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Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation 2020 Review
As 2020 draws to a close, we look back at our year and make plans for 2021.

Whew! What a year, right? All our plans for the year came to a screeching halt in March as we pivoted and watched a pandemic unfold around us.

The steeplechase community is nothing if not resilient, though. Many of you pledged your support to the TGSF and we still accomplished some amazing things this year, thanks to you.
Our biggest investment for the year (at a cost of over $110,000) was the purchase of six flights of EASYFIX Fences, designed specifically for the National Steeplechase Association with the input of the NSA Safety Committee and the NSA horsemen.

Currently the fences are open for schooling in three separate locations, with the end goal of using them in select locations and specific races in 2021. Learn more about the fences on our website, HERE.

In November TGSF attended a schooling session over the new EASYFIX fences as well as new portable break-away timber fences. Watch the video HERE.

The EASYFIX Fence is a huge advancement in safety and in ease of set up. We're looking forward to seeing the fences in action in the spring. Our thanks to the donors who gave specifically to this cause.
TGSF By the Numbers:

Purse Supplement Breakdown ($35,000 total):
  • $20,000 to the Temple Gwathmey Stake to celebrate the 100th running of the Middleburg Spring Races
  • $15,000 to apprentice hurdle and timber races ($2,500 for each race, a total of six races)

The TGSF pays for drug testing in all races at sanctioned meets. This year the total paid out for drug testing was just over $22,000

The TGSF splits the cost of the annual yearbook publication with the National Steeplechase Association. The 2020 cost was just under $10,000

The TGSF replaced 4 helmets this year for jockeys who experienced falls, for a total cost of just over $1,000.

The TGSF spent just over $3,500 on marketing and promotions - the bulk of this expenditure goes to the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred magazine, as every NSA patron gets a yearly subscription.

Beyond the numbers, here are some highlights of the TGSF’s achievements for 2020:
Legends of Steeplechase
TGSF spent time reflecting on the Legends who have made the sport what it is today. Journalist Betsy Burke Parker, along with some guest authors, continued our weekly "Legends of Steeplechase" series. Here's a look back at our features for the year (click through for links to the full article):
NSA Collaboration
TGSF was pleased to create a closer partnership with the National Steeplechase Association on the marketing and communications front. TGSF was part of the marketing team for the NSA's fall live stream, and currently assists in the NSA's social media, website updates, and emails. Our goal is to bring the sport directly to your computer (or device of choice), making it easier for you to participate. We hope you will continue to enjoy this increased collaboration through the winter and into next year.
Elizabeth Scully
Parker Hendriks
Colin Smith
Amateur/Apprentice Racing Stats
  • In the fall of 2020 there were 6 races carded exclusively for amateur and/or apprentice jockeys.
  • In the fall of 2020, 20 different amateur/apprentice riders rode in an NSA sanctioned race.
  • In the entire 2020 season, three apprentice riders won their first sanctioned jump race. Elizabeth Scully won at the Virginia Gold Cup Races in June, while Parker Hendriks and Colin Smith both picked up their first wins at the International Gold Cup Races in October (Tod Marks photos, above). All three riders have participated in TGSF young rider trips, either domestically or in Ireland.
  • Of the 686 starts in 2020, 208 were ridden by amateurs (30.3%).
  • In comparison, in 2019 there were 1,340 starts, of which 366 were ridden by amateurs (27.3%).
Looking forward to 2021...
  • We look to continue our “Legends of Steeplechase” series in the TGSF newsletter that focuses on influential steeplechase people.
  • We're excited to take over the 'Chasing newsletter in the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred magazine for 2021 - look for some of our Legends of Steeplechase stories on that platform.
  • We will continue partnering with the NSA in communication efforts.
  • We will continue our support of pony racing events.
  • We hope to revive our Domestic Young Rider trip, as well the International trip to Ireland.
  • We will continue to support a Young Rider Flat Race series, for riders 15 - 18 years old.
The TGSF Board of Trustees agrees that the current live streaming initiative is vital to the promotion of our sport, and has pledged their support to the NSA's live streaming effort in 2021. We look forward to watching this exciting program continue to evolve.
Of course, all of this has been made possible, in 2020 and in previous years, by the generosity of so many people. Your support is critical to the Foundation's ability to continue these great efforts. Please consider a meaningful contribution to the Foundation as you complete your year-end planning.
The Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation wishes you the best of holidays. We look forward to working with you in 2021!
Do you have news to share? Tell us about it!
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