On a day when the weather was more like that of a Green Bay Packers home game, a small but hardy group of steeplechase diehards braved alternating rain, snow, sleet, wind and cold to watch their favorites get booted home at the annual Elkridge-Harford Point-to-Point races at Atlanta Hall Farm in Monkton.
Because of the weather, scratches made for small fields in most of the races on the day's card.
The day's feature race, the Edward S. Voss Memorial saw five go to the start, as Mr. Tack, ridden by Alex Leventhal, led the field on the first circuit to the sixth fence. On the second circuit, last year's winner Raven's Choice had taken the lead; however, by the time the drive for the finish came it was Rosbrian Farm's Class Brahms, piloted by Gus Dahl, taking the win in 7:27 4/5.
Spencer Road, owned jointly by Eleanor Russell, Gerry Brewster and former U.S. Sen. Joseph Tydings, finished second, with Be Great, piloted by Annie Yeager, finishing third and Raven's Choice was fourth.
When asked after the race how her horse had fared owner Ann Jackson said "it was a good work" for the upcoming Maryland Hunt Cup.
The day's second race, The George C. Clement Memorial saw numerous scratches, paring the field down to a three-horse contest with Out Playing, Hunt Ball and Derwins Prospector going to the post.
As the horses came around for the second circuit of the course, Out Playing led Derwins Prospector and Hunt Ball. With Derwins Prospector pulling up on the back side, Hunt Ball and Out Playing took the final fence in tandem. Hunt Ball then pulled ahead to give owner Atlantic Equine, trainer Elizabeth Voss and jockey Mark Beecher the win in a time of 7:29 4/5.
The third race, the Ann L. McIntosh Memorial, saw a field of four at the start, with Monstaleur dominating the running.
Cheers were loud for Forrest Kelly, Monstaleur's popular trainer and rider, as he piloted his horse home to victory, beating out Peter and Sarah Jay's horse Prime Prospector, who took second, and Frank Bonsal's Terko Service, who finished third. The winning time was 7:23 1/5.
The day's fourth contest, the Babe Saportas Memorial, was another four-horse race, as Gawaarib, Cold Water Spring, Henry San and Brother Sy went to the start.
Cold Water Spring, ridden by Ed McLaughlin, led going into the second time around the course, but wound up with a third place finish, as Brother Sy, ridden by Amelia McGuirk and trained by Todd Wyatt, brought the win home to Armata Stables in 7:44 2/5. Gawaarib finished second.
The Alfred J. Smithwick Memorial Flat was split into two divisions, and Robert A. Kinsley's runners took both, as Holiday Queen and Unsinkable, both trained by Elizabeth Voss and ridden by Gus Dahl, came home winners with times of 2:11 2/5 and 2:01 2/5 respectively.
Alexandra White's Approbation was second in the first division, and trainer Joseph Davies had a third with Touchdowntony. The second division place and show horses were Bishop's Castle for trainer Todd Wyatt and Bridgeville ridden for Michael L. Leaf by Fritz Boniface.
The final contest of the day, the Jane Watters Small Memorial, looked to be a win for Elkridge-Harford's own Ashton Williams in the irons on Tafawuk; however, she was outrun by a length by Ivan Dowling, who took the win aboard Whatdidyousee with Gerry Brewster's Catch the Echo in third. The winning time was 5:26 3/5.
The day's races were sponsored by Frankel Jaguar Land Rover, Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, The Mill of Bel Air, the Griswold Family, the Manor Tavern and Hart to Heart Ambulance Services. The races were hosted by the Elkridge-Harford Hunt Club on the Voss family's Atlanta Hall Farm.