The Maryland steeplechase season, sponsored by Farm Credit, continued this month with two sanctioned races, My Lady’s Manor and the Grand National, as well as the Fair Hill Point-to-Point. And with only three more days till the 120th running of the Maryland Hunt Cup, here is a brief recap of the Governor’s Cup series April races as well as current standings and Hunt Cup entries.

Irv Naylor (owner) and Gustav Dahl (jockey) celebrating their win of the My Lady's Manor with Ebanore

Irv Naylor (owner) and Gustav Dahl (jockey) celebrating their win of the My Lady’s Manor with Ebanour

My Lady’s Manor

At the Manor (April 16, Monkton), it was Gustav Dahl and Ebanour who beat out a field of 10 horses to win the My Lady’s Manor Timber Stakes. The gelding, owned by Irvin Naylor and trained by Cyril Murphy, won by 6 ½ lengths over Jody Petty riding Rose Hill’s Organisateur.

Mark Beecher won both sections of the John Rush Streett Memorial Maiden Timber. In the first section, he rode West Is Best for owner Achsah O’Donovan and trainer Alicia Murphy for a come-from-behind victory. In the second section, Mark and Otter Racing’s Le Chevalier stalked the leaders from the back of the pack, but took over the lead nearing the second to last fence to win by a margin of 9 lengths. Julie Gomena trains Le Chevalier.

Jack Fisher trained the winner of the final race of the day, the John D. Schapiro Memorial Amateur Apprentice Timber. Connor Hankin rode Drift Society for Bruton Street-US to win by half a length. Some may have heard about the four falls in this race with jockeys Conrad Somers and Edward McLaughlin taking trips to the hospital. Both were reported as being released later that evening.


Fair Hill

The Fair Hill Point-to-Point took place in Elkton on April 17 and included very full junior races this year.

In the Small Pony flat race, the first race of the day, several riders went off course but Elizabeth Barr stayed on the right track, winning with her own Glenhaven Echo for trainer Douglas Barr, Jr. Marisol Jimenez rode Lyric, owned by Work to Ride and trained by Lezlie Hiner, to win the Medium Pony race. Colin Smith and Mimi Schmitz’s Hot Chocolate won the Large Pony division.

Logan Keane riding Silver Sterling, owned by Dawn DiGuiseppe, trained by Michele Schofield Davies, won the Leadline race.

The Junior Field Masters Chases had a bit smaller fields of entries with three each in the pony divisions and two horses. Teddy Davies won the Small Pony division with his own Hickory, trained by Ashton Williams. Brooke Leatherman rode her sister’s Splash (trained by Faith Leatherman) to win the Medium Pony division. Tommy Fenwick and Modernly Millie, owned by T. Robertson Fenwick and trained by Amy Fenwick, won the Large Pony division.

Brooke Leatherman rode her own Crazy For Daisy to win the Horse division. The mare is Maryland-bred and sired by Maryland Million stallion Rock Slide.

Connor Hankin rode Kingfisher Farm’s Wild Dynaformer, trained by Jack Fisher, to win the first division of the Maiden Training Flat race. Paddy Young and Middle Road, trained by Leslie Young and owned by Magalen Bryant, won the second division. Middle Road is also Maryland-bred, by Outflanker.

Annie Yeager and West Ender, owned by William Pape and trained by Jonathan Sheppard, won the Amateur Rider Flat. Later in the day, Annie teamed up with trainer Todd McKenna to win the Roy Rector Memorial Heavyweight Timber riding Upland Partners’ Mystic Strike.

Erin Swop (orange cap) winning the Lady Rider Timber at Fair Hill

Erin Swop (orange cap) winning the Lady Rider Timber at Fair Hill

Maryland-breds continued to do well at Fair Hill with Erin Swope riding her own Sweet Talking Guy (by Oratory) to win the Lady Rider Timber by a nose.

Another Maryland-bred winner was Church Music, owned by J.W.Y Martin, Jr. and trained by Suzie Owings. The mare by Bowman’s Band won the Novice Timber with Brett Owings in the irons.

Conner Hankin and Hockey Pop beat out Jody Petty and Guts for Garters to win the Open Timber. Hockey Pop is owned by Mrs. John Fisher and trained by Jack Fisher.

The final race of the day was the Foxhunter Timber. Isabelle Bosley rode Tiz Relevant, trained by Alicia Murphy for owners O’Donovan & Stevenson, for the win.


Grand National

The Grand National Steeplechase, held April 23 in Bulter, offered sanctioned races and well as non-sanctioned junior races. The big win for the Grand National Amateur Timber Stakes went to Mark Beecher and Ann Jackson’s Raven’s Choice, trained by Todd Wyatt.

