Bill Gallo started working at the National Steeplechase Association in 1977 and has seen the sport go through a variety of cycles. He talks about the competitive race for the 2017 Eclipse Award, takes a look ahead at the 2018 season and even goes way back to his favorite jumper of all-time – a late-1970s underdog from the barn of Jonathan Sheppard.
When it comes to horses, Fair Hill is home to plenty – racing, eventing, showing, fox hunting and more. The iconic Maryland property hosted its first races more than 80 years ago, and it's back in the news again with plans to overhaul the outdoor event space into a world-class facility. Two of the people behind that effort, Terry Hasseltine and Ross Peddicord, sat down to talk about the progress.
Hadden Frost, whose father Jimmy Frost was a top jump jockey in the day, grew up in England riding ponies and took the experience all the way to careers on the flat, over jumps and in the show ring. He came over to the U.S. this spring, won a few timber races and nearly pulled off the Maryland Hunt Cup.
You know him as the guy behind 2014 steeplechase champion Demonstrative and some other stars to come off Whitewood Farm in Virginia. He grew up in a family with little or no horse background, but dove in and now operates one of the country's most successful stables.
An experienced jockey in his native Ireland, Sean McDermott is in his third full American season and got off to a big start to 2017 with two major stakes wins aboad Scorpiancer. And to think he started out riding a donkey and a horse named Flamenco Fury. We talk to him about horses, Ireland, America and what it's like to "get it right" in a race.
He's won six of the last seven National Steeplechase Association owners' championships, just missed passing $1 million in seasonal earnings in 2016, campaigned the last two steeplechase champions in Dawalan and Rawnaq, and started 2016 by retiring the Virginia Gold Cup trophy with Ebanour. Irv Naylor discussed his origins in the sport and more in early May at WYPR in Baltimore.
It was all supposed to be more newsworthy and challenging and amazing, really, as Nichols Canyon bid for the historic $500,000 TVV Capital Challenge linking Cheltenham's Stayers Hurdle with the Iroquois Steeplechase. This interview happened before the horse was injured while traveling, but Ruby Walsh is still a great listen.
Last year's Maryland Hunt Cup winner Senior Senator wasn't always a timber star. No, he used to be a badly behaved flat horse at Penn National who did nothing but drop jockeys and lose races. In advance of Saturday's Hunt Cup, trainer Joe Davies talks about how it all came to be and what makes the horse tick.
Jack Fisher got his Horse of a Lifetime when Good Night Shirt showed up in 2005. The big, raw Maryland-bred’s meteoric career wound up one of the best ever with eight Grade 1 wins and more than $1 million in earnings, joining McDynamo and Lonesome Glory in the seven-figure club. In August, Good Night Shirt will join the greats in the Thoroughbred racing's Hall of Fame. In an April 6 interview at WYPR in Baltimore, Fisher sat down to talk about his horse.
Turney McKnight has been an owner, a trainer, an amateur jockey and more. He won the 1982 Maryland Hunt Cup aboard Tong, a horse bred by his mother June. In 1978, McKnight became chairman of the My Lady's Manor Races in Monkton, Md. This year's race, run Saturday, April 15, will be McKnight's last as he retires from the post. In a conversation at WYPR radio (88.1) in Baltimore, McKnight reminisces about the early days, how he got into steeplechasing and where it all fits.