Sunday marked the 83rd running of the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup races in Unionville. The skies were overcast (no need for sunglasses), it wasn't windy even on the hilltop (no portable toilets were blown over this year), and the temperature (in the 60s) was just right, unlike some years when our extremities have been numb for hours afterward.
We were amazed at the courage and balance of the riders in the Mrs. Ford B. Draper Invitational Side Saddle Race, which was won by Julie Nafe on McCradys.
Jockey Mark Beecher won the Lewis C. Ledyard Memorial Race (on Bruce Fenwick's Daddy in the Dark) and the Arthur O. Choate Memorial Race (on Rosbrian Farm's Class Brahms). And in the four-mile-long Pennsylvania Hunt Cup race he was leading most of the way on Welcome Here Farm's Where's the Beef until he was overtaken by the same horse and the same rider who won the race in 2016: Darren Nagle on Irvin S. Naylor's Ebanour.
We were relieved that although there were as always a few spills, nobody (horse or rider) was seriously injured this year.
Between the races we caught up with lots of friends and neighbors (including the hard-working executive director of the races, Kathee Rengert), feasted on some excellent roasted chicken, rubbed the belly of the canine member of our party, and sat there comfortably solving the problems of the world while gazing out over the idyllic Unionville landscape.
One funny remark we overheard: a dad was carrying his unhappy-looking son and told him, "Well, maybe next time you'll wear socks."