The Cheltenham Festival, Britain's most popular jump meeting, broke attendance records this year, the first time the racing was staged over four (March 15-18) rather than three days.
The National Steeplechase Association's 2005 calendar begins March 6 with the fourth annual Little Everglades Steeplechase in Dade City, Fla. The tour's southern-most stop kicks off a 24-stop spring circuit that offers total purses of $2.6 million.
Five horses bring Eclipse Award hopes into the final Grade I steeplechase of 2004 in the $100,000 Marion du Pont Scott Colonial Cup (NSA-I) at Springdale Race Course in Camden, S.C., Nov. 21.
Hall of Fame steeplechase jockey Frank D. "Dooley" Adams died Nov. 12 in his hometown of Southern Pines, N.C. He was 77.
Michael Moran's McDynamo, bidding for a second consecutive Eclipse Award, leads a list of eight Thoroughbreds nominated to the $100,000 Marion du Pont Scott Colonial Cup (NSA-I).
Breeders' Cup Steeplechase contenders Tres Touche, Sur La Tete and Pelagos are part of the eight-horse field entered for Sunday's $75,000 Metcalf Memorial (NSA-II) at Monmouth Park. The 2 1/2-mile hurdle stakes, Monmouth's first steeplechase since 1992, is the last jump prep for the Oct. 23 $175,000 Breeders' Cup (NSA- I) at Far Hills.
Augustin Stable's Praise the Prince will be back on Thursday afternoon to defend his title in the New York Turf Writers Cup Steeplechase (NSA-I) for older horses at 2 3/8 miles over National Fences.
Smarty Jones isn't the only Thoroughbred trying to win the second leg of a Triple Crown Saturday, as steeplechase horse Sur La Tete tries to keep his streak alive in the $100,000 Mellon National Hunt Cup (NSA-I) at the Radnor Hunt Races in Malvern, Pa.
Seven hurdle stakes horses will square off in Saturday's $100,000 Iroquois Steeplechase (NSA-I), at three miles the longest hurdle race on the National Steeplechase Association calendar, in Nashville, Tenn.
Preemptive Strike and veteran Lord Zada headline the list of nominations for Keeneland's $150,000 Royal Chase (NSA-I), the richest race on the National Steeplechase Association's spring schedule, to be run Friday, April 16.
The National Steeplechase Association has adopted a new whip rule beginning with its April 3 racing at Southern Pines, N.C. The new rule requires the use of a cushioned, shock-absorbent whip by all jockeys. The change in the rule follows that of the English Jockey Club and was created to improve the racing conditions for Thoroughbred horses competing in NSA events.
Aiken hosts the Regions Bank Imperial Cup on Saturday. Al Skywalker heads a group slated to compete March 27 at Camden. McDynamo is sidelined.
Jonathan Sheppard has taken over for George Strawbridge as president of the National Steeplechase Association. Sheppard, who lives in Pennsylvania, was elected Jan. 16 to head a 15-member board of directors.
A piano player touches the keys to make music. Elton John makes the keys sing. A quarterback throws the football. Peyton Manning makes the football go places. A steeplechase winner's runs and jumps. McDynamo floats. He's better than other horses. A master.
Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard was elected president of the National Steeplechase Association. He succeeds George Strawbridge, who ends a five-year stint in the unpaid position.
John Gorham of Steeplechase Farm announced that grade I-winning millionaire Mandy's Gold has been retired to Robert N. Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky.
Heavy favorite for the steeplechase Eclipse Award, Michael Moran's McDynamo will try to extend his winning streak to five in Sunday's season-ending Colonial Cup (Gr. I) at Springdale Race Course in Camden, S.C.
Michael Moran's McDynamo was installed as the heavy favorite over seven other entrants in Saturday's $175,000 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase (NSA-I) to be run at the Far Hills Races in Far Hills, N.J.
Only 12 of the 13 horses entered for Friday's Foundation Stakes at Pimlico can run. Saturday's Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs also pulled in a lot of runners, with 14 entries.
The formation of a new amateur jockeys organization was announced by the Amateur Riders Club of America and the National Steeplechase Association.
The $100,000 Joe Aitcheson Stakes, second leg of the Steeplechase Triple Crown, has been canceled for 2003 because of the weather at Pimlico Race Course along with scheduling conflicts for the three-race series.
Heavy rains forced the cancellation of Friday's Joe Aitcheson Hurdle (NSA-I) at Pimlico Race Course. The rain began Thursday night and intensified Friday morning. The forecast was for the precipitation to continue all day Friday.
Six steeplechase grade I winners head the field for the richest jump race of the spring season, Friday's $159,000 Royal Chase (NSA-I) at Keeneland.
Thirteen steeplechase stakes horses were nominated Tuesday to the $150,000 added Royal Chase (NSA-I) to be run at Keeneland Friday, April 25.
Long an important part of America's equine world, Aiken, S.C. turns to steeplechasing Saturday with the 37th annual Aiken Steeplechase Races. A crowd in excess of 25,000 is expected.
