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Irish jockey Ruby Walsh raised the Grand National trophy with owner Irv Naylor after Rawnaq's 2016 victory. (Tod Marks photo)

Steeplechasing is an increasingly international sport, and the Far Hills Race Meeting is the principal crossroads where Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Europe meet America.
For evidence of Far Hills’ role in steeplechasing’s globalism, look no further than the entries for Far Hills’ signature race, the $450,000 Grand National (Gr. 1). Of the 13 horses entered for America’s richest steeplechase race on Saturday, six of them have never started in America, and another has one American start. That one is the Sideways Syndicate’s Jury Duty, who won last year’s Grand National for trainer Gordon Elliott.
Of the other six entrants, only two of them were born in America. So, the question arises: Is this bad, that so few American-bred horses are racing in Far Hills’ richest race?
The short answer is no, it’s not bad news. In many ways, it’s good news for American steeplechasing.
A short answer sometimes requires a longer explanation, and so it is with the intricacies of horse breeding in America and overseas, especially when today’s environment has been shaped over the last half-century.

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    STEEPLECHASING’S INTERNATIONAL MARKET

    Steeplechasing is an increasingly international sport, and the Far Hills Race Meeting is the principal crossroads where Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Europe meet America. For evidence of Far Hills’ role in steeplechasing’s globalism, look no further than the entries for Far Hills’ signature race, the $450,000 Grand National (Gr. 1). Of the 13 h...
  • in News

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    The 118th running of the historic $450,000 Grand National (Gr. 1) on Saturday will feature an international field of 13 top competitors trained by top international horsemen and ridden by leading international jockeys. The 2 5/8-mile Grand National, one of the world’s richest steeplechase races, will highlight a day of top-quality racing at the 99...
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    HALL OF FAME CHAMPION GOOD NIGHT SHIRT DIES

    Good Night Shirt, a Racing Hall of Fame member who won back-to-back Eclipse Awards as champion steeplechase horse in 2007 and 2008, has died as a result of colic. Owned by Harold A. “Sonny” Via and trained by Jack Fisher through his steeplechase career, Maryland-bred Good Night Shirt is one of only three horses to exceed $1-million in career jump-...
  • in News

    MONDAY REPORT FOR OCT. 14 NOW AVAILABLE

    The Monday Report for Oct. 14, featuring the timber victories of Ballybristol Farm’s Andi’amu in Virginia Fall’s $40,000 National Sporting Library and Museum Cup and Dolly Fisher’s Schoodic in the $30,000 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, is now available here. The web address is: https://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/wp-content/uploa...

CHASING IN FOCUS

Foxfield recap: Doyle wins three; trails Mitchell by one in jockey standings

Talk about a huge weekend. Jockey Jack Doyle, who struck twice at Shawan on Saturday, came back to capture three more on Sunday at Foxfield in Virginia, to come within one victory of Michael Mitchell's season-leading 17. Doyle took the maiden-claiming opener with Gill Johnston’s Be Counted. Next, he landed the maiden hurdle aboard KMSN Stable’s Inverness for trainer Keri Wolfsont. He then captured the third and final hurdle race, also a maiden event, on the card with Hudson River Farms’ Skydiving for trainer Jonathan Sheppard. Betsy Burke Parker has the photo recap.

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SOME FACTS ABOUT JUMP RACING IN NORTH AMERICA

$6,233,399

NSA PURSES IN 2018

473 HORSES

RAN IN 2018

1,000,000+

SPECTATORS EACH YEAR

12 STATES

HOST STEEPLECHASE RACES
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