Brandywine Hills point to point runs on April 3

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The annual Brandywine Hills Point to Point race takes place on April 3. Many young jockeys participating in the pony races take it very seriously. Photo by Daria Killinger.

POCOPSON — Beautiful seasonal weather has arrived in Chester County – just in time for a favorite family springtime event, the Brandywine Hills Point-to-Point on Sunday, April 3. Once again, the cross country horse races will be held at Brandywine Red Clay Alliance’s Myrick Conservation Center on Route 842, located approximately six miles west of West Chester and three miles east of Unionville.

The gates will open at 11:00 a.m. with the children’s pony races kicking off the action at 12:30 p.m. Many successful steeplechase jockeys got their first taste of racing by participating in pony races.

Lezlie Hiner, director of Work to Ride, says her four students who will be riding in the pony races are very excited. Work to ride, based at Chamounix Stables in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, is a non-profit community-based prevention program that aids disadvantaged urban youth though constructive activities centered on horsemanship, equine sports and education. “We look forward to coming here every year,” says Hiner. “I think we started doing the [Delaware Valley Point-to-Point race] series in 2001.”

Hiner’s group of young jockeys this year consists of Marisol, Julian, Esteban and Moe.

“They are really geared up! And have been practicing really hard– even in the cold and dark,” she says with a chuckle.

As two of her students are very new to racing, Hiner says, “It will be interesting to see how my little guys do. And then there’s Moe’s pony, aptly named “Betty the Brat” – you just never know what stunt she might pull!”

Following the pony races will be five timber races– ladies, novice, heavyweight, open and foxhunter, are each run over a course of 17 solidly built jumps approximately three miles in length. Spectators can see much of the action from a stationary point which is perfect for a tailgate party.

The fun day also includes a raffle offering a great assortment of prizes. Brandywine Hills is also known for its kids’ activities including stick pony races, Indian lore tent, facepainting, photo booth and more.

Admission is by the carload, ranging from just $20 to $150 for premium spots. See www.brandywineredclay.org or call 610-793-1090 for more information or to purchase parking passes and/or raffle tickets in advance.

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