Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023




The North American Point-to-Point Association, founded in 2001 to promote and preserve steeplechase racing through amateurs and juniors, has been dissolved.

Started by amateur jockeys George Strawbridge and Mason Lampton, NAPPA operated as a 501(c)3, promoting point-to-point racing through foxhunts and educating juniors and amateurs with clinics and summer camps.

The National Steeplechase Association has formed a task force to evaluate safety issues in U.S. steeplechasing.

The Steeplechase Safety Task Force will include members with expertise in racing, veterinary science and race administration. The task force will look into events that occurred in the 2012 racing season, which included several equine fatalities, and hopes to complete its work before the beginning of the 2013 racing season in March.

After last year’s hiatus due to the Kentucky Horse Park’s work to prepare for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, the High Hope Steeplechase will return on May 22 with $70,000 in purse money.

This eccentric trainer scored his sixth win in the Czech Republic’s most famous race just before turning 57.

With nine days to go before his 57th birthday, riding on a rank outsider, jockey Josef Vana jumped the dreaded Taxis for the 22nd time.

Considered to be the toughest jump in Europe’s toughest steeplechase, the five-foot hedge with a huge ditch lurking behind it has killed 27 horses in the 119-year history of the Great Pardubice in the Czech Republic.


It was no surprise to the American steeplechase world that trainer Janet Elliot was inducted into Thoroughbred Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2009, becoming only the second woman ever to be chosen and the only female trainer to date.

Perhaps the only question is: Why did it take so long to notice her?

Four things were against Mixed Up this year: his age, his lack of enthusiasm for soft ground, long distances and heavy weights.

Still, he pulled out the impossible, and at 10 years old, he garnered the titles that had eluded him for his entire career—the National Steeplechase Association Horse of The Year and the Eclipse Award for steeplechasing, which he won by a landslide.

Tears streamed down Danielle Hodsdon’s face as she rode Mixed Up to the winner’s circle of the $100,000 Colonial Cup Grade I Hurdle Stakes, repeatedly hugging him.

“This is the biggest thing that either one of us has ever done,” Hodsdon said, crying. “ ‘Mickey’ is such an amazing horse.”

Showing the determination of a horse half his age, William Pape’s 10-year-old Mixed Up deftly snatched the $100,000 Colonial Cup, putting himself at the top of the list for the Eclipse Award for steeplechasing.

Even at age 10, William Pape’s Mixed Up isn’t slowing down. And he showed his continuing prowess on Aug. 6 while winning the $102,723 A.P. Smithwick Memorial at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where he suddenly became the leading steeplechaser in the country.

But if you’d asked his jockey Danielle Hodsdon and trainer Jonathan Sheppard last year if the little horse with the storied career would ever be back on the top of the National Steeplechase Association’s money-won list again, they probably would have said it was doubtful.

For the price of a used car, anyone could have claimed Kenneth Ramsey’s Slip Away last year. After running him in two $10,000 claiming races in 2008, trainer Tom Voss is now thanking his lucky stars that no one else managed to recognize the flashy gray gelding’s potential back then.

If they had, Voss likely wouldn’t have been saddling Slip Away as the bettors’ favorite at the $50,000 David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial hurdle stakes in New Kent, Va., on July 12, and veteran jockey Chip Miller might not have scored his first Ferguson win.



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