Mark Beecher and Raven's Choice won the Grand National for owner Ann Jackson and trainer Todd Wyatt

Mark Beecher and Raven’s Choice won the Grand National for owner Ann Jackson and trainer Todd Wyatt

After Senior Senator was disqualified, Leffingwell Lion was named the winner of the Benjamin H. Murray Memorial Amateur Allowance Timber. The gelding is owned and trained by Elizabeth Korrell and ridden by James Slater.

Brett Owings scored his first sanctioned win, and his second win in a row, aboard Church Music in the Western Run Plate Amateur Apprentice Timber. Church Music is owned by J.W.Y Martin, Jr. and trained by Suzie Owings.

Teddy Davies and Hickory continued their winning ways, racing to victory in the Small Pony division of the Jr. Field Masters Chase for owner Scarlet Davies and trainer Ashton Williams. Abigail Murphy earned her second win of the season, riding her own Kiss My Sass in the Medium Pony division. Molly Greene trains kiss My Sass. Tommy Fenwick and Modernly Millie are looking to be unstoppable this year, winning the Large Pony division. The mare is owned by T. Robertson Fenwick and trained by Amy Fenwick.

The Fenwick family won again at the Grand National with Daisy riding Peter Fenwick’s My Lord to win the Horse division of the Jr. Field Masters Chase. Amy Fenwick also trains them. Paige Seiple rode her own Tentallon Treadsetter, trained by Catie Keil, to win the non-Thoroughbred section of the Horses.


Hunt Cups This Weekend

Next up on the Governor’s Cup racing calendar is the Maryland Hunt Cup this Saturday (April 30, Monkton) and the Maryland Junior Hunt Cup on Sunday (May 1, Cockeysville). Below are the contenders for the 120th running of the Maryland Hunt Cup.

(Horse, jockey, owner, trainer)

  • Imperial Way, D. Gillam, Merriefield Farm, Elizabeth Voss
  • And the Eagle Flys, K. Boniface, Mrs. William Class, Jr., William Meister
  • Almarmooq, F. Kelly, Irvin Naylor, Katherine Neilson
  • Raven’s Choice, M. Beecher, Ann Jackson, Todd Wyatt
  • Catch the Echo, M. Hendriks, Gerry Brewster, Joe Davies
  • Joshua G., S. Shaffer, Armata Stables, Katherine Neilson
  • Drift Society, C. Hankin, Bruton Street-US, Jack Fisher
  • Foyle, J. Slater, Merriefield Farm, H. Bruce Fenwick
  • Senior Senator, E. Poretz, Irvin Crawford, Joe Davies
  • Derwins Prospector, E. Taylor, Gerry Brewster, Joe Davies
  • Any Key, A. Leventhal, Straylight Racing, LLC, William Meister
  • Guts for Garters, J. Petty, Stewart Strawbridge, Sanna Neilson
  • Serene Harbor, A. Yeager, Welcome Here Farm, Todd McKenna

For directions and more information for each race, click on the links below.

Maryland Hunt Cup

Maryland Junior Hunt Cup

Gov Cup Standings

The current standings in the Governor’s Cup series as of the Grand National are as follows:

  • Open Timber – Serene Harbor (Welcome Here Farm) in first with 9pts, Raven’s Choice (Ann Jackson) in second with 8.5pts
  • Novice Timber – West is Best (Achsah O’Donovan) in first with 8pts, Church Music (J.W.Y. Martin, Jr.) and Hunt Ball (Atlantic Equine) tied for second with 6.5pts each
  • Heavyweight Timber – Monstaleur (Black and Blue Stables) and Charge (Black and Blue Stables) tied for first with 6.5pts each
  • Amateur Apprentice Timber Horse/Rider – Drift Society and Connor Hankin tied with Church Music and Brett Owings for first with 8.5pts each
  • Leading Timber Rider – Mark Beecher in first with 30 pts, Annie Yeager in second with 26pts
  • Voss Amateur Flat – Ivan Dowling, Mark Beecher and Annie Yeager all tied for first with 6pts each
  • Leading Trainer – Todd McKenna in first with 24pts, Todd Wyatt in second with 20.5pts
  • Overall Leading Rider – Mark Beecher winning with 36pts, Annie Yeager in second with 29pts
  • Leading Amateur Rider – Mark Beecher winning with 36pts, Annie Yeager in second with 29pts
  • Overall Leading Pony Rider – Teddy Davies in first with 21pts, Tommy Fenwick in second with 19pts
  • Leading Jr. Small Pony Rider – Teddy Davies in first with 15pts, Sophie O’Brien in second with 15pts
  • Leading Jr. Medium Pony Rider – Abigail Murphy winning with 15pts, Brooke Leatherman in second with 10pts
  • Leading Jr. Large Pony Rider – Tommy Fenwick in first with 18pts, Heidi Herzog and Colin Smith tied for second with 6pts each
  • Leading Jr. Horse Rider – Daisy Fenwick in first with 12pts, Brooke Leatherman in second with 10pt