Two grand veterans, Cousin Wes and Boca Bird, and two 1983 champions, Land Landing and Tasos, shared honors yesterday as the Virginia point-to-point circuit wound up its three-month season with the Fairfax Hunt meeting over the Belmont Plantation course.
Cousin Wes, running for the first time in almost three years, made a sensational stretch drive to catch Noble Order at the wire and win the featured Ricacho Cup.
"I asked him if he could get them over the last three fences," said Randy Rouse, "and he just took off." It was Rouse's first start since he won the Casanova Cup in February and the first Ricacho Cup victory for the veteran rider.
"He knew it was time to go," said Hilary Thompson, rider of Boca Bird, who made his move four fences from home to pass the field and win the ladies' timber race by 10 lengths.
Seneca Valley Farm's Land Landing ran a beautiful three miles as a prep for a possible Virginia Gold Cup start in two weeks at Warrenton in easily winning the open timber race. The win clinched the award as Virginia's leading race mare of the year by a three-point margin over the ladies' timber champion, Splashy Lea.
Charles Fleishman's Tasos won the owner-rider hurdles race and wound up as winner of the First Colony Life Insurance Trophy. Fleishman also scored earlier, in the open hurdles, with his new jumper, Lumba Wallah.