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Chester County Press

Plenty of action at the PA Hunt Cup’s 87th running

11/15/2021 09:48PM ● By Steven Hoffman
The Pennsylvania Hunt Cup came back for its 87th running on Sunday, Nov. 7, and the return was spectacular after last year’s races were run without spectators due to COVID-19. This year, race fans returned to watch the action on a beautiful fall day in the Chester County countryside.
On the racecourse, the featured event of the day was the $35,000 PA Hunt Cup, a four-mile race over unforgiving timber fences. The winner, in an exciting finish, was Goodoldtimes. The horse is owned by Armata Stables, trained by Alicia Murphy and was ridden by Colin Smith. 
The day of action featured two additional National Steeplechase Association sanctioned races over timber fences, as well as a non-jumping race. The Junior Pennsylvania Hunt Cup started the day with racing opportunities for junior riders on horses and ponies of all sizes.  Young riders come from far and wide to enter the competition, and they have a chance to race over portions of the same course as the PA Hunt Cup.
The day at the races had additional fun for spectators including a parade of vintage horse-drawn carriages and a special presentation honoring local Olympic rider Boyd Martin. Martin recently won the inaugural Five Star at Fair Hill three-day event while riding On Cue. The five star is the highest level of competition in the sport of combined training and this is the first American win at a five-star event since  2008.
Martin hunts with Mr. Stewarts Cheshire Fox Hounds, and briefly tried steeplechase riding. 
“I tried this sport a couple of years ago and I can tell you it’s harder than it looks,” Martin told the crowd. 
The Pennsylvania Hunt Cup has a history of supporting the community, with proceeds benefiting local charitable organizations. In recent years the Chester County Food Bank has been the primary beneficiary.
“Without the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, we really wouldn’t be able to fulfill our mission. They are the largest charitable  third party event that contributes to the Chester County Food Bank,” Food Bank CEO Andrea Youndt said. “Covid has only increased the need. We’ve seen a 30 percent increase and in order to fulfill that gap we rely on these donations. Food insecurity is real in this county and as the wealthiest county in Pennsylvania, we need everyone to be aware, so that all of our neighbors have opportunity and access to real healthy food.”