Another bastion of male supremacy fell today when Land Landing became the first mare to win the Eustis Cup, the four-mile, 23-jump classic of Virginia's point-to-point world.
Expertly ridden by Don Yovanovich, who clinched the Virginia Rider of the Year award on the strength of the victory, the 7-year-old mare waited until three fences from home to make her move. She pulled away to win by three lengths over Durbish with the 1974 winner, Boca Bird, a strong third.
Zoomey, with Mike Elmore aboard, set the pace for the first two turns of the course and came in fourth before an Oatlands crowd of close to 5,000. Jet's Demon, second last year, fell. Chatex was pulled up.
Land Landing, a handsome bay mare owned by the Seneca Valley Farm and trained by Gordon Errickson, moved into strong contention for Virginia's Timber Horse of the Year award.
Land Landing, who also won the title today as leading race mare on the spring circuit, covered the marathon distance in 9:14, a full eight seconds faster than Pidou II, the Rokeby Bowl winner and Virginia Gold Cup entrant, posted here last year in his winning run.