Monthly Archives: March 2020

NTRA Update on Federal Response to Coronavirus Pandemic

Below is a letter from Alex Waldrop, NTRA President and CEO. The NTRA’s site has many helpful links to alert horsemen of various issues related to the Coronavirus pandemic. Access is available at 

NTRA Update on Federal Response to Coronavirus Pandemic
March 26, 2020

Like virtually every other industry and sport, U.S. horseracing is grappling with the realities and uncertainties brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of businesses and individuals – from farms to racetrack employees, trainers, and the backstretch workers who care for our horses – have had their lives disrupted in ways we could not have imagined only a short time ago. That being said, the industry’s first priority at this time must be the health and safety of our workforce and the general public at large.

In response to the pandemic, Congress and the Administration are in the process of passing a series of bipartisan bills aimed at combating the coronavirus, jump starting the economy and providing financial relief to individuals and businesses during these uncertain times. Here is a list of the recently enacted and pending legislation:

The Coronavirus Preparedness Response and Supplemental Appropriations Act, already passed by Congress and signed by the President, allows $1 billion in loan subsidies to be made available to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and non-profit organizations which have been impacted by financial losses as a result of the coronavirus. Contact your local small business administration office for more details on how to access this new loan program.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, also passed by Congress and signed into law, provides paid leave, establishes free testing, protects public health workers and provides important benefits to children and families for those impacted by the coronavirus. Protections for the employers of affected workers also are included in the legislation in the form of tax credits to offset the costs of providing emergency sick leave.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act is a bill now before the U.S. Senate that is expected to provide an economic stimulus package valued at $2 trillion. The bill would provide direct payments to many Americans, including individuals and couples; $130 billion to hospitals that are seeing their resources stretched to the brink and beyond in their battle to combat the coronavirus, $500 billion for corporations; $367 billion for small businesses; $150 billion in aid for local and state governments; and billions of dollars in extended unemployment benefits for furloughed workers.

We expect this bill to be passed by both House and Senate and signed by the President by the end of this week. The NTRA continues to review this massive stimulus package and will provide details as they become available. It is likely that Congress will turn its attention in coming weeks or months to a fourth bill, especially if the crisis worsens. While the first three bills are aimed mostly at the general economy, the fourth bill may well focus on damage to specific economic sectors and efforts to help those sectors and their workers.

Undoubtedly, our industry has been adversely impacted with racetrack and casino closures, the postponement of equine sales, and other negative economic events necessitated by federal, state and local orders and recommendations as well as the industry’s own duty and responsibility to promote the safety of our workforce and public health in general.

Our challenge with regard to this fourth bill will be to compete with many other industries for limited federal resources, especially since our industry is built most visibly on sports betting and entertainment. Nonetheless, we are significant employers and represent a massive agribusiness with an extensive economic footprint across the nation. We will make our case at the Federal level for horseracing as we advocate for our $36.6 billion industry that accounts nationwide for nearly half a million jobs.

Stay safe and stay tuned for future updates, and please visit for information on how our industry is responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

– Alex Waldrop, NTRA President and CEO



Annual Controlled Burn Of Colonial’s Secretariat Turf Course Took Place March 30

At a time when everyone is seeking signs of a return to normalcy in the months ahead, Colonial Downs, in conjunction with the New Kent Fire Department and Virginia Department of Forestry, conducted a controlled burn of its Secretariat Turf Course Monday.

Monday’s controlled burn at Colonial Downs began in the far turn.

The burn began at 4 PM under sunny skies and breezy conditions. This annual burn helps prepare and nurture the country’s widest grass racing surface for a six-week summer thoroughbred season which is scheduled to begin July 23 and continue through August 29.

Brush trucks and New Kent Fire Department members doused flames.

The burn itself takes dead “cover” off the turf in a rapid manner and allows it to grow back more plush, green and safe within weeks if not days. The controlled burn strategy is used as opposed to trimming, because the fire drives nutrients back into the soil. This method yields benefits over cutting the grass.

Colonial Downs VP of Racing Jill Byrne stands in front of a blackened turf course.