Blythe Miller, the only woman to win the National Steeplechase Association jockey championship, announced her retirement after 15 years in the saddle, 202 steeplechase victories, and more than $5 million in purse earnings.
Grade I winner It's A Giggle, America's third-leading steeplechase horse of 2002, died late last week after a short bout with colic.
Here are next year's scheduled racing days for NSA-sanctioned events.
Just two days after Philadelphia Park presented the $50,000 Devil's Honor Stakes, 9-year-old Devil's Honor made an appearance in the paddock at the Pennsylvania track. He was there to race.
One Breeders' Cup race will be decided a week before the Oct. 26 main event at Arlington Park. The Breeders' Cup Steeplechase will be run Oct. 19 at Far Hills Races in Far Hills, N.J.
Severe drought conditions were blamed for today's cancellation of two steeplechase races scheduled for Arlington Park on Sept. 15. The races, a $50,000 stakes and a $25,000 maiden race, failed to attract sufficient entries, and were canceled by mutual agreement between the track and the National Steeplechase Association.
Not many times does a horse finish second in a maiden race, then win a $75,000 stakes race. But that's just what It's a Giggle did.
Anofferucantrefuse is moving up from novice conditions to take on a field of six experienced jumpers, including multiple winner It's a Giggle, in Thursday's $75,000A.P. Smithwick Memorial, going 2 1/16-miles over national fences, at Saratoga.
McDynamo and Anofferucantrefuse, winners of the first two legs of the Steeplechase Triple Crown, head the nomination list for the $100,000 Meadow Brook Stakes (NSA-I), to be run Thursday, June 6 at Belmont Park.
Coppertree Farm's Quel Senor, who won the 2001 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase, headlines a six-horse field in the $30,000 Miles Valentine Memorial Stakes at the Fair Hill Races on May 27 in Fair Hill, Md.
Miscellaneous news from around the racing industry
McDynamo remained perfect over jumps, winning Thursday's $102,141 Hard Scuffle Hurdle Stakes, the first race in the Steeplechase Triple Crown for novice hurdlers.
What do you get when you mix a Breeders1 Cup winner, a Saratoga Grade I winner, a speedy California-bred with a Grade I win, an Eclipse Award finalist and a champion? A steeplechase race at Keeneland.
A select group of five horses will face the starter for Saturday's $100,000 Carolina First Carolina Cup, the first Grade I steeplechase stakes of the 2002 season, at Springdale Race Course in Camden, S.C.
The National Steeplechase Association season kicks off Sunday, when Little Everglades Steeplechase near Dade City, Fla., hosts a five-race card. The season had been expected to begin Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs but a lack of entries forced the cancellation of the scheduled race.
American steeplechase legend Lonesome Glory died Feb. 25 from injuries suffered in a paddock accident at trainer Bruce Miller's farm.
A modern-day record entry of 144 is announced today for the world's most famous steeplechase, the £500,000 Martell Grand National, run at Aintree on Saturday, April 6. This year's number of entries compares with 133 in 2001 and beats the previous best of 141 that dates back to 1984.
Trainer Bruce Miller plans to run Solo Lord and Pelagos at England's Cheltenham Festival in March and 2000 steeplechase champion All Gong will receive the first American invitation to compete in the $1.25 million Nakayama Grand Jump April 13 in Japan.
The rocketing career of steeplechase Eclipse Award finalist Pompeyo ended as suddenly as it began with his death Saturday, Jan. 19, due to complications from an injury suffered in September.
Favored P.C. Plod beat Plumb Bob by a neck in the $50,000 Tropical Park Steeplechase (NSA-III) at Calder on Sunday.
Florida's Calder Race Course will again close the National Steeplechase Association season, with two races carded as part of Sunday's racing program. The jumpers will compete in a $25,000 allowance hurdle and the $50,000 Tropical Park Steeplechase Stakes (NSA-III).
Breeders' Cup Steeplechase winner Quel Senor tries to solidify his championship hopes with a win in Sunday's $100,000 Colonial Cup, the final National Steeplechase Association grade I race of the 2001 season.
Like it has since it was created in 1970, the Colonial Cup will help determine the steeplechase Eclipse Award. The $100,000 stakes, to be run Nov. 18 in Camden, S.C., attracted 11 nominations including most of the major contenders for the year-end championship.
By Lenny Shulman -- Not satisfied with being a champion amateur steeplechase rider in both the United States and Great Britain, a feat no one else has approached, George Sloan desperately sought to popularize his sport by putting it before the American public.
With foot-and-mouth disease cases in Britain moving beyond 1,100 and some 170 meetings canceled by the outbreak or the weather this winter, British racing needed some joy. At least there was the Martell Grand National, April 7, and the rescheduled Cheltenham Festival, April 17-19, to look forward to. Then, on April 2, it was announced Cheltenham was off again because of a foot and mouth outbreak nearby, putting the course in a British Horseracing Board-designated exclusion zone.
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