Arthur W. Arundel's Bavario, though tested several times throughout the three miles, prevailed bravely in the George L. Ohrstrom Memorial Timber at the Orange County Hunt Point-to-Point yesterday in Middleburg.
Winning rider Tiffany Mueller, who moonlights in steeplechasing though her main equestrian occupation is hunter and jumper show riding, said constant lead changes throughout the feature troubled neither her nor Bavario, the 10-year-old son of Theatrical, who scored an eight-length victory over runner-up Gol Lee.
"My horse just ran along at his own pace," said Mueller. "It was the other two entries that were being inconsistent."
Mueller said steeplechasing is comparable to the slow precision of show hunters. "The two disciplines aren't actually that different," she explained. "It's all a matter of jumping in stride."
In the day's final race, Mueller, the Virginia novice race series champion, donned Vicki Fuller's colors and added a fifth lifetime jump win to her fledgling career total -- she's had just eight steeplechase rides in two seasons -- in the Foxhunter's Timber aboard Inca Colony. Both victories were for Middleburg conditioner Donald Yovanovich.
In other racing action, Whitewood Farm entries of publisher George Ohrstrom Jr. scored a pair of convincing victories -- recent English import Loughbeg Rambler captured the novice timber and Mauritania claimed the maiden hurdle.
Though Loring Heard and his Vingt Sept crossed the finish line first in the owner-rider hurdle, he and the other two entrants failed to cross the official finish line, placing all three "off course." First to fix the error was Middleburg's Tony Summerlin, declared the victor with Age of Flight.