Tag: horse country

Falls Road


Falls Road

Will the Maryland Hunt Cup Challenge Cup Fall This Weekend??

Photo by Douglas Lees. Copyright 2013
Photo by Douglas Lees. Copyright 2013

For the past 31 years, not since Mrs. Miles Valentine with Cancottage in 1983, has anyone has been able to take home the coveted Maryland Hunt Cup Challenge Cup. This year, at the 118th running of the most difficult timber race in the world on Saturday, April 26, four miles and 22 fences over Worthington Farms in Glyndon, three owners have a chance to jump into that void: Lucy A. Goelet, Northwoods Stable, and Arcadia Stable.

Pigtown Design: A Day at the Races


I hadn’t planned to go to Shawan Downs on Saturday, but when an opportunity presented itself, I accepted.

The Insider: Visit to an Old Farmhouse in the Country


Do you ever marvel at those people who live way out, I mean so far out that it takes 45 minutes to get to the grocery store? I often tease my friends who live way out on Reisterstown Road, or way out on Falls Road or out in Howard County, about living in another state and spending so much time in their cars. That is until I get there, of course.  The lush serenity, the stillness, the communing with nature — there is something stunningly beautiful about the Maryland countryside.

NY Times Talks to Baltimore Horse Owners About Horses as Investments

Investment adviser, horse owner and Baltimorean George Bolton


The New York Times columnist Paul Sullivan’s latest column on wealth management addresses investing in horses and features Baltimore-native George Bolton, who partially owned Curlin, the 2007 Preakness winner and the horse that holds the record for most money won by a thoroughbred horse. The story also quotes David DiPietro of Owings Mills who owns three-year-old filly Orient Moon with Bolton.

An excerpt:

I concluded after my day at the races that while putting money into moviemaking has its pitfalls, horse racing is probably the passion investment most fraught with risk and emotions. There is the joy of winning, of course, but also the sinking feeling that afflicted Mr. Bolton when his horse threw the jockey. And with the elation of a big victory come the dreams of high breeding fees, but smart owners know that the price paid for a horse has nothing to do with its fate.

Read Wealth Matters: Investing in a Racehorse without Breaking the Bank


Steeplechase Royalty and Author Patrick Smithwick at Ivy Bookshop Tonight



Get for next weekend’s Maryland Hunt Cup with Patrick Smithwick’s latest book, “Flying Change.” The memoir tells of the Gilman alum and Hopkins grad’s decision to get himself and his horse ready — within a nine-month period — to ride the Maryland Hunt Cup.

The demands of Smithwick’s return to racing pull him away from his family and his writing, creating major conflicts. Nonetheless, Smithwick, who wrote about growing up in the world of racing with his Hall of Fame steeplechase jockey dad “Paddy” Smithwick in “Racing My Father”, strives to carry on traditions from his upbringing and apply them to raising his three children. He discusses the book in more detail in the video, above.

The author will appear tonight, April 25 at the Ivy Bookshop from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. for a reception, reading and book signing.  He will continue on his local book tour with signings and readings at Harford Day School on April 29, Gilman on May 11 and at Greetings and Readings on June 2.

See event details at Baltimore Fishbowl Events

Pigtown Design: A Day at the Races



When we were children, my parents took us to the steeplechase races that are a fixture in Baltimore during the month of April. So when I was asked to join a group of friends at the My Lady’s Manor races, which benefit Ladew Gardens, I decided to chuck all of the day’s chores and errands and have a day  in the country.

Spring Fling: Maryland Steeplechase Amateur Jockeys Do It for Love

Connor Hankin rides Battle Op in the Elkridge-Harford Point-to-Point, April 7. Hankin won the race. Photo by Chandler Willett.


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.

What’s Your Make-Me-Move Price?


There’s a story going around, confirmed by real estate people in-the-know, that an executive with Pandora Jewelry, which makes charms and bracelets, rings and necklaces and other tchotkes, has paid twice the value for a house in Baltimore County’s Greenspring Valley. The house, lovely inside and out with pastoral views and lots of lush, green horse-y acreage, was owned and loved for decades by an old Baltimore family who had no intention of moving but faced an offer it could not refuse. 

So the story begs the question: How much would it take to make you move? We all grow emotionally attached to our houses, of course, but everyone has a “make me move” price. Real estate website Zillow, which lists and values properties, encourages home owners to list their “Make Me Move” price, calling it a “free and easy way to let others know what you’d sell your home for.”

In this economy, not many of us will be lucky enough to get that magic number. Even in a good economy, most of us wouldn’t be lucky enough to get that magic number, so it’s no wonder that when it does happen, it has neighbors’ tongues wagging.

Pandora Jewelry is a multi-million-dollar company headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. It employs over 5,000 people worldwide. Before its initial public offering last October, the BBJ reported the company hired Baltimore marketing company GVK to develop branding and communication strategies. Maybe the IPO windfall afforded the executive a giddy I-can-buy-whatever-I-want moment?

Tell us your Make-Me-Move price in the comments — maybe you’ll find a buyer. (We fully expect a commission, of course.)

Picturesque Monkton


HOT HOUSE: 16835 Gerting Rd,  Monkton 20111 

Shaker-style low-country farmhouse, with Amish barn and guesthouse, designed and built by local architects.  10 acres of paddocks and 65+ acres of wooded land in My Lady’s Manor: $2,395,000

What: Built in 2000, and designed by Faith Nevins Hawks, this is a stunning home in its own right, currently listed in the New York Times Great Homes and Destinations.  The façade is at once impressive and disarming, with a second-story, screened ‘sleeping porch’ that offers panoramic vistas over rolling countryside. The rooms are airy and well proportioned, uniting traditional and modern in quintessential Shaker manner. Five bedrooms, three and a half baths, with a lovely master bedroom suite and that amazing porch upstairs offer comfort.  Nice kitchen/great room as well as cozy, more formal dining room on the ground floor make for great family hang out space.  Marble baths, cherry floors, built-ins, crunching pea-gravel entrance and paths, perfect gardens —everything to a very high standard. But it is largely about the horses here in My Lady’s Manor, and the Amish-built barn that houses the stables is  a cathedral to equine culture.  Pristine and serene, with sunlight weaving through the vaulted wooden beams, the workmanship competes only with the bucolic setting and the horses themselves for attention.  Inside: six stalls, post and beam construction and heated tack room.  When you’re not out in the barn or riding on the 65+ acres, you can work-out in the house gym, swim in the pool or visit the chickens in their custom coop. 

Where: Follow York Road all the way north to the tiny village of Monkton, about 10 miles north of Shawan Road. Nearest landmark is the bike crossing at the NCR trail. 

Why: ecause you love to breed, race or ride horses, or love someone who does. Also, because you appreciate the Shaker aesthetic,  “’tis a gift to be simple.” Here, it’s all about the luxury of fine design and materials, as opposed to giant columns and acres of granite.

Why Not: “Goodbye, city life!” For an urban or suburbanite, this location is pretty far out there.  Forget to pick up the milk, and you’ve got a good long haul ahead of you, unless the picturesque little store in tiny Monkton village happens to be open. Good new is, your only 10 miles from Dover Saddlery, and 4 miles to the Manor Tavern, the local watering hole. 

Would suit: Stylish but serious horseman.