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 made their marks in American jump racing.
Eric Poretz, who won this year’s Maryland Hunt Cup aboard Senior Senator, will ride four races in Italy, France, and Germany.
Erica Taylor and Bethany Baumgardner will compete in the Fegentri World Cup of Nations race at Baden-Baden Racecourse in Germany. Sarah Shaffer will travel to Mannheim, Germany, for the Longines International Fegentri Ladies Series.
Five European amateur jockeys visited the United States earlier in September but were swept by American-based amateurs. The overseas jockeys were Guilain Bertrand of France, Jindrich Fabris of the Czech Republic, Vinzenz Schiergen of Germany, Ignacio Melgarejo-Loring of Spain, and Antonnio Ferramosca of Italy.
Taking honors for the Americans were Eduardo Leiva at Laurel Park and Alexander Martinez at Penn National Race Course in a Sept. 10 day-night doubleheader; Christopher Ortiz at Parx Racing on Sept. 11; and Jose Bracho at Delaware Park on Sept. 12.
“We are so very proud of how our American members competed against world-class amateur jockeys,” said Donald Yovanovich, ARCA’s executive director and the first American to serve on the Fegentri board of directors. “Six of the nine American riders never rode in a race before, and two of them, Leiva and Bracho, won. They all did a magnificent job as we had many of them hit the board in all four races.”