This great video gives you the chance to ride along with Maryland Hunt Cup jockey James Stierhoff. This is one crazy timber race, spanning four miles and 22 fences. And those fences are big and solid, ranging from about 4′ to a whopping 4’10”. It’s hard to imagine galloping down to those fences especially in one of those tiny racing saddles. There’s not much to hold on to.
The Maryland Hunt Cup was first run in 1894 when members of the Elkridge Fox Hunting Club challenged the members of the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club to a race to see who had the best horse. The next year it was opened to all fox hunting clubs in Maryland and in 1903, it was opened to members from recognized Hunt Clubs throughout the US and Canada. Since 1922 it’s been hosted at the same course: Worthington Valley.
Unlike most of the high-profile horse races in the world, the Maryland Hunt Cup is open only to amateur jockeys. At the beginning of the film, one jockey comments that he remained an amateur because of this race!