HRTV (R), The Network for Horse Sports, will premiere a documentary chronicling a poignant story of courage and determination in the world of steeplechase racing, titled Chasing: A Steeplechase Story, which will air on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. ET.
The half-hour unveiling will take a special look at former steeplechase jockey, Jake Chalfin, whose promising career in the saddle ended when he was paralyzed from a fall during a race at the Blue Ridge Point-to-Point Races in Virginia in September, 2010.
Chalfin’s love of horses, and racing, placed him in a position for a very productive riding career, which was being fueled by tutelage from Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, as well as top jump conditioner, Ricky Hendriks. The horrific injury cut short a hoped-for career in the saddle, but has not dimmed Chalfin’s strong will and passion for the sport — and his love of horses.
The determined Chalfin candidly talks about the inherent thrill of riding, the acknowledged risks, and how he continues to cope since the injury that ended his lifelong dream. The close-knit steeplechase community has rallied around Chalfin, with a variety of fund-raisers, and he remains steadfast in his commitment to pursue a career involving horses. Chasing: A Steeplechase Story includes picturesque footage of the rolling hills and landscape of Pennsylvania. The pastoral look of the lush fields sets a wonderful backdrop and provides a further testament to the beauty of the sport. The documentary was produced by Kristy Cecil — wife of veteran California-based trainer, Ben Cecil — who also serves as a producer for the popular TV sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. Cecil originally submitted the piece for the first-ever HRTV Film Festival at Santa Anita in 2012, but the detailed storyline, while of high-quality and undeniable intrigue, wasn’t ideally suited for the maximum five-minute shot.
Recognizing its vast potential, HRTV and Cecil explored the possibility of expanding it to a half-hour documentary, and the end result is its debut on the network.
HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, is a television-based multimedia network dedicated to equine sports. HRTV’s programming features horseracing from top U.S. and international racetracks, as well as a wide range of world-class English and Western horse competitions, news, original programming and award-winning documentaries covering the world of horse sports. The live stream of HRTV is available on a subscription basis to high-speed Internet users worldwide at www.hrtv.com. In the U.S., the HRTV television network is available via telco, cable and satellite in over 19 million homes.