Fair Hill race named for 'Tiger' Bennett

September 27, 1990|By Dale Austin | Dale Austin,Sun Staff Correspondent

The Fair Hill races will honor the late E.H. "Tiger" Bennett by naming the timber race, which will be run each fall, for him.

The first such race will be Saturday, when the 59th Fair Hill fall meeting is conducted at the course in Maryland, near the Pennsylvania and Delaware lines. It will be a three-mile race for novice jumpers.

Bennett, who rode in nine Maryland Hunt Cups and was involved in that race's most famous disqualification, died Feb. 24 after a long illness.

Edward Hartshorne Bennett, who would have been 82 on Feb. 26, was born in Middletown, N.J. From the time he spent in Maryland in steeplechasing, he was called "Tiger," a name believed to have been given to him because he attended Princeton University, whose sports mascot is a tiger.

"In his will, he bequeathed $7,500 to Fair Hill to have a race named in his honor," Gregg Morris, general manager at Fair Hill, said. "I was a little surprised because I didn't see him up here very often in recent years, but it was quite a gesture. So we bought a trophy and have decided to name the timber race each fall after him.

"He only endowed the first one. We'll use his name and the trophy for the timber race each fall."

Bennett rode many winners in timber races, including the Virginia Gold Cup, but is remembered most for his ride in the 1948 Maryland Hunt Cup. His mount, Carolina, crossed the finish line first, but was disqualified.

The mare had jumped the eighth fence both times around the course instead of an adjacent part of the same fence, which was supposed to be jumped as the 18th.

Seventeen horses, including three stable couplings, have been entered for the Bennett race Saturday.

Ten are entered in the $25,000 Manly Handicap, feature of Fair Hill's eight-race card. The 2 3/8 -mile race is headed by Victorian Hill, who will carry top weight of 154 pounds.

Fair Hill is one of the few hunt meetings in the nation offering pari-mutuel gambling. The card will begin at 1 p.m.

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