memorial Novice Timber. Forrest Kelly rode Black and Blue Stables’ Charge to win the Worthington Bowl Heavyweight Timber for trainer Amelia McGuirk.
Ricky Hendriks trained a pair of flat race winners with Michael Byrne in the irons for Rosbrian Farm. The seven-year-old Daneking won the Stoneworth Farm Training Flat race while Long House Saint won the second division of that race. Mark Beecher rode Deficit, owned by Irvin Naylor and trained by Cyril Murphy, to win the Amateur Flat Race.
The Grace Miller Whedbee Memorial Senior Field Masters Chase had three entries with Taylor Leatherman riding her own Love of Flying, trained by Faith Leatherman, for the win. Catherine Frederick and her own Arin’s Myst finished third overall but won the trophy for non-Thoroughbred. Teddy Davies won the Junior Field Masters Chase Small Ponies division riding Scarlet Davies’ Hickory. Abigail Murphy finished first for the Medium Ponies with her own Kiss My Sass. Tommy Fenwick and Modernly Millie won the Large Ponies division. For the Junior Horses, it was Daisy Fenwick who finished first aboard Peter Fenwick’s My Lord.
In the junior races, it was Teddy Davies who won the Small Ponies division aboard Gerry Brewster’s Hoof Hearted. Charlie Marquez finished first in the Medium Ponies division riding EHM Stables’ Count Chocula. The Large Ponies division was won by Colin Smith riding Hot Chocolate for Mimi Schmitz.
Mother Nature gave us a bit of snow, hail and rain for the Elkridge-Harford Hunt Point-to-Point Races on April 9 at Atlanta Hall Farm in Monkton. Gustav Dahl had a great race day, winning the Open Timber as well as two flat races. In the Edward S. Voss Memorial Open Timber, Dahl rode Rosbrian Farm’s Class Brahms for trainer Tara Elmore for the win. At the end of the day, Dahl won both divisions of the Alfred Smithwick memorial Flat Training Race on a pair of horses owned by Robert Kinsley and trained by Elizabeth Voss. Holiday Queen won the first by a narrow margin while Unsinkable won the second in a photo finish.
Mark Beecher rode Atlantic Equine’s Hunt Ball, trained by Elizabeth H. Voss, to win the George C. Clement Memorial Novice Timber. Forrest Kelly rode Monstaleur for Black and Blue Stables to win the Ann L. McIntosh Memorial Heavyweight Timber and Amelia McGuirk finished first in the Babe Saportas Amateur Apprentice Timber riding Brother Sy for Armata Stables and trainer Todd Wyatt.
The final race of the day was the Jane Watters Small Memorial Amateur Rider Flat, which was won by Whatdidyousee, ridden and trained by Ivan Dowling and owned by Apple Equipment.
As of the Elkridge-Harford races, the Governor’s Cup Standings are as follows:
- Open Timber Horse – Class Brahms (Rosbrian Farm) and Serene Harbor (Welcome Here Farm) tied with 6 pts each
- Novice Timber Horse – Hunt Ball (Atlantic Equine) is leading with 6.5 pts over Golden Slammer (Upland Partners)
- Heavyweight Timber – Monstaleur (Black and Blue Stables) is tied with Charge (Black and Blue Stables) with 6.5 pts each
- Amateur Apprentice Timber Horse & Rider – Amelia McGuirk and Brother Sy lead with 6 pts
- Timber Rider – Annie Yeager is leading with 16 pts, Mark Beecher and Forrest Kelly in second with 12 pts each
- Voss Amateur Flat Race – Ivan Dowling and Mark Beecher tied with 6 pts each
- Trainer – Todd McKenna leading with 16 pts, Todd Wyatt in second with 13.5 pts
- Amateur Rider – Mark Beecher leading with 18 pts over Annie Yeager in second with 16 pts
- Leading Lady Rider – Annie Yeager in first with 16 pts
- Overall Leading Pony Rider – Teddy Davies leading with 9 pts
- Jr Small Pony Rider – Teddy Davies leading with 9 pts
- Jr Medium Pony Rider – Abigail Murphy leading with 6 pts
- Jr Large Pony Rider – Tommy Fenwick leading with 6 pts
- Jr Horse Rider – Daisy Fenwick leading with 6 pts
Races this weekend include My Lady’s Manor (Monkton) on April 16 and Fair Hill Point to Point Races (Elkton) on April 17. For details, go to www.marylandsteeplechaseassociation.com.