- THE NSA
- INTRO TO JUMP RACING
- MORE ABOUT…
- JUMP RACING BLOGS
With his degree from the University of Virginia in hand, Connor Hankin had a vast array of career choices before him. He could have continued his studies toward a graduate degree, or he could have found employment in just about any endeavor that interested him.
Or, he could have taken a gap year or so and worked with horses, a vocation in which he has obvious talents. Riding largely for champion trainer Jack Fisher, he stood second in the jockey standings, and he is regarded by veteran observers as one of the most talented young riders to come along in some time.
All those paths and more were open to him, but he has decided to take the road less traveled. At least temporarily, his steeplechase career ends with the Saratoga Race Course meet. On Sept. 10, he reported to the U.S. Marine Corps base at Quantico, Va., to enter officer candidate school.
“At a certain point, I just feel like doing something to serve my country,” he told Mark Singelais. of the Albany (N.Y) Times Union in early August. “Doing something meaningful is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and I would regret not doing it. I think it’s the right time at this point.”
Hankin, 22, will undergo a 10-week training regimen at Quantico before his commission as a second lieutenant. After that, he reports for combat training. He hopes to specialize in intelligence, he told Singelais.
With Saratoga and Belmont in the books, the jumpers returned to the hunt course to kick of the Fall steeplechase season, which began on Saturday with an 8-race card at Shawan Downs in Hunt Valley, Md. Sean McDermott, fresh off his win on Scorpiancer in the Grade 1 Lonesome Glory, rode two more, Bruce Smart Officer's Oath for trainer Jimmy Day and Bruton Street-US' Two's Company in the $25,000 Legacy Chase (Jack Fisher). Kieran Norris doubled, too, aboard Timber Town's New Saloon on the flat for trainer Madison Meyers, and Maggie Bryant's Adios Diablo (trained by Doug Fout) in the first race timber maiden. Gerard Galligan ended a lengthy drought for trainer Jonathan Sheppard, taking the second race maiden hurdle with Bill Pape's Castle Hill. Brendan Crowley, who captured the co-featured William Entenmann at Belmont on Hardrock Eleven, was also victorious with Clorevia Farm's Easy Exit (Doug Fout). Winning her first U.S. race was Alice Mills, on DASH Stable's Time Out in the $25,000 Ratings Hurdle Handicap. Ross Geraghty won the finale on the flat with Bob Kinsley's star Unsinkable, who's on the comeback after a disappointing summer in Saratoga. Photographer Douglas Lees has the photo recap - tod marks
© 2016 National Steeplechase Association, all rights reserved.
website by Fairview Design