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Monday, February 26, 2024

Joe Davies saddled Hill Tie to win the featured Open Timber at Brandywine Hills Point-to-Point

NORTHBROOK, Pa.--Joe Davies saddled Hill Tie, owned by Julie Calhoun's Sportsmans Hall and ridden by Eric Poretz, to win the Henry C. Baldwin Challenge Trophy Open Timber at the 77th running of the Brandywine Hills Point-to-Point on April 7.

Joe DaviesJulie Calhoun Eric PoretzJoe Davies, trainer, Julie Calhoun, owner, and Eric Poretz, rider, of Hill TieHill Tie won easily in a time of 6:05 over the 3 mile course, beating Irvin Naylor's Ardrahan, trained by Kathy Neilson and ridden by Eddie Keating, with Ivy Hill Stables Beck's Bad Boy, trained by Alicia Murphy and ridden by Sean McDemott, third.

"Julie used to exercise Mountain Dew," said Davies. Mountain Dew won the Maryland Hunt Cup three times in the '60s.

"Hill Tie won the little race at the Grand National last year," said Davies. "He's nominated to run in the Maryland Hunt Cup. Brett Owings was scheduled to ride him here, but he had a fall last week and had a concussion. We're hoping he can come back to ride Hill Tie in the Hunt Cup."

Poretz picked up the ride on Hill tie at Brandywine, but he will ride Senior Senator in the Hunt Cup.

"We have a couple of English riders who might be coming over," said Davies."We like using home grown riders. Luckily we have a whole new group of young riders coming up that looks great."

Davies was referring to the group of youngsters that includes his son Teddy, Skylar Neilson and Parker Hendriks.


BRANDYWINE was dominated by two trainers, Davies and Neilson, each of which trained two winners as well as a number of second and third placed horses..

Davies also saddled Charles E. Noell's Rollforward, ridden by Poretz, to win the Henry Latrobe Roosevelt Challenge Trophy Novice Timber in 5:50 over Naylor's Jack Slade, trained by Neilson and ridden by Keating, with Keystone Thoroughbreds' La Isabelle, trained by Todd McKenna and ridden by Gerard Galligan, third.

Rollforward won the John Strawbridge Memorial Trophy awarded to the owner of the horse with the fastest time of the say.

"Rollforward is owned by Charles Noell and my wife, Blythe," said Davies. "He has been plagues by little things - he was hurt in the van.This year we have good horses and good riders. Eric is a great amateur. He just wants to ride and fox hunt. We've had a great weekend with five wins. We appreciate everything we have. If we never win  another race, we've had a great time."

Davies also trained three winners at Elkridge-Harford the day before Brandywine.

Neilson saddled Armata Stables' Embarrassed, ridden by her daughter Skyler McKenna, to win the first timber race, the Ladies Race in memory of Betty Baldwin Meister,

Mrs. William D. Class, Jr.'s Gas Can Eddie, trained by Billy Meister and ridden by Bethany Baumgardner, was second, with Gerry Brewster's Derwins Prospector, trained by Davies and ridden by Annie Yeager, third.

"It was great, she just skipped away," said Neilson.

"My horse jumped really well," said McKenna. "He has a nice turn of foot. I was in behind the entire race and went to the front before the second to last fence. i discussed how to ride the race with my mother. It went the way we'd planned it."

Kathy Neilson with Joshue G Eddie KeatingKathy Neilson with Joshue G, Eddie Keating riding, winner of the Heavyweight raceNeilson also saddled Armata Stables' Joshua G, ridden by Keating, to win the Joseph T. Murtagh Memorial Heavyweight Race.

Battle Aray, owned and trained by Meister and ridden by John Brophy, was second, with Out Playing, owned by Don Cochran, trained by McKenna and ridden by Galligan, third.

The Foxhunter Timber had only two entries, and Sarah Martin fell off her W W Salty Queen early in the race, leaving Colin McNeil's Forgotten Knot, trained and ridden by Julie Nafe, to finish the winner in 7:24 .

"Forgotten Knot is a Radnor Hunt staff horse," said Nafe. "He's ridden by the whipper-in. This was his first time racing. We lost our lead early, but he just went on nice and bold. I had fun with him."

The Jnior Field Master Race led off the day's racing at noon, with James Wyatt on Thumper winning the Medium Pony section,Maddie Rowland on Bailey winning the Large Pony and Parker Hendriks on Guts For Garters (Ire) winning the Junior Hoorses section,

Thomas Houghton rode Lickety Split, trained by his father Bernie, to win the Small Pony race,Elizabeth Barr on Squeak won the Medium Pony and Joey Dipierro on Hot Chocolate won the Large Pony.



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