Fair Hill Training Center

Catching up with ... steeplechasing's John Fisher

Catching up with ... steeplechasing's John Fisher

It’s a tale — or tail — worth telling. Nearly half a century ago, competing in the Grand National timber stakes, a rider named John Fisher lost the race to his own horse.

“That doesn’t often happen,” said Fisher, 82. But it did, on April 19, 1969, on the 3-mile steeplechase course in Butler. There, a horse named Landing Party, owned by Fisher, defeated another named Island Stream, ridden by the same man.

Confused? Let Fisher explain.

“I’d trained both horses, having bought Island Stream for a friend (George Weymouth). I admired Mr. Weymouth and wanted him to win the race, so I rode Island Stream and put someone else on Landing Party,” Fisher said. “Island Stream had more...