Six ride in Foxhunter’s Cup

Published 9:43 am Friday, April 22, 2011

Foxhunter's Cup riders: Libby Arnold (top left), Robert Arnold, Amanda Bilharz, Kathy Bragg (bottom left), Lee Ann Harmon and Susie Kocher. (photos submitted)

When the red flag in Kelly Murphy’s hand drops with a flourish at 4 p.m. April 23, six riders and horses will take off for the finish line and their share of a $1,000 purse in the Foxhunter’s Cup Amateur Race.
“The amateur race is always a real local favorite because it’s (attendees’) neighbors riding,” said Murphy, officials and amateur race coordinator. “It’s an opportunity for amateurs to get race experience.”
Riding in this year’s Foxhunter’s Cup are Libby Arnold, Robert Arnold, Amanda Bilharz, Kathy Bragg, LeeAnn Harmon and Susie Kocher.
Out of these six, four have raced in the amateur race before, while two will experience the race for the first time.
“We used to have five Steeplechases, but in order to keep the courses up we scaled it back to four and it opened up a spot in the schedule,” he said. “The fans seem to really enjoy it.”
The span of the race extends eight furlongs or one mile, Murphy said. There will be two separate purses for the race – one for thoroughbred and one for non-thoroughbreds. Murphy said the participants will work together in a cooperative, sportsmanlike atmosphere.
The Foxhunter’s Cup race, though a non-sanctioned race, will be run under the National Steeplechase Association’s Rules of Racing.
Racers met Monday, April 11 to have tack and breastplates, as well as helmets and body protectors, inspected to make sure they were in good condition and in compliance with race standards. Murphy said it was also an opportunity to walk the course.
“There’s a strong emphasis on education and safety, but it’s mainly for fun,” Murphy said.

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