Planners

Steeplechasing in America operates with a simple plan to abide by the weather. See, the season starts in the south in March, ventures north, then slides back down the rainbow in the south in November, and eventually returns to Florida for one race in December.Steeplechasing in America operates with a simple plan to abide by the weather. See, the season starts in the south in March, ventures north, then slides back down the rainbow in the south in November, and eventually returns to Florida for one race in December.

Story originally posted by: Sean ClancyHorseCity.com Free-Lance Writer

Steeplechasing in America operates with a simple plan to abide by the weather.

See, the season starts in the south in March, ventures north, then slides back down the rainbow in the south in November, and eventually returns to Florida for one race in December.

The plan is to go jumping when the weather is the best. Simple really. We bring you steeplechasing in South Carolina in November. Get out the galoshes, ponchos, and parkas. South Carolina on the weekend of November 18-19 wouldn’t have made Noah’s plan.

It rained and rained and rained . . . But just like there is no crying in baseball, there are no rain outs in steeplechasing. Not even rain delays. It’s actually safer for the horses and jockeys, they slow down and they slide if they hit the ground.

As for the spectators, well, they stay home. The die hard fans and participants endure.

Romantic and Arch Kingsley endured all the way to the winners circle of the $100,000 Colonial Cup. The 8-year-old gray gelding galloped away from Campanile to win his first grade one stakes and give Kingsley a wedding present that was at the top of the registry. The jockey married Wendy Fletcher in the Camden paddock the next morning.

Walt Disney couldn’t have gotten away with that story line. Romantic and Kingsley topped off a wild year of steeplechasing in 2000. No horse dominated which is rare for the sport. Romantic jumped up and ran the race of his life on the last big day of the year.

Campanile continued a hard-luck year with a game second. All Gong, who is the only horse to have won two grade one steeplechases this year, finished third in the Colonial Cup after lagging well behind at the beginning stages.

Gus Brown won his first jockey title over Kingsley. The trophy will say Gus Brown on the front but it belongs to Jonathan Kiser, who was well on his way to the title when he died from head injuries this summer. Kiser fell from a rope swing and left the sport with a gaping hole that will never be filled. (I’m in the process of talking to Gus about it all and will write a story soon).

Tom Voss won the leading trainer title with a stellar year. The Maryland conditioner won races in bunches and nearly pulled off the training achievement of the year with a third place finish by John’s Call in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Augustin Stable won the leading owner title, more than $300,000 ahead of the second place finisher. The Pennsylvania-based stable campaigned leading novice Pompeyo as well as duel stakes winner Invest West and three-time winner Praise The Prince.

Ironfist won the timber championship with a four-for-four campaign. Trained by Voss, the horse won over $70,000.

Segregation Lane won the 3-year-old championship, clinching it with a win at Camden.That’s a quick recap of what happened during the year. The jumpers head to Calder on December 9 for the last jump race of the year.