“The dormant leaf that sits atop the Bermuda grass is dead and that’s what burns,” said Colonial Downs VP of Racing Jill Byrne. “If we were to cut and blow that leaf, it would take ten days and we’d lose nutrients.”

The New Kent Fire Department worked in conjunction with the Department of Forestry.

The burn took several hours and was overseen by Colonial Down’s Racing Operations Manager Jeff Wingrove. The New Kent Fire Department supplied brush trucks which were positioned both inside the turf course and outside the track’s perimeter to prevent flames from spreading. A crew of fire swatters was also on hand to ensure the fire stayed within its planned boundaries.

Racing Operations Manager Jeff Wingrove (left) with Track Superintendent Ken Brown.

Monday’s burn took place on Secretariat’s 50th birthday. The iconic Virginia-bred was born March 30, 1970 at The Meadow Farm in Doswell.

The 2019 controlled burn was held on April 16. A milder winter enabled the ’20 burn to take place earlier.

Colonial’s Secretariat Turf Course is 180 feet wide and at its outermost part, is 1 1/8 miles around. Ten different rail positions and lanes are available over the surface to maximize its use during the meet. It is divided into an inner turf course and an outer turf course. Last year, 130 of the 144 races contested were held on grass.

Monday’s burn started in the far turn and went in a clockwise direction.

Here are additional pics of Monday’s spectacular sight in New Kent.

Mr. Buff Named Top 2019 Virginia-Bred/Sired Older Dirt Male; Awards Announced Daily Through April 7

With the annual Virginia Breeders Awards ceremony and Virginia Gold Cup Races pushed back to the weekend of June 19-20 at Great Meadow, we thought announcing a 2019 award winner each day over 14 consecutive days would be a nice way to bring good news to the Commonwealth’s equine community.

Visit this site often through April 7 — a different award winner will be revealed daily. We’ll also post it to the Virginia Thoroughbred Association’s facebook page, and a recap will appear in upcoming e-mail newsletters.

Today’s (March 30) award winner is — Top Virginia-Bred/Sired Older Dirt Male – Mr. Buff. The 6-year-old Virginia-Sired gelding won five black-type stakes in New York last year which helped cement his status as top contender in this category. The New York-bred is by Friend or Foe, who stands at Smallwood Farm in Crozet. Owned and bred by Chester and Mary Broman, Mr. Buff won the Jazil, Saginaw, Evan Shipman and Alex Robb Stakes along with the Empire Classic Handicap in 2019, all of which took place on the NYRA circuit. He also competed in a pair of Grade I’s — the Clark Stakes at Churchill and the Woodward at Saratoga — and bankrolled $455,750 for the year. The John Kimmel trainee is already 2-for-2 in 2020 and courtesy of a February 22 win in Aqueduct’s Haynesfield Stakes, saw his earnings soar into seven digit range, to $1,051,536. Mr. Buff is out of Speightful Affair by Speightstown.

Mr. Buff started off a successful 2019 campaign by winning the Jazil Stakes. Photo by Elsa Lorieul.

Top 2019 Virginia-Bred Older Turf Mare – Ferdinanda. The 5-year-old Giant’s Causeway mare bankrolled $141,460 last year from a pair of wins and three runner-up finishes in seven starts. Owned by Ann Backer and bred by her late husband’s (William) Revocable Estate, Ferdinanda won the Brookmeade Stakes at Colonial Downs by six lengths in September with Forest Boyce in the irons, and an allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream in April. Her second place finishes were at Saratoga, Belmont and Gulfstream. The Barclay Tagg trainee also competed in the Grade I Flower Bowl Invitational October 6 at Belmont where she was sixth. Overall, Ferdinanda has earned $282,700. She is out of the Came Home mare, My Mammy.

Ferdinanda captured the Brookmeade Stakes at Colonial Downs with jockey Forest Boyce up top. Photo courtesy of Coady Photography.

