KENNETT SQUARE, Pa.--A big field of 12 is entered for the National Steeplechase sanctioned Apprentice Timber race being run in honor of Louis Neilson III, including two of his grandchildren.
Skylar McKenna, the daughter of Kathy Neilson, is named on two horses, Sycamore Run Farm & Move Up Stable's Pured It, and Nancy A, Read''s Awesome Adrian, both trained by Kathy Neilson.
Parker Hendriks, the son of Sanna Neilson, is named on Sherry L. Fenwick and Jonathan Sheppard's As You Like It, trained by Sanna Neilson.
Sheppard, who is tied for the lead in Trainer, Races Won with Jack Fisher, has Andrew Takacs' Pav Yer Tack, ridden by Even Ledyard, entered.
The Willowdale Steeplechase is jumping in to help the sport of steeplechasing continue creatively during the pandemic.
Willowdale will host three Point- to- Point races and the one sanctioned race on Saturday, Oct. 17, but no spectators will be permitted, and unfortunately there is no live streaming of the races.
A COVID screening questionnaire will be completed and a temperature check will be done as each person enters the grounds.
Mask wearing, hand sanitizing and social distancing will be mandatory and strictly enforced throughout the day. Only participating horsemen, officials and volunteers will be granted access to the property and must be on the list of participants.
“Our goal is to keep the sport of steeplechasing healthy as we weather this pandemic,” said Race Chairman Dixon Stroud. “We want to help the trainers and riders keep their horses sharp for the fall and spring races and make use of this wonderful racecourse. We look forward to better times when we can once again invite our fans, celebrate our local community and raise money for our charities.”
Dixon also credited Kathy Neilson, President of the Steeplechase Owners and Trainers Association for her support as well as several donors who provided the financial support to make the day possible.
Stroud noted how special it was to be able to host the BNY Wealth Management & Selkirk Partners race, run in honor of Kathy’s father and, his close friend, Louis “Paddy” Neilson, III.
The first race will be a one and a half mile apprentice rider flat race that has 12 entries plus one also eligible should one of the 121 drop out.
The second is a maiden timber race at 3 miles with 11 entries, and the third is an open timber race, also at three miles, that has seven entries.
These three are unsanctioned races.
The final race is a sanctioned race –The BNY Mellon Wealth Management & Selkirk Partners Apprentice Timber Race in honor of Louis Neilson, III.