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. Paired with Aziznets in the 1,600-meter (one mile) race, Poretz drove his mount to the front in the stretch and won by 2 1/2 lengths. A day earlier, he finished third in a Fegentri flat race, also at Doha.
Poretz’s participation in the Fegentri championship series was made possible by the Amateur Riding Club of America (ARCA), which raised funds for travel expenses for him and other amateur riders over the summer and fall. Poretz made four overseas trips in all, and he was sixth in the final male standings.
He also had a victory in Mannheim, Germany, in September and a second in Oman in November.
“We’re very proud of Eric and his singular accomplishment,” said ARCA Executive Director Donald Yovanovich. “He got a late start in the Fegentri competition, participated in only four of the 22 gentlemen’s races, and still finished sixth in the standings and won the series’ championship race. That’s a first for American amateur jockeys.”