Click on the Read More link below to read about the National Steeplechase Association’s leading jockeys at the start of the 2016 racing season.
Two American amateur jump riders, Bethany Baumgardner and Eric Poretz, traveled abroad this past week representing the Amateur Riders Club of America in the opening Longines Fegentri Men’s and Ladies Individual World Championship series. On February 19, Poretz traveled to the race course in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where three days of racing are run on
The National Steeplechase Foundation expressed its gratitude to champion steeplechase jockeys Ross Geraghty, Kieran Norris, and Paddy Young for sharing their experiences at the Horse World Expo – MD & PA. The discussion was led by young rider moderators Elizabeth Scully and Hunter Holm. NSF would also like to thank Gina Perri and Eric Poretz for
Eric Poretz, a National Steeplechase Association-licensed amateur jockey, won the final race of the worldwide Fegentri men’s amateur riding competition, a first for an American rider. Poretz, who rode Senior Senator to victory in the 2016 Maryland Hunt Cup, took the Longines Fegentri Championship Final for Gentlemen Riders at Doha in Qatar on Dec. 15.
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.
American amateur riders with steeplechase connections are headed to Europe to compete in international races as part of the Fegentri competitions. Their overseas ventures follow an American sweep of amateur races held at Mid-Atlantic racetracks earlier in September. The Americans are members of the Amateur Racing Club of America (ARCA), and several of them have
Amateur steeplechase jockey Sarah Shaffer led a strong American effort in the U.S. leg of the Longines International Fegentri Ladies Series competition. Pennsylvania-based Shaffer won the last of the four races at Mid-Atlantic racetracks between June 9 and June 13, and she also had two third-place finishes. Shaffer rode Wilburn’s Princess to a two-length score
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