About The Races

The Howard County Cup was first run in 1932 at the conclusion of our first season as a recognized pack. M. L. Dawson Lee won the initial running aboard Union Central, and he continued to win the cup for three more years.

The Howard County Race Meet was an old fashioned point-to-point held at different farms each year. According to the 1960 race program, in 1954, the race was run from Lloyd Owings’ farm. In 1955, the race ran from “Sharp’s homeplace,” Wavertree to the Glenelg kennels. In 1956, it was held at Bushy Park, the farm of John H. Royer. In 1957, the race was hosted at Albert G. Warfield’s farm, and in 1958 at historic Oakdale on Ed Warfield Road in Daisy. These were true old-fashioned point-to-points, in which each rider took his or her own line and rode the course in whatever direction he or she wished.

In 1959, the Gould family hosted the last “old-fashioned” race meet at their farm, Overlook on Murray Hill Road in Laurel. Sam Pfefferkorn, Jr. won that running, aboard Featherstone.

The 1960 Howard County Cup race committee decided that it was time to join the growing trend of having a flagged and “fixed course” instead of wandering the countryside. The 1960 race program states:

While probably the finest test of overall ability of rider and mount in the field, the old-fashioned point-to-point is somewhat difficult for the spectator to follow and places at a disadvantage a rider unfamiliar with local terrain.

In consequence, sponsors of most race meetings have gradually turned from point-to-points to fixed courses requiring the negotiation of various obstacles simulating conditions likely to be encountered in the hunt field. Famous among these standardized courses are…the Maryland Hunt Cup. In keeping with this pattern, The Howard County Hunt has this year established a fixed course designed to fairly test stamina and ability of horse and rider over fence and field all within view of the devotees of the sport. Improvements to the course will surely be expected and any and all suggestions will be appreciated.

That first flagged and fixed racecourse for the Howard County Cup was located at Glenelg Day School and run over Glenelg Manor Farm, owned by Dale Z. Maisel. The race committee who made this critical, historical change included Kingdon Gould and the club’s honorary secretary, Jack Vaeth, whom Kingdon credits as being driving force behind the change.

After enjoying almost two decades at Meriwether Farm in Glenelg, in 2007 the races relocated to Pleasant Prospect, the family farm of current MFH, Don Reuwer. In 2011 the Howard County Cup race committee made another radical yet strategic decision to move the race date on the calendar from late March to the first Saturday in May, benefitting the horses and riders with improved footing, and increasing the enjoyment of the spectators with the more agreeable weather.

These days, the $10,000 Howard County Cup attracts some of the finest timber horses in the Mid-Atlantic.

2018 Howard County Cup dedicated to the memory of Kingdon Gould, A Gentleman Jock & His Gallant Foxhunter/Steeplechase Horse Hurdy Gurdy

In the early and mid-1960s, an ordinary brown horse and his rider, a businessman and avid foxhunter, did something extraordinary: they challenged two of the greatest timber horses of all time, Mountain Dew and Jay Trump. They were Kingdon Gould and horse called Hurdy Gurdy.

The duo’s Maryland career was launched with their win of the 1961 Howard County Cup. The pair spent the next four years either just beating or just losing to these two timber giants.

Hurdy Gurdy became the pride of the Howard County Hounds. When Kingdon and Hurdy Gurdy rode in the My Lady's Manor, in the Grand National and the Maryland Hunt Cup, they carried the hearts of our members with them. Hurdy and Kingdon rode for all of us, and they represented the best of the Howard County Hounds.

In the process, Hurdy Gurdy and Kingdon Gould, Jr. reinvigorated the original spirit of Maryland timber racing: amateur riders taking their foxhunters over timber fences in the spring just to see who had the fastest horse! The duo are still inspiring today’s generation of amateur race rider/foxchasers.

Kingdon Gould was a member of the Howard County-Iron Bridge Hounds from 1955 until his death this year. He served on the Howard County Cup Race Committee in the 1950s and 1960s, and is the “father” of our modern day “fixed course.” The masters and the members of the Howard County-Iron Bridge Hounds dedicate the 2018 Howard County Cup Races to the memory of Kingdon Gould and Hurdy Gurdy.