The Friday Show Presented By PHBA Stallion Auction: Steeplechase Primer From Trainer Keri Brion

Keri Brion with 2021 Eclipse Award-winning steeplechase horse The Mean Queen © Tod Marks

by Paulick Report Staff

Trainer Keri Brion is this week’s guest on the Friday Show, where she advocates for steeplechase racing and for Eclipse Awards voters not to skip over that category and abstain in year-end voting for racing’s annual championships.

Brion, who opened a public stable in 2021 that includes horses racing over jumps and on the flat, is a former assistant to Hall of Fame conditioner Jonathan Sheppard, who retired from training in 2021. She campaigned steeplechase Eclipse Award winner The Mean Queen in her first full year of training and in 2022 became just the second trainer to exceed $1 million in steeplechase earnings in a single season in North America.

Brion’s appearance is a followup to the Jan. 6 Friday Show in which voting for 2022 Eclipse Awards was discussed and both bloodstock editor Joe Nevills and guest Andrew Champagne said they abstained from voting in the steeplechase category. Their comments and an earlier Making Claims column by Nevills elicited a letter from steeplechase trainer Kate Dalton and a subsequent wave of comments on social media.

Brion offers a primer to Nevills and publisher Ray Paulick on the sport itself and efforts to grow its popularity, some of steeplechasing’s most important races, differences in race courses, the type of horses she looks for to convert to jumps, and the similarities to training horses for the two disciplines. It’s a lively and interesting discussion that Brion hopes will lead to a better understanding of the game and fewer abstentions in future Eclipse Awards voting.

Watch this week’s episode of the Friday Show below or click HERE:

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