The Maryland Hunt Cup, April 30, 2016. This world renowned timber race has been a Maryland tradition—a rite of spring— for over 100 years: one race, precisely at 4:00 pm, sumptuous tailgates, fancy clothes, held in the rolling hills of the Worthington Valley, with close up views of the nation’s top thoroughbred steeplechase horses. Revered for generations, we can depend that this event at least never changes.
2304 Tufton Ridge Road, Reisterstown
6 bedroom(s), 10 bathroom(s)
9,017 square feet
Have you ever driven through the Greenspring or Worthington Valley and been struck by the majesty of the Maryland landscape? Keeping the countryside pristine and green took hard work (and even a fight or two) over half a century and now those who have helped to preserve the land celebrate the success.
James Stierhoff won the Hunt Cup yesterday, beating Gilman senior Connor Hankin by half a length. He was riding Twill Do, owned by Lucy Goelet and trained by William Meister.
See our story, “Spring Fling: Maryland Steeplechase Amateur Jockeys Do it For Love” featuring Stierhoff and other amateur jockeys.
Recent years have been hard on the sport of kings. Faced with a draining audience, horse racing has resorted to gimmicks in an attempt to remain relevant – see the Preakness’s attempt to re-brand itself with a beer-chugging centaur mascot and infield bikini contests for one (depressing) example. But one very classic bastion of equine enthusiasm still exists: Maryland’s spring steeplechase season. These nationally-famous races send amateur riders galloping over several miles of rolling terrain and five-foot tall cedar post-and-rail fences as tailgating spectators nibble on deviled eggs and cheer from the sidelines. Although there’s prize money for the top three finishers, jockeys can’t be paid for racing. This is something they do because they love it.
For most casual spectators, Maryland’s steeplechase season begins this Saturday, April 21, with the 110th running of the Maryland Grand National. The Grand National, a three-mile, 18-fence course, is followed one week later by its more venerable cousin, the 116th Maryland Hunt Cup. The Hunt Cup sends riders over 22 fences in four miles, a course so challenging that it’s considered an accomplishment to finish at all; last year, fourteen horses entered, ten started, and only three completed the race.
HOT HOUSE: 12923 Dover Road, Reisterstown, MD 21136
New England style salt-box colonial on 3.85 wooded acres in Poplar Ridge, in the Worthington Valley: $1,125,000
What: This could be the place you’ve been waiting to land. 12923 Dover is a comfortable, airy, three-story colonial, built in 1978 along the simple lines of a Nantucket captain’s house. Four bedrooms and four-and-a half baths on a private wooded lot also make it a great family home. The backyard cries out for kids, soccer goals and lacrosse gear-–it’s a wide-open yet private place to play. The lot is big enough for a pool or tennis court, although lovely just as it is and a keen gardener could create a beautiful wooded garden here. An attractive barn/shed on the property will help store all that gear. Inside, past the entrance foyer, the generously proportioned, new (redone only last year) kitchen is furnished with all mod cons and has a big window overlooking the woods–heaven for the dish do-er. Also on the first floor are formal but relaxed living and dining rooms, family room and a big porch overlooking the woods. Open floor plan means the rooms flow nicely into one another, creating a good flow for entertaining. Family room and living room have wood-burning fireplaces. High-end details like crown molding, built-in bookcases and hardwood flooring add character. Upstairs, the bedrooms are nice and there’s a good-sized master suite with walk-in closet and luxurious all-white bathroom. A finished basement for the kids when it’s raining, central air, forced air heat–all systems go.
Where: Dover Road is off of Greenspring Avenue, in the posh Worthington Valley. Think golf, think horses, think trees. Nearby are the shops at Greenspring Station and Stevenson Village. For groceries, the fabulous Wegman’s in Hunt Valley is just a few easy miles away. For being far out, the location is actually a pretty good gig.
Why: Pretty property near several golf courses. Also, proximity to Halcyon House, decorator Stiles Colwell’s glamorous little farm house boutique just a mile or two down the road.
Why Not: It’s dark out here at night, and the roads twist and turn–driving home after a few drinks could present more than the usual challenges…or maybe it’s just me.
Would suit: Young family. People who’ve always wanted to live in the country. Golfers.