Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds opened the Virginia point-to-point season on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Thornton Hill Farm in Sperryville. The first race, the Field Masters Chase for horses and small and large ponies, was followed by four races over hurdles, two flat races, and three timber races.
Kelly Witte on Missy, last year’s leading small pony, came to the wire six lengths behind the large ponies and won her division. Last year’s large pony champion Jordan ran just behind the Field Master but lost his rider Erin Swope at the last fence, giving Sparta the win with Emme Fullilove aboard. Emme also won the division for horses on GR’s Prize, holding off Erin Swope's Sweet Talking Guy in the stretch. Bay Cockburn saddled both winners.
The Thornton Hill Fort Valley Hounds (VA) is the result of a recent merger between the Thornton Hill Hounds (previously unregistered) and the Fort Valley Hunt (registered with the MFHA in 1992). The hunt’s point-to-point races were run for the first time on Saturday, March 3, 2012 at the beautiful Thornton Hill Racecourse near Sperryville, Virginia in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Masters are Jim Kincheloe, Brett Jackson, and the father and son team of Larry and Jeff Lehew.
At the end of the day, Jeff Murphy was top jockey, bringing home two winners—Orebanks in the Open Hurdle Race and Dealer Beware in the Novice Timber.