Charles (Chick) Owens' High Peak, the 8-year-old Happy Nasrullah jumper that carried its Baltimore owner to the First Colony hurdles championship last year, will make its seasonal debut here Saturday in the Old Dominion Hunt's point-to-point steeplechase meeting at the Ben Venue course.
The nine-race card will open at 11:30 a.m. with a hunter pair event. The afternoon program will open at 1:30 with a maiden hurdle race. The Big Cobbler (First Colony series) is the third race of the afternoon, coming between the Leeds Manor and the Old Dominion Hunt Cup, both 3 1/4-mile timber chases. An open hurdle race and a flat race round out the program.
It is a must-win situation for High Peak and Owens, even thought it is the gelding's first outing. Bill Chewning, with 10 points aboard Blue Nearco, and J! Gibson Semmes, with eight points on Second Call, are leading the field. With only four more races after Saturday, High Peak will have to put in a good show here to stay in the running.
THe Ben Venue course is on Rte. 211, about 16 miles west of Warrenton, Va.