According to Facebook posts, Professor Maxwell 1st, Sandbox Rules 2nd, Guts for Garters 3rd. Winning Jockey Mark Beecher apparently jumped a number of fences without stirrups including the 13th! (There is a Facebook photo showing him jumping the 12th w/o stirrups).
Mark Beecher's brother won the European (Irish?) show jumping championship, and he comes from a family of show jumpers, foxhunters, and sport horse breeders. He is a superlative rider, beautiful equitation that would (and probably will) catch the eye of George Morris and Denny Emerson who will say, AGAIN, how ANYone that REALLY wants to learn to ride well, in any discipine, needs to crosstrain by foxhunting and by galloping racehorses.
The winning owner is the widow of George Ohrstrom Jr., who founded CotH, among other things. He'd been trying to win the Hunt Cup for decades.
And the horse was bred by Hall of Fame trainer Janet Elliot.
A real charming story with tons of story lines to follow.
His father made him school ponies for a week without a saddle (he hid it) as punishment for falling off in a horse show at age 12.
Ya' think that maybe helped?!
And he's done bareback puissance too.
His older brother Paul won Hickstead's jumping derby last year.
It was a 10 of 10 as far as weather, first time in a number of years. The going IMO was on the good side of firm. 14 horses entered 2 late scratches. 12 to post. With the number of horses, perfect weather the line up at the start looked right out of a Munning’s painting. Mark and the Professor looked the winner from start to finish. Having lead pretty much the entire race I don’t believe no worse then second to the hard working Battle OP but only between the odd fence. And that was when the Professor bobble and Mark lost his stirrup? In the end Battle Op had the heart but not the jump finally lost his rider around the 17th? My hats of to Connor Hankin he did not look like an easy ride. I believe working off memory, binoculars and a few cocktails. Southsiders to be exact very tasty a Maryland classic like the race.
Mark rode in classic style. IMO the way the Hunt Cup should/needs to be ridden. Which is why I and others did not realize that he had lost stirrups. I highly recommend making a point of watching this particular rendition. Hopefully it will be posted on the NSA site in the near future and or U-Tube. Two time winner and hoping to retire the trophy Twill Do was a good and closing 4th. Unfortunately IMO I think the jock waited too long to make his move against the winner. Unusually this is a good tactic but not this year. I believe the winner and jock pinged every fence save 1 or 2. With or without stirrups. Doesn’t happen often.
My betting interest was Sand Box Rules, a very good horse trained by a really good guy, Neil Morris,. A Hunt Cup horse I wasn’t sure but he was 4-1 and the bookies rarely go above 3-1 on bums. I had to place a wager. Something I rarely do at the Hunt Cup too many friends with horses. And he was trained by Neil a trainer never to be discounted. Sand Box gave me a real good run for my money.
The winning connections, owner Jackie Ohrstrom and trainer Richard Valentine are dear firends so I had no remorse holding a loosing ticket. I think it would only have been that much better if Mr. Ohrstrom had been there. A patron of the sport for many, many years and a race he would have dearly liked to have had his picture taken.
That being said the best would have been if Twill Do had won and retired the trophy. He is trained by one of my closet friends, Billy Meister. Who has won it numerous times as trainer and rider. Billy was slanted to ride for the 22nd time? But broke a rib the week before in the Grand National.
The winner was owned and ridden by George Hundt having been bought from the previous owner and trained by Janet Elliot over hurdles. George won the Hunt Cup with his first try on another horse a couple of years ago. He was entered to ride his horse but scratched. He is going to give the Gold Cup a go next weekend. My money will be on Moon Sox winner of this years My Lady’s Manor.
This is a link to an interesting video of this years Hunt Cup; http://touch.baltimoresun.com/#secti.../p2p-75689406/
For fans of the boys who brought you Steeplechase Times this is a link to their new website; http://thisishorseracing.com/news/
Complete results; http://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/...hunt_cup12.pdf
As always this is all just my opinion. And alcohol was involved.
If they tallied the number of bones broken by jockeys, Aitcheson would likely hold that record, too. His knack of bouncing back from falls is legend. Once, in order to compete with a broken ankle, he painted his cast brown to look like a riding boot to fool race officials.
"I've fractured everything from my skull to my toes," he said. "I've had seven broken noses, eight collarbones, lots of ribs and teeth and a couple of broken legs. Oh, and two punctured lungs. One time, I broke my jaw, and I chipped a vertebrae in my neck that was real sore for awhile."
On the upside, he still has his hair.
Not that you'd notice. The Olney native remains active for his age. Aitcheson said he does more than 100 push-ups daily, plus several hundred arm curls with the 10-pound weights he keeps in a corner of his room at Carroll Lutheran Village.
Though he retired from competitive racing at 49, he continued to ride, galloping horses at Laurel Park until he was 80.