Derwin’s Prospector takes first in Maryland Hunt Cup

DARBY HYDE, Copy Editor

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he Maryland Hunt Cup is a horse race and a Maryland tradition going all the way back to 1894. It is considered one of the most difficult steeplechase races in the world, and includes twenty two solid timber fences, some almost five feet tall.

The race started as a simple competition between fox hunting clubs, but gradually expanded to accept any amateur jockeys. Now, along with winning the prestigious race comes a hefty $100,000 purse, or cash prize.

In 1922, the Hunt Cup settled at its permanent location in Worthington Valley, Maryland, over miles of rolling countryside. As the race grew in size and spectacle, it became more of a fun spring outing for most people, complete with plenty of tailgating, and even attracting such names as a young John F. Kennedy and his friends. JFK also attended the Hunt Cup Ball, an elaborate white tie affair held after the race festivities.

Taking place the last Saturday of every April, this past 2017 race was one of the most crowded years. Although most were more interested in the partying aspect of the event than the race itself, it was one for the history books.

In the beginning there were 12 contenders, but two dropped out to form a field of ten. Out of those ten, only two made it to the finish line. The 2016 winner, and favored horse, Senior Senator, fell at the third fence, along with two others. The two to finish were Drift Society, in second, and Derwin’s Prospector taking first. Fortunately, no horses were injured.

The win was the second in a row for trainer Joe Davies, with a French jockey named Gozangue Cottreau. The owner was Gerry Bruster.This was Derwin’s Prospector’s first win over fences.

Junior and attendee Hanna Cochran said about the race, “It was fun, and I knew the trainer of the horse that won because I work for him, and the food was very good.”

 

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Derwin’s Prospector takes first in Maryland Hunt Cup