Legacy Chase to celebrate 'Hats, Horses and Hope' theme on Saturday at Shawan Downs
By Nelson Coffin
Baltimore Sun Media Group|
Sep 21, 2017 | 7:10 PM
Race chair Charlie Fenwick talks about the 16th annual Legacy Chase. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)
According to Robert Donegan, an oncologist in the Berman Cancer Institute at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, the theme for the Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs in Cockeysville on Saturday — "Hats, Horses and Hope" — fits perfectly with the 17th annual event's goal of raising funds for cancer research while celebrating those who are fighting or have survived the disease.
Donegan, the event's Physician Chair, said the reference to hats works on several fronts.
"This is a fitting tribute to cancer patients and their loved ones," he said. "There is the long tradition of wearing stylish and fun hats to the races. And when people are undergoing cancer therapy, they sometimes lose their hair and wear hats. So this is a chance to tip our hats, to honor and acknowledge cancer survivors."
He said the horses and hope part of the theme also fits.
"Living with cancer can sometimes seem like a horse race," Donegan said. "Sometimes there are jumps, sometimes stumbles and, hopefully, victories. These strong and resilient horses are a fitting symbol of those cancer survivors who run their own personal races. There is always hope. It is what sustains us."
"We are most grateful for the generosity of the Baltimore community," Donegan said. "Funds go toward enhancing the patient experience by supporting counseling, survivorship programs, cancer screening, transportation and many other expenses of care."
Shawan Downs was saved from development by the nonprofit Land Preservation Trust in 1997, helping it become a top-flight equestrian center.
Shortly thereafter, the Legacy Chase has annually attracted thousands of fans to the 300-acre tract of rolling hills of former farmland just off Shawan Road while giving racegoers a fall event to enjoy.
The local spring series, which includes the Elkridge-Harford, My Lady's Manor and Grand National races, culminates with the historic Maryland Hunt Cup on the final Saturday of April.