On April 12, National Steeplechase Foundation will host a symposium directed toward new owners along with a sale of steeplechase prospects and proven competitors at Shawan Downs race course in Baltimore County, Maryland (for directions, click here.) The all-day event will begin at 10 a.m. Admission is free, though attendees are asked to RSVP and auction bidders must register. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, along with the discussion and sales activities.

Mission: The primary purpose of the event is to attract new owners to the sport. The day is structured so that prospective owners can feel comfortable to dip their toes into the water without fear of drowning in the world of steeplechase ownership. The objective of the symposium is to give a fairly comprehensive overview of the dynamics of owning steeplechase racehorses. The objective of the sale is to create a market for potential steeplechase horses and to connect owners and trainers.

Guest Speakers: The symposium will include Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, steeplechase owner Mike Wharton (whose horse Grinding Speed won the 2013 Virginia Gold Cup and 2014 International Gold Cup) and Cot Campbell, president of major Thoroughbred racing syndicator Dogwood Stable. All will give their thoughts and feelings about the sport.

Talking Points: Topics to be discussed include the various ways to find a steeplechase horse, what to expect of a trainer, and what a trainer expects of his or her owners. Various types of ownership will also be reviewed and the speakers will be available for a question-and-answer session.

What else you need to know: The symposium will be followed by lunch and refreshments before the afternoon’s sale. During the lunch break some of the sale horses will school over hurdles and timber fences. You don’t need to be a buyer or a bidder to attend. It’s a great way to learn a little bit about the sport, see some beautiful athletes in action and experience a great day in the country.

For more information and to answer any question on the Owners Symposium and Steeplechase Sale, contact Danielle Oster at or (443) 386-2097.


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