July 2018 - Out & About
Written by CRM
Friday, 29 June 2018 19:25

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“Talk Derby To Me”
Written by Nicole Bhathal • Photography by Kelsey

Albright Photography

On Saturday May 5, Giracci Vineyards and Farms in Orange County’s Silverado hosted their fourth annual Kentucky Derby Viewing Party.


The afternoon began under the shady oaks with FEI Musical Freestyle demonstrations. As the dressage horses danced on air, guests enjoyed wine tasting, cocktails and an assortment of foods. Following was the after party in the Cabernet Barn, where bets were placed on the races. Live entertainment, contests, shopping and photo booths made the ambience especially fun for all. What makes this an especially exciting year is Justify, who won the Run For The Roses that afternoon. He subsequently won the Preakness Stakes, then became the Triple Crown winner by besting the field in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 9. What a fun year to be a racing fan!







Tally Ho! Cheryl & Kim go to Maryland Hunt Country

California Riding Magazine founder Cheryl Erpelding and editor Kim F Miller met new people, learned new ideas and had a ton of fun at the American Horse Publications annual Conference. Held last month in suburban Baltimore’s “Hunt Valley,” the conference began with a tour of equestrian landscapes and lifestyles delightfully different from our own.

We started with a visit to Locust Hill Farm, where Jack Fisher explained his horsekeeping and training practices for the steeplechasers in his program. Jack is to steeplechasing what McLain Ward is to showjumping, and he recruited an equally accomplished former jockey and writer, Sean Clancy, to help answer our questions. Highlights included meeting Eclipse Award winner Mr. Hot Stuff and walking Locust Hill’s endless green expanse as the local “pony camp” riders galloped by en route to a cross-country jump school.

Next stop was the Green Spring Valley Hunt headquarters, where a really old stone house serves as the clubhouse that was at the time filled with pony camper paraphernalia. We met all of Green Spring’s 80 hounds while touring the meticulously maintained kennel.

During a picnic at Sagamore Farms, we learned about public/private land conservation partnerships that have been crucial to preserving the equestrian lifestyle amidst urban sprawl. Sagamore was once owned by the Vanderbilt family, and was rescued and refurbished by Under Armour owner Kevin Plank. The textile footing on the schooling track there includes shreds of the company’s athletic gear! The evolution of barn design was apparent in touring the original fully enclosed practice track surrounded by dark, airless stalls, juxtaposed with the current barn designed by John Blackburn that was flooded with light and fresh air.

Our final stop was walking half of the four-mile Maryland Hunt Cup course led by Blythe Miller Davies and Joe Davies, trainers, jockeys, winners, pony camp parents and terrific guides. First run in 1894, the race includes 22 fences spread over adjoining properties separated by a road that is crossed twice during the race. The highest fence is 4’9” and all are solid and taken at a gallop, often abreast of another horse and sometimes scrambling around one that’s fallen.
Very big thanks to the AHP, tour organizer Barrie Reightler of Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred for a wonderful introduction to this world, and to tour sponsors Maryland Horse Industry Board and Maryland Horse Breeders Association.