Top 2019 Virginia-Bred Over Fences – Dapper Dan. The 8-year-old gelding won $45,400 from eight starts in 2019 that included a win, a second and a trio of thirds. Bred by Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone, the son of Pleasantly Perfect captured the fall Steeplethon at Great Meadow during the International Gold Cup card and was runner-up in the spring race’s edition. Dapper Dan collected his thirds at Aiken, Pine Mountain and at the Middleburg Fall Races. The Neil Morris trainee is owned by Donna Rogers and is out of the War Chant mare, Wardrobe.

Dapper Dan navigates the water portion of the $40,000 Steeplethon at Great Meadow Oct. 26. Photo by Richard Clay.

2019 Virginia Owned Horse – Bellafina. The Kentucky-bred filly is owned by Virginia businessman Kaleem Shah who previously won this category in 2015 with Dortmund. Bellafina bankrolled $858,725 last year with a stellar campaign that included a trio of big stakes wins at Santa Anita — the Grade 2 Santa Ynez and Las Virgenes, and the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks. The now 4-year-old Quality Road filly also finished second in a pair of other Grade I events — the La Brea Stakes and Breeders Cup Filly/Mare Sprint. Out of the Malibu Moon mare, Akron Moon, Bellafina has six graded stakes wins overall with earnings of $1,446,725. She was 43rd in earnings last year among all competing horses. Shah co-owns his award winner with Mrs. John Magnier, Michel Tabor and Derrick Smith.

Bellafina won three graded stakes at Santa Anita in 2019. Photo courtesy of Santa Anita.

2019 Virginia Certified Male – So Street. The Maryland-bred gelding made 7 starts in 2019 and earned $158,933 in purse monies. The now 3-year-old son of Street Magician captured an allowance race on the Colonial Downs opening day program in August and sandwiched that between a waiver claiming win at Pimlico in May and a victory in the Howard County Stakes in September at Laurel. The Jamie Ness trainee was bred by Larry Johnson and is owned by Bunnymeade Racing, LLC. So Street is out of the Mr. Greeley mare, So Vain.

So Street wins the Howard County Stakes at Laurel September 28. Photo courtesy of Jim McCue.

2019 Virginia Certified Filly – Dyna Passer. The Kentucky-bred filly, owned/bred by Woodslane Farm in The Plains, bankrolled $185,810 last year. As a 3-year-old, Dyna Passer won a maiden special weight at Belmont in May, was fifth in the Grade I Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes in July and finished third in the Jockey Club Oaks Invitational Stakes (black type) in September. The daughter of Lemon Drop Kid also scored a runner up and a trio of third pace finishes. To start 2020, Dyna Passer won an allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream March 22nd.

Dyna Passer had a maiden special weight win at Belmont on May 23. Photo courtesy of Adam Coglianese.


Colonial Downs To Donate 20,000 Meals To Front-Line Pandemic Workers

Colonial Downs Group, which includes the Virginia racetrack that reopened last summer and Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums at three other in-state locations, announced Wednesday that it will transition its closed restaurants to provide 20,000 free “grab and go” meals for police officers, doctors, nurses, firefighters, grocery store employees and other workers on the “front lines” of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company closed its facilities on Mar. 15. The meals will be provided starting Apr, 1, with day-before ordering requested. Groups of 10 or more are encouraged to sign up. Details are available here.

There are currently 4 Rosie’s locations in Virginia — in New Kent, Richmond, Hampton and Vinton.

The company also announced Wednesday that its employees will be paid in full for the month of April, and that any time spent away from work as a result of COVID-19 will not impact workers’ status.

“With our facilities closed we have the capacity to help them, in our own small way, by using our kitchens to provide free meals to Virginia’s community heroes,” said Aaron Gomes, the chief operating officer for Colonial Downs Group.

Colonial’s 18-date race meet is scheduled for July 23-Aug. 29.

Jockey Club Recommends Guidelines For Maintaining Breeding Shed Activity

The follow appeared in Thoroughbred Daily News ( on March 25.

The challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic have led to new protocols for Thoroughbred breeding to minimize risk of infection among farm staff and related personnel charged with transporting and handling horses.

The Jockey Club recommends that all North American, Central American, and Caribbean Thoroughbred stud farm operations at a minimum follow guidelines from the Kentucky Department of Ag Guidelines for COVID-19: Breeding Shed Activity issued by E.S. “Rusty” Ford from the Office of the State Veterinarian, Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

With vans and individuals visiting multiple facilities each day during the breeding season, it is important to adopt standard practices in how people and horses visiting sheds are managed. The essential elements enumerated in the guidelines are reproduced below with permission from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture:

Submission of documentation for mares booked to be bred would best be done electronically. We’ve seen numerous reports where handled paper can be contaminated.

Eliminate outside individuals (van drivers and mare attendants) from coming into the prep area and shed. To accomplish this, the van would arrive,the mare would be offloaded and handed off to a shed employee (using the shed’s shank) who would handle the mare through the process. The van driver and anyone accompanying the mare to the shed should remain outside in the parking area while maintaining social distance with other individuals.

After cover, the mare would be returned to the loading area and handed off to the attendant for loading onto the van. If there is need for amare’s attendant to witness the cover, this should be accomplished from outside–looking in, videotaped or virtually.

The shank would be cleaned before returning to the shed or reuse and attendant would wash hands [recommended addition by The Jockey Club:or preferably disinfected with acceptable products efficacious in preventing the spread of viral or bacterial agents and the use of disposable gloves by attendants are recommended where practicable].

Breeding equipment (leg straps, collars, boots etc.) would be cleaned before reuse [recommended addition by The Jockey Club: or preferably disinfected with acceptable products efficacious in preventing the spread of viral or bacterial agents and the use of disposable gloves by attendants are recommended where practicable].

Additionally, maintaining enhanced biosecurity in our daily activity is essential to all of these mitigations.
The Kentucky Horse Council also provided guidelines Wednesday.

Tips For Equine Businesses During COVID-19 Pandemic

The best advice at this time is to use common sense, practice social distancing, disinfect and wash your hands frequently. As the situation evolves and if and when additional information is available, it will be shared here. The best advice at this time is to use common sense, practice social distancing, disinfect and wash your hands frequently.

Tips for Equine Businesses During COVID-19

Your business is important, but your health and the health of your staff, family and clients is paramount during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Author: Kimberly S. Brown. Updated: Mar 19, 2020; Original:Mar 17, 2020

Time outside with your animals (and apart from people) is encouraged, but be aware that the virus can be found on many surfaces, including pet hair.

With the recommendations from the CDC, requirements put in place by some states, and the general fear in the United States, horse businesses are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We pulled together some tips and ideas that might help you manage this uncertain time.

The good news is that horse folks are familiar with biosecurity, so we should be leaders in our communities in stopping the spread of this virus. We know about quarantine, we understand limiting contact (social spacing), and we are very familiar with disease spread in animals. Now we just have to apply this to humans!

What We Know

The following clinical signs of illness can appear 2-14 days after exposure, according to the CDC. Keep in mind that not everyone will show clinical signs once exposed, but they can still carry virus to others. It is important to protect those with underlying physical problems from contracting the virus; thus the “social distancing” and good biosecurity.

The betacoronavirus that causes COVID-19 is SARS-CoV-2 (formerly 2019-nCoV).

The CDC notes that the most frequent clinical signs of disease are:
Shortness of breath
Through March 19, the CDC reported that in the U.S.:
Total cases: 10,442
Total deaths: 150
Jurisdictions reporting cases: 54 (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands)

Keep in mind that tests currently are limited throughout the United States, so experts expect exposure and case numbers to rise considerably as testing is expanded. Just like what we discovered with the spread of West Nile virus in the United States equine population, it spreads quickly and the more you look, the more you find.

Riding Lessons/Boarders

Some people won’t want to give up riding lessons or coming to the barn. Use common sense if you continue to have lessons or boarders at your facility.

Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. These individuals should be self-quarantining until the height of the contagious period has passed. That means you might have to convince them to stay away and you might have to do more for their horses if they can’t come to the barn.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. That means you might have to cancel lessons or schedule lessons for fewer people at one time so they can maintain about 6 feet of distance between individuals in the barn and in the arena. If riders or boarders are unable or unwilling to do this, you might have to excuse them from lessons until the pandemic has passed.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
The virus can live on objects (fomites), including hands, metal, plastic, cardboard, etc.

New research shows that the virus is detectablein aerosols for up to three hours
on copper for up to four hours
on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and
on plastic and stainless steel for up to two to three days.

That means most items in the barn (bits, brushes, buckets, door/stall handles, tack, etc.) can be home for the virus for a short time

How to Protect Yourself, Your Staff and Your Clients

According to the CDC, you should:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Twenty seconds is about how long it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice through. Make sure to scrub under your nails and between your fingers. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. The CDC offers these tips of what to do if you are sick. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

If you are NOT sick:

You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks are in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them first: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

How to Clean

Again, the CDC offers some great tips on proper cleaning techniques.
To disinfect: Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface. Disinfectant options include: Diluting your household bleach. To make a bleach solution, mix:
5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.

Alcohol solutions. Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.

Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens pdf icon[7 pages]external icon claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).

Employees, Family, Staff, Visitors

The CDC offers information to businesses about how to manage your activities and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Actively encourage sick employees to stay home:

Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [38.0° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g., cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.

Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.

Do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities are extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees might need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.

Separate sick employees:

CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e., cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).

Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees:

Place posters that encourage staying home when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.

Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees. Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol, or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.

Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.

Perform routine environmental cleaning:

Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.

No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time.

Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.

Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps:

Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from China, and information for aircrew, can be found at on the CDC website.
Advise employees to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.

Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand that they should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.

If outside the United States, sick employees should follow your company’s policy for obtaining medical care or contact a healthcare provider or overseas medical assistance company to assist them with finding an appropriate healthcare provider in that country. A U.S. consular officer can help locate healthcare services. However, U.S. embassies, consulates, and military facilities do not have the legal authority, capability, and resources to evacuate or give medicines, vaccines, or medical care to private U.S. citizens overseas.

Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:

Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

Pets and Animals

The AVMA has stated that infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they spread it to other animals, including people.

The AVMA went on to say:
If you are not ill with COVID-19, you can interact with your pet as you normally would, including walking, feeding, and playing. You should continue to practice good hygiene during those interactions (e.g., wash hands before and after interacting with your pet; ensure your pet is kept well-groomed; regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys).

Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them.

Dr. Scott Weese of the University of Guelph has more information about dogs and COVID-19 on his blog.
To keep up with all CDC recommendations and alerts, visit their website.

TagsCOVID-19 Tips For Equine Businesses
By Kimberly S. Brown

Kilmarnock, Virginia Based Owner/Breeder Balances Horses With Medical Field Responsibilities

Dr. James Bryant and his wife Linda Davis have a 110 acre property in Kilmarnock, Virginia named Crossroads Farm and besides tending to 18 horses, they are immersed in the medical field locally and are quite busy these days given the circumstances.

Dr. James Bryant at his 110 acre farm in Kilmarnock.

Bryant is a long time physician in the area and for the past three months is giving back, serving as Medical Director of a local long term care facility. His wife is a Nurse Manager at a local emergency shelter.

Bryant’s new house on the property is based at the end of a long dirt driveway and between pastures populated by their 18 horses. 

“I’m pushing 70 years of age but need to keep working to support our horse operation,” he said. “It’s pretty much just me and my wife so we tend to the horses before work, after work and on the weekends. I can’t even remember the last time we took a vacation together.”

Bryant enjoys solitude life at the Kilmarnock property offers.

Their Jalin Stable (Bryant & Davis) has a pair of new Virginia-Certified yearlings on their Northern Neck property — a chestnut filly out of Pensy and a bay colt out of Whisperjet.

The yet to be named colt out of Whisperjet enjoys an 80 degree day March 20th.

“We’re hopeful and eager to be able to race our horses at Colonial Downs,” he said. “Over the years, we’ve had Maryland and Pennsylvania-breds and have mainly used Maryland trainer Mary Eppler.”

A Virginia-Certified yearling out of Pensy enjoys time with her other companions.

“Right now, we have a couple horses with Kevin Bonafice at Bonita