Brandywine Hills at Myrick kicks off the local horse racing season04/04/2022 08:29PM ● By Steven Hoffman
The early rain showers over the Myrick Center abated on Sunday morning, giving time for all the youth events to take place at the Brandywine Hills Point-to-Point. Then, almost on cue, as the kids finished their stick pony race, the sky opened again, delaying the start of the serious adult timber races.
Undeterred by the heavy downpour shortly after 1 p.m., the equestrian community of the Unionville area showed its grit, not leaving, but sheltering for 15 minutes or so in their cars. They returned to the fields when the rain stopped to watch and celebrate their beloved sport.
The running of the Brandywine Hills Point-to-Point Races has been going on for 79 years. It’s an opportunity to see steeplechase racing at the home of the Brandywine-Red Clay Alliance in Pocopson Township.
The horses and riders traverse a course that has as many as 17 jumps during a series of as many as five distinct scheduled “timber” races. The Brandywine Point-to-Point traditionally has many entertaining events and races for young people as well.
The children’s events started a noon with several short runs over flat ground. Some of the children, clothed in colorful horse racing garb, engaged in serious races with the winners receiving awards and posing for photos with their families.
Gradually, the age range of the participants went lower, and the very young riders got their taste of the equestrian life with lead line and stick pony races.
The lead line races had riders 7-and-under riding their horses on a short course while being led on a line by a parent or guardian.
The stick pony races followed with young children running wildly across the field, many just waving their pony sticks with stuffed socks in the air and apparently unaware of a finish line. They just kept rushing all the way to the edge of the forest.
As the skies cleared following the rain shower, the adult timber events over three miles of fox hunting country commenced.
The winners of the timber races are the following:
The women’s race was won in 7:06 minutes by Theresa Dempfel on Blackhall.
The Amateur Apprentice Race was run simultaneously with the Novice Timber race. Sam English on Andale finished third in the Amateur but earned the first in his Novice division. Skylar McKenna won the Amateur race on Withoutmoreado in 6:32 minutes.
The Open Timber race was won by Teddy Davies on Our Friend in 6:38 minutes.
The women’s side 1-mile side saddle race on the flat was won by Lauren Apple on Sky Babe.