McDynamo, a Racing Hall of Fame member and the National Steeplechase Association’s all-time leading earner, died Dec. 1 at trainer Sanna Neilson’s farm in Pennsylvania, where he had resided throughout his jump-racing career and retirement.
Owned by Michael J. Moran and trained by Neilson, McDynamo earned three Eclipse Awards as champion steeplechase horse, in 2003, 2005, and 2006. He was never defeated in seven starts at the Far Hills Races, where he won five consecutive editions of the Grand National (Gr. 1), now America’s richest steeplechase race and run as the Breeders’ Cup Steeplechase in several of those years.
He earned $1,310,104 over fences and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2013. He made 25 starts over fences, won 15 of them, and placed in five others.
“It was a real honor and privilege to be his caretaker,” Neilson said. “He made all the people around him look good.”
The National Steeplechase Association’s annual Awards Dinner and Dance will be held Thursday, Jan. 16, at the Maryland Club in Baltimore.
Always a popular event, the awards ceremony will celebrate the sport’s 2019 champions and their accomplishments. Among the awards to be presented will be the Lonesome Glory Award, which goes to the year’s leading earner. Michael Buckley’s Brain Power secured the Lonesome Glory Award with his victory in the $450,000 Grand National (Gr. 1) on Oct. 19.
Music will be provided by The Release. A cocktail reception opens the evening at 6:30 p.m., and the dinner and awards ceremony kick off at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available for $150 per person. To make reservations or to obtain further information, please contact Nancy Dougherty at the NSA office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 392-0700.
David A. Hershbell, a National Steeplechase Association senior steward who held positions at many NSA race meets, died Wednesday, Nov. 27, at the age of 72.
He and his wife, Charlene, resided in the Allentown, Pa., area, and Dave Hershbell was sales and marketing manager for Lehigh Heavy Forge, which is based in Bethlehem. Before that opportunity arose approximately five years ago, he was vice president of marketing for Lenape Forged Products Corp. in West Chester, Pa., where he had worked for more than 30 years.
Hershbell said recently that his only regret about taking the Lehigh Heavy Forge position was that he and Charlene had to move from their farm in West Grove, Pa. Active with horses throughout his time in Pennsylvania, he attended stewards school and became an accredited steward in 2002. For several years, he had been the presiding steward at the Genesee Valley Hunt Races.
Charlene Hershbell also was a race official in varying capacities, and she and her husband supported the Winterthur pony races, which are named in memory of their daughter, Allison, a retired flat jockey who died in 2007. They also have a son, Scott.
Funeral services are pending.
Michael Mitchell had the 2019 jockey championship at his mercy after his compatriot Jack Doyle sustained a season-ending injury in the last race and at the last fence of the Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens on Nov. 9.
Mitchell only had to make a few calls, or take a few calls, and get on the favorites at the season-ending Steeplechase at Charleston at Stono Ferry on Sunday. He certainly would have had a full dance card, and one win in five jump races would have given him the championship over Doyle, who is recovering from a fractured jaw sustained in an allowance hurdle for four-year-olds.
One race earlier, Mitchell had climbed into a tie with Doyle for year-end honors with his victory aboard Storm Team in the Aflac Supreme Hurdle. The English-born jockey, who was New Zealand’s champion jockey four years ago, had every chance of occupying the line as 2019’s champion jockey in the National Steeplechase annals.
Instead, the 2019 jockey title will contain two lines, one for Mitchell and one for Doyle, after Mitchell declined to take any mounts at Charleston. In a magnanimous action, Mitchell refused to take advantage of Doyle’s misfortune. Thus, the title ends in a tie, with each jockey having 20 victories.
The National Steeplechase Association elected five members to the Board of Directors at its annual meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at NSA headquarters in Fair Hill, Md. The Board of Directors comprises 15 members, and five are elected each year to three-year terms. Two current directors, NSA President Guy J. Torsilieri and Vice President Doug
The Monday Report for Nov. 18, featuring the season-ending Steeplechase of Charleston at Stono Ferry, its Alston Cup for three-year-olds, and the tie for the jockey championship, is now available here. The web address is: https://www.nationalsteeplechase.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/MR11-18-19w.pdf