by Tod Marks
National Steeplechase Association horsemen will have the opportunity to compete for purse money with the addition of three sanctioned races worth $65,000 on the April 8 card in the eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains.
Located at Ben Venue Farm in Washington, Va., the Old Dominion Hounds Point-to-Point is one of seven spring point-to-points in the state between March 4 and April 30. The three NSA races at Old Dominion include a pair of $25,000 maiden hurdle races at 2 miles, one of which is restricted to fillies and mares, and a $15,000 open timber race at 3 miles. Entries for the NSA-sanctioned races will close with the NSA office on Monday, April 3. All other entries, for the non-sanctioned races, will be processed through the Central Entry Office.
With the exception of a flat race for Virginia-bred or sired runners, which carries a $2,000 purse from the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, the point-to-point races are not run for prize money. Instead they offer horses the chance to prep or train for future starts, or simply be able to continue to compete. Similarly, they allow amateur, novice, and young riders an opportunity to gain valuable experience and hone their skills.
The idea of including sanctioned races on the card was brought to the attention of National Steeplechase Association President Al Griffin, a Virginian who is co-chairman of the Virginia and International Gold Cup Races. Dr. Griffin was concerned about an open date and looked to fill the gap on the NSA calendar (there are no other meets scheduled for April 8). Leadership at Old Dominion was quick to jump on the bandwagon and agreed to host the event, while the Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA) provided purse support.
“Horsemen have been vocal in asking for more opportunities, particularly in the maiden filly and mare division,” Dr. Griffin said. “We had the open date so it was natural to reach out to the Old Dominion Point-to-Point and partner with them. The VEA once again stepped up and provided the purse structure. The sanctioned hurdle and timber races will be a popular addition to the already popular card, which is a win-win for everyone.”
For the more information about the Old Dominion Hounds, click here: http://www.theolddominionhounds.com/odh-point-to-point.html
The race conditions for the three sanctioned races are as follows:
(Filly & Mare Maiden Hurdle)
Purse $25,000. Hurdle. For Maiden Fillies and Mares, Four Years Old and Upward. Four-year-olds, 145 lbs.; older, 153 lbs. Entry fee $250; $250 additional if not scratched on time Wednesday; $250 additional to start; with $100 additional to be paid to the Old Dominion Hounds Point to Point.
Two Miles over National Fences.
Purse $25,000. Hurdle. For Maidens, Four Years Old and Upward. Four-year-olds, 146 lbs.; older, 154 lbs. Entry fee $250; $250 additional if not scratched on time Wednesday; $250 additional to start; with $100 additional to be paid to the Old Dominion Hounds Point to Point.
Two Miles over National Fences.
THE LEEDS DON
Purse $15,000. Timber. For Five Years Old and Upward. Five-year-olds, 165 lbs.; older, 170 lbs. Non-winners of a timber stakes, allowed 5 lbs.; of a race over timber, 10 lbs. Entry fee $150; $150 additional if not scratched on time Wednesday; $150 additional to start; with $100 additional to be paid to the Old Dominion Hounds Point to Point.
Three Miles over Timber.