Amid the building hype for the Kentucky Derby early next month, CBS is taking the time to spotlight a different high-profile horse racing event that covers far more ground.
This Sunday’s “60 Minutes” will feature the Maryland Hunt Cup, the long-distance equestrian competition with a 123-year legacy in the state. As Charlie Rose tells it in this preview clip, “The Maryland Hunt Cup is a grueling four-mile course known as the most demanding event in timber racing, America’s version of steeplechase.”
Rather than traveling in circles around a track like the one at Pimlico, jockeys in timber racing events will ride their horses for miles, bounding over fences, creeks and other rough terrain. The Maryland Hunt Cup has been a pinnacle event for the sport since the first one in Baltimore County in 1894, with riders competing throughout the spring each year for a chance to compete.
Writing for Baltimore Fishbowl, reporter Elizabeth Heubeck previously spoke to some timber racing insiders about the legacy of the competition in Maryland and the challenge of keeping timber racing alive across the state.
For CBS’ segment, the network equipped last year’s winner, Eric Poretz, with a camera as he rode his horse, Touchdown Tony, through an open countryside. The footage gives viewers an idea as to just how challenging it is to make a horse jump over countless barriers for miles on end.
As the interviewer and narrator, Rose covers some the history of the sport, including its 19th-century roots in Ireland, and sits down with jockey, trainer and three-time Hunt Cup champion Paddy Neilson.
Here’s the preview for the segment, which will air on Sunday, April 23, at 7 p.m.
The full profile on “60 Minutes” will air six days before this year’s Maryland Hunt Cup takes place. The event is set for April 29 in an area off of Tufton Avenue is Reisterstown. Click here for directions and to purchase tickets.
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