Cheers! The Maryland Hunt Cup

Another recent addition to the NSLM trophy collection, which is sure to be a favorite, is the Maryland Hunt Cup trophy,  won by Mr. T. B. Blakiston in 1912, on board the horse Conby.

Maryland Hunt Cup, April 20th, 1912, sterling silver, 15 x 7 ½ inches, Gift of Thomas B. Blakiston, Jr., 2014

The Maryland Hunt Cup, one of the most challenging steeplechase races in the world, was first run in 1894. The four-mile race with twenty-two fences has been run at Worthington Valley (northwest of Baltimore) since 1922.

Engraving on the top of the tankard – “Established 1894” (in Roman numerals)

I wonder if Mr. Blakiston celebrated his win by taking a big drink of champagne from his new tankard trophy? He certainly would have deserved it! The fences in this timber race are up to 4 ft 10 inches high. Yikes.

1921 Maryland Hunt Cup advertisement
1921 Maryland Hunt Cup advertisement

This little piece of Hunt Cup ephemera from the NSLM holdings advertises the 1921 race. The fences still look pretty much the same – solid wood, post and rail. The early courses also included deep ditches, creeks and railroad tracks, but those were removed from the course after 1922 (Phew!).

Nicole Stribling
Curator of Permanent Collections

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