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Bennett’s Blue Ridge Blues

chapman7David Chapman photo

Novice rider Tom Bennett, riding for trainer Jimmy Day, fell at the same fence in the first two races at the Blue Ridge Hunt Point-to-Point on Sunday, March 23, 2014, but came back strongly to notch two wins on the day’s card. This spectacular photograph was taken by David Chapman. See the entire sequence by clicking on the photo and starting the slide show. Prints of these photographs are available from the photographer. Contact FHL to be connected.

Bennett’s blues started in the first race, the Maiden Hurdle, when his horse, Fall Colors (number 5) owned by Bruce Smart, fell. Bedizen (number 2) jumped Fall Colors cleanly (photo), but unseated his rider, Gerard Galligan, the two going their separate ways as well. (Click on the photo to see the entire sequence.)

That particular fence treated Bennett no more kindly in the second race, Amateur/Novice Rider Hurdle. Once again Bennett and his horse—this time it was Michel Smith’s Bundestag—parted company. By the third race, Bennett had it figured out. Riding Manacor—owned by Daybreak Stables and trained by Jimmy Day—Bennett jumped his nemesis fence along with all the others on the course twice around and not only crossed the finish line for the first time, but won his race! Manacor led the field throughout, was challenged in the stretch by Cognashene giving spectators a fine duel to the wire, but prevailed strongly.

Despite the rocky start, Bennett finished the day with two wins to his credit, the second coming in the Novice Rider Flat race on Bruce Smart’s In Todd We Trust.

Click for complete results of the day’s racing at Blue Ridge.

Posted March 31, 2014