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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

SPRINTER SACRE - Champion Steeplechaser

Are any of you steeplechase fans? If so, I'm sure you have heard of Sprinter Sacre. This fabulous horse is a dark bay thoroughbred gelding from France. He made his first racing appearance in 2010 at Ascot where he won by a nose. This was over a flat course. His first appearance in a Steeplechase (over jumps) was in December of 2011 at Doncaster and he won by 24 lengths!
Earlier in the month of March, 2016, Sprinter Sacre came back to win the 2016 prestigious running of the Cheltenham festival's Queen Mother race. He was the "come back kid" having won the race in 2013. But then, he spent two years recovering from heart problems. There was great celebration when he returned to the winner's circle!
Two miles galloping over fences can really take its toll as a horse ages. Sprinter Sacre was fouled on April 23, 2006. That makes the bay almost 10. But his owner, Caroline Mould, is still a believer in her horse and hasn't talked about retiring him. His jockey and trainer say he still has the fire in him.

Here is a short video of Sprinter Sacre winning the Queen Mother Race a couple of weeks ago:
About Steeplechases: Generally, a steeplechase is a cross country race (though now they are run on tracks) that includes jumps, though there are some that are called flat races and, as the name suggests, do not include jumps. Steeplechases began in Ireland in the 18th century. It got its name because the horses and riders would race from church steeple to church steeple across country and would jump whatever hedges, rock walls or water ditches that got in their way.

Steeplechases are the most popular in Ireland and Britain. The most famous race is the Grand National held in Liverpool England and made famous for Americans in the movie staring Elizabeth Taylor titled "National Velvet."

There are Steeplechases held in other countries as well, including France, Czech Republic, Australia and the United States.  

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