The 2023-2024 Maryland Steeplechase season, presented by Horizon Farm Credit, officially closed with the awards reception on Thursday, June 20th at the charming Green Spring Valley Hunt Club (the original location of the Green Spring Valley Hounds).

The night belonged to Bogey!

Bogey’s Image, owned by Harvey Goolsby, Achsah O’Donovan, Dan Colhoun, won or tied for 4 of the 7 high-point horse awards, winning Amateur-Apprentice Horse & Rider of the Year (with Teddy Davies in the irons) and Maryland-Sired Horse of the Year, and tying for Maryland Governor’s Cup Steeplechase Chase Horse of the Year and Maryland-Bred Horse of the Year.

Bogey’s Image, owned by Harvey Goolsby, Achsah  O’Donovan, Dan Colhoun, won or tied for 4 of the 7 high-point horse awards, winning Amateur-Apprentice Horse & Rider of the Year (with Teddy Davies in the irons) and Maryland-Sired Horse of the Year, and tying for Maryland Governor’s Cup Steeplechase Chase Horse of the Year and Maryland-Bred Horse of the Year.

The Governor’s Cup Steeplechase Horse of the Year is shared this year with Our Friend (IRE), owned by Armata Stables, and Road To Oz, owned by Holwood Stables.

Rounding out the field, Wagner (IRE), owned by Merriebelle Stable, earned Novice Timber Horse of the Year, while stablemates Brooklyn Speights (owned by Turks Head Turf) and Goodoldtimes (IRE) (owned by Armata Stables) tied for Heavyweight Timber Champion. To be fair, Maryland bred and sired Bogey was not eligible for the 7th horse award, the ITM Irish Thoroughbred Horse of the Year; this year’s recipient is Blackhall (IRE), owned by Kinross Farm.

The night also belonged to the Davies family and steeplechase stalwarts Perry Bolton and Ben Griswold. Joe Davies trained two of the three tied Governor’s Cup Horse of the Year (Bogey and Our Friend (IRE), the Irish-bred Horse of the Year Blackhall (IRE). Blythe Miller Davies trained Novice Timber Champ Wagner. Son Teddy Davies swept all rider awards with the exception of the ladies (Virginia Korrell) and Flat Rider (Dan Nevin).

Honorable mention goes to Mark Beecher, who trained tied Horse of the Year Road To Oz as well as the tied Heavyweight champs Brooklyn Speights and Goodoldtimes (IRE).

Making all this possible for the Davies family as well as Mark Beecher are long-time owners Perry Bolton and Ben Griswold with the horses out of their Armata Stables dominating across all cards. In addition to the aforementioned award winners, running in their cherry and old gold silks were Mr. Fine Threads, Crealion (Fr), Fashion Line, Vintage Vinnie, The Ballybreen Fox (IRE), Chosen Mate (IRE), and Some Response (IRE).

Dominating amongst the junior riders were Jaidyn Shore (Leading Large Pony and Leading Junior Horse Rider) and Yomar Ortiz Jr. (Leading Medium Pony and Overall Leading Junior), while Cami Kern conquered the small pony division.

When pressed by M.C. Jay Meister as to who in the family is the better rider, no matter how many ways he phrased the question, Cami always loyally declared big sister Carly as the better rider. And indeed this year, Carly Kern received the coveted Jonathan Kiser Memorial Scholarship, which provides promising young riders with immersive steeplechase experiences they might not otherwise have.

For the younger developing juniors, MSA offers cubbing and foxchasing scholarships, to expand their saddle-time experiences of riding in a herd of horses. Pauly Aguilera received this year’s cubbing scholarship, while Abby Taylor and Savannah Hutchins received foxchasing scholarships.

A night like this does not happen without the many hands to make light work. Executive Committee members Forrest Kelly, Ned Worthington, Lucy Goelet, Crystal Pickett, Todd Wyatt, Barrie Reightler and Michael Wharton, along with MSA Chief Steward, delved into the minutia of the fine print of the MSA conditions to (when and if possible) untangle ties. Hunting, hustling and shuttling perpetual trophies were Ross Geraghty, Kristen Tubman, Mimi Brandau and Liz McKnight. Anne Litz, Mimi Brandau, Ashton Williams helped herd the cats (award winners). Tracy McKenna and Kitsi Christmas greeted and checked-in guests. Barrie Reightler designs the invitations and the program. Elizabeth Scully produces the evening’s slide show of award winners, using photos graciously provided by Bob Keller (who also serves as the official awards photographer), Tisa Delle-Volpe and others. Dulan

y Nobile, Liz McKnight and Lucy Goelet dressed the room. Ned Halle and Jody Westerlund of the Lonesome Foxhunters provided entertainment during cocktails, while Jay Meister mastered the mike for the awards presentation.

But the true stars of the evening are our sponsors, for without their support, this award series would not be possible: Horizon Farm Credit, Cloudbreak Energy, Maryland Horse Breeders, Maryland Million, and the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing.

If you would like to support the efforts of the Maryland Steeplechase Association, for every purchase from Sam Robinson’s MSA, he will donate 50% of the purchase price to the MSA. Click on this link to view the gallery.

The 2024-2025 Maryland Steeplechase season will officially kick off on Saturday, September 28 with The Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs

With all the connections for the 3-way tie for the Maryland Steeplechase Governor’s Cup Horse of the Year, it takes a lot of presenters to hold a lot of prizes for 3 horses and many more connections!

MC Jay Meister and Trainer of the Year Joe Davies share pony racing rivalry stories.

“Team Joe Davies” receiving the Trainer of the Year award.


Armata Stables with a table cluttered with trophies for Owner of the Year and various horse awards.

No matter how Jay Meister asked the question, Small Pony Rider of the Year Cami Kern would loyaly declare big sister Carly the better rider!

Overall leading Junior Rider Yomar Ortiz, Jr. rendering MC Jay Meister speechless.

Pauly Aguilera received this year’s cubbing scholarship.


Abby Taylor receiving a foxchasing scholarship.


Carly Kern receiving the Jonathan Kiser Memorial Scholarship.

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