Wee Pet crossed the finish line last . . . and won.
Wee Pet was the only horse that did not go off course in today's cofeatured race for the Seven Corners steeplechase series, according to Middleburg Hunt race chairman Peter Winants.
No one in the crowd of nearly 3,000 was more surprised than Wee Pet's rider, J.M. Robinson, who had remounted after sliding off his mount when it "became time to part company" at the last of 18 timber fences. Wee Pet, the last in an original field of six starters to cross the finish line, was nearly a half mile behind the pack.
Gala Golightly, ridden by Robert L. Banner Jr., was the first to cross, ahead by some 30 lengths after leading for most of the three miles. Supersonic, with Potomac's David H. Semmes in the irons, followed. Juno and Henry Myers were third, but all three were disqualified for cutting a fence midway through the race. Two other horses fell.
"I know the course," said Robinson, a 39-year-old Warrenton blacksmith who bought the 8-year-old chestnut gelding "off the racetrack" after it had a dim career at Pimlico and the Florida flat circuit. "I've been just trying him out this year."
Patti Cassel brought Splashy Lea home first by three lengths in the Journey's End Bowl, a three-mile timber test for ladies, in 6 minutes 39 seconds.
Ahwaz, with trainer Eva Dahlgren aboard, was second, followed by Anxious Talker, with Michele Rouse riding for her husband, Randolph.
Constantine, ridden by D.M. (Speedy) Smithwick Jr., came from the back of a six-horse field to win the Middleburg Bowl, a 3 1/4-mile open timber test, in 7:01 4/5.