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Maryland's Own Monday: National Steeplechase Association - Maryland Sports Commission

Maryland’s Own Monday: National Steeplechase Association

Headquartered in the equestrian epicenter for a quarter-century, the National Steeplechase Association is the official sanctioning body of steeplechase racing across the United States.

Fair Hill Races; photo c/o Tod Marks

Based in the renowned area of Fair Hill, Md., the National Steeplechase Association (NSA) attracts a significant local draw for horse owners, trainers and jockeys within the state. In 2015, the NSA had 72 licensed Maryland-based owners, making up about a quarter of all licensed owners nationwide. Maryland also had 34% of all licensed steeplechase trainers within the state, as well as 36 licensed jockeys, about 40% of all licensees. The equestrian space makes complete sense in none other than the Old Line State.

Maryland contributes to the equestrian space significantly, with local state owners and trainers accounting for a large amount of purse earnings annually. In 2015, the 72 Maryland owners accounted for $1,896,850 in race purse earnings, equalling close to one third of the NSA’s purses in 2015. The 30 Maryland trainers accounted for $2,717,150 in purses, close to 50% of all NSA purses in 2015. It is safe to say that Maryland owners and trainers had, and still have, a significant impact on the sport.

MD Hunt Cup; photo c/o Douglas Lees

To date, Maryland hosts five National Steeplechase Association race meets annually, using what the state offers so bountifully to their benefit; open space on the countryside. My Lady’s Manor is the kick-off to the Maryland timber triple crown, with the Grand National following. One of the more grueling Maryland courses with 22 fences over four miles is the Maryland Hunt Cup, taking place on the last Saturday in April for over 120 years. Also included are the Fair Hill Races and Shawan Downs, Maryland’s newest race meet.

Shawan Downs; photo c/o Douglas Lees

“Our headquarters in Maryland have proved to be an ideal location for several reasons,” National Steeplechase Association President Guy J. Torsilieri stated. “First, Maryland is a crucial element of the jump-racing circuit. Each year, we have five race meets in Maryland, including the three races that make up the Maryland timber triple crown. Fair Hill on Memorial Day weekend is a vibrant meet with a rich history, and Shawan Downs outside Baltimore is becoming increasingly important for our fall season.”

“Being in Maryland places us geographically near the center of our racing circuit, which extends from New York to Georgia. Our Maryland location gives us reasonable access to all of our race meets,” Torsilieri also stated.

To learn more about the unique hurdles, courses and all that the National Steeplechase Association has to offer, please visit their website for more information.

MD Hunt Cup; photo c/o Douglas Lees

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