The 100-year anniversary of the first running of the Maryland Hunt Cup was celebrated, with Margaret Worrall digging up nuggets of history about the race that was created when “one zealous group of foxhunters challenged a neighboring coterie of similar competitive spirits to determine whose foxhunting horse could jump the best and run the fastest.” The race was open to members of the Elkridge Foxhunting Club and Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, racing colors were worn, the distance was approximately 4 miles over natural hunting country with no artificial obstacles, and the winner received a silver cup.
Maryland Hunt Cup history in the Clothier family collection included Pine Pep's three tankards for wins in 1949,'50, '52 flanking his Challenge Trophy with Brosseau's 1917 trophy completing the set
The first Maryland Hunt Cup, run May 26, 1894, was won by John McHenry on his Johnny Miller. The race’s five founders – Jacob Ulman, Ross Whistler, Frank Baldwin, Henry Farber and Gerald Hopkins – immediately resolved to make the race an annual event.
In the race’s 125-year history, only three times has the race not been run, during the war years of 1943 to 1945.
• Ben Cohen, “the gruff-spoken former Pimlico race course owner who played a winning combination in just about every aspect of life,” died at the age of 94. In addition to overseeing vast growth at Pimlico during his 34 years of stewardship, “Mr. Ben,” as he was often addressed, and his brother Herman were successful in enterprises from homebuilding and property management to broadcasting, the latter as partners in the founding of Baltimore television station WAAM Channel 13 (now WJZ). As a Thoroughbred owner and breeder, Cohen and his wife Zelda campaigned Belmont Stakes winner Hail to All. The couple continued to maintain an active racing stable at the time of Cohen’s death.
• Stuart S. Janney III was named president of the Maryland Million. The Baltimore County breeder and owner, 45, was becoming increasingly involved in the Thoroughbred business as the proprietor of Locust Hill Farm in Glyndon, which he had inherited from his parents Stuart S. Janney Jr. and Barbara Phipps Janney.
• Among first-time Maryland-bred stakes winners was the Allen’s Prospect filly Prospective Joy. Bred by Fourbros Stable and sold as part of their dispersal as a 2-year-old in the winter of 1993 for $15,000 to Skeedattle Associates, the filly out of the Rollicking mare Jovial Joy captured the Jameela Stakes by a resounding 51⁄2 lengths over Lady Beaumont.
The Jameela was the filly’s final start, and she became a broodmare for Country Life Farm in Bel Air, Md. Her first foal was Grade 1 winner Hookedonthefeelin, by Country Life stallion Citidancer, who in turn produced Grade 1 winners Pussycat Doll and Jimmy Creed. Prospective Joy’s daughter Citiview (by Citidancer) is the dam of Grade 1 winner Midnight Lucky; another daughter, Fifteen Moons, is the dam of Maryland-bred champion Mayla.
• A record $155,000 was raised at the fourth annual Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Stallion Season and Equine Art Auction held at CandyLand Farm in Middletown, Del. A showpiece needlepoint stool created by Allaire duPont, a founding member of TRF, sold for $2,300.
Take a Look Back 10, 25, 50 and 75 years ago this month in our Looking Back archives