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three race horses and jockeys jumping timber fences

Gold Cup Press Release

Riders Up! Saturday, March 2nd, 2024 the Rappahannock Hunt will host its Annual Point-to-Point Race in Boston, VA. The races will take place at The Hill, located at 13257 Durantes Curve, Boston, VA 22713 (off Rt. 522). Bring your family, friends, and colleagues!
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rsz 1blair snivley and blaze meredith newman photo

Fun Without Ribbons

rsz 1blair snivley and blaze meredith newman photoBlair Snivley and Blaze at the 2022 MFHA FHC Virginia Qualifier. Meredith Newman photo.

This past weekend Blair Snively and her horse Blaze, members of the Bedford County Hunt, competed at the MFHA Field Hunter Championship Qualifier hosted by Deep Run Hunt at the Pine Crest Farm in Manakin-Sabot, Virginia. Not to highlight only the competitive winners (like there were just two riders the whole day) but let us feature the rest of the riders who just want to show up and have fun on the horses that they love. Despite the long day. Despite new, now-forbidden equine romances. Despite our horses deciding, “I’m out!” Blair’s recount of the day is a great representation of why we love to compete in these Field Hunter competitions.

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Sarah Martin Leather 1 GPS gun knife

A New Way to Build a Leather Case

Sarah Martin Leather 1 GPS gun knifeSarah Martin Photo

Sarah Martin, MFH and Huntsman for Ozark Highland Hounds in southern Missouri, got inventive when she decided to have custom leatherwork made to solve her appointments issue.  

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MH P2P Race 2

Middleburg Hunt Point-to-Point

MH P2P Race 2Maiden Flat: Bay B, Thomas Garner up, finishes strongly for the win.   /   Doug Gehlsen photo

Sunday, May 1, 2022, dawned cool and overcast at Glenwood Park, Middleburg, VA―a fine racing day as far as the horses were concerned. With sanctioned racing gearing up and attracting the more experienced performers, of the seven races carded at the Middleburg Hunt Point-to-Point, five were for Maidens and/or young riders.

Maiden Flat, the second race of the day, was a wire-to-wire win for Bay B, under jockey Thomas Garner. Trained by Niall Saville, Bay B took the lead and only widened it in the stretch to win by five lengths in the seven-horse field.

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Teddy Davies

Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point

Teddy DaviesJump race jockey Teddy Davies, a teenager, already a record holder, and having a breakout season in sanctioned racing. Here, Davies rides Brave Deacon in the second race at Blue Ridge, Amateur/Novice Rider Hurdles.  /   Joanne Maisano photo

Trainer Joseph Davies stood at the Entry desk on Sunday, April 17, 2022. It was at Woodley Farm near Berryville, Virginia, the traditional venue for the Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point Races. Davies trains racehorses for steeplechasing but was in earlier days a winning steeplechase jockey himself. And a two-time winner of the Maryland Hunt Cup, the stiffest timber race in the world. Davies was paying for his race entries and picking up the numbered saddle cloths.

A few other trainers waited their turn. “Congratulations, Joe, on your wins yesterday. And here you are again today!”

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odhptp22.maiden hurdle1

Old Dominion Point-to-Point

odhptp22.maiden hurdle1Going to the Start  /   Douglas Lees photo

The Old Dominion Point-to-Point Races held on April 9, 2022, at Ben Venue drew the healthiest list of entries so far this season. No jump race went off with a field of less than five horses, and the second race, Maiden Hurdle, was split into three divisions of from seven to nine horses in each. There was fine weather and a number of close and exciting finishes, making it a good day for the spectators as well.

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piedmontptp22.maiden timber.lees

Piedmont Fox Hounds Point-to-Point

piedmontptp22.maiden timber.leesMaiden Timber Race: (l-r) Profiteer (Eric Poretz up) finishes third; Cracker Factory (Brett Owings) places second; Ya Boy Ya (McLane Hendriks) is first. / Douglas Lees photo

Piedmont ran seven races over the Salem Race Course in Upperville, Virginia on Saturday, March 26, 2022―four timber races and three on the flat.

McLane Hendriks rode two winners this day, book-ending the day’s races. His first came in the First Race, Maiden Timber, and his second in the Seventh Race, Virginia VHBPA Flat. In the Maiden Timber, Hendriks held Ya Boy Ya off the pace, content leading the middle runners in the six-horse field most of the way around. In the final quarter he asked his horse and won the race in the stretch by a length-plus. The Irish-bred Ya Boy Ya is owned by Bon Nouvel Chasers II and trained by Julie Gomena.

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warrentonptp22.open hurdle

Warrenton Point-to-Point Attracts Strong Entries to Airlie

 warrentonptp22.open hurdleFirst Race, Open Hurdle, (l-r) Decisive Triumph (#4), (Jamie Bargary up) is the winner. Gerard Galligan on Bet The Pot finishes third.  /   Douglas Lees photo

Spectators and horses enjoyed a comfortable day of racing over the Airlie racecourse at the Warrenton Hunt Point-to-Point on Saturday, March 19, 2022. Entries were strong, especially in the hurdle races. There were just two, Open and Maiden, but the latter was broken into three divisions of seven to eight entries in each, making the eight-race card more like a ten-race day.

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rappahannock ptp 2022.small pony

Rappahannock Kicks Off Virginia’s Point-to-Points

rappahannock ptp 2022.small ponyChewy, Will Slater up, wins the Small Pony Race. 

Rappahannock wisely and prominently promoted the rain date for their first-of-the-season race day, knowing all too well the vagaries of Virginia weather in early March. Fortunately, on March 5, 2022, the scheduled date was a highly pleasant day to spend outdoors at the new steeplechase course on Larry Levy’s Hill Farm just outside Culpeper, Virginia. A week later, as I sit filing this report, snow is still falling on three inches of the stuff already on the ground.

Seven races were carded: three pony races on the flat―Small, Medium, and Large―and two Timber Races followed by two flat races. Of a total of twenty-eight entries for all seven races, nearly half―sixteen entries―were ponies. I hope the strong showing of pony entries interests other race planners looking forward.

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TAR grand champion

Theodora Randolph Field Hunter Championship 2021

TAR grand championField Hunter Champion Gabrina Von Schweez ridden by Lindsey Williamson.   /   Middleburg Photo

I watched for glimpses of red and gold in the forests along the highway as I headed North on Saturday, October 2, 2021. But, no, not a glimpse of any color but green. Virginia wasn’t far enough north of Georgia, where my horses and I foxhunt with Belle Meade Hunt, or South Carolina, where I live and work. Fall and cooler temperatures had yet to arrive in Virginia. It’s still hot.

My F250 and four-horse trailer were fully loaded, hauling three horses to Middleburg, where I would stay through the end of the coming week. Four days of foxhunting with four different hunts were in my plans as a judge in the Theodora A. Randolph Field Hunter Championships: hunting in the field every day with the competitors and then riding in the finals on Saturday, October 9, at Glenwood Park. The final tests and awards in the morning would lead up to the Virginia Fall Races in the afternoon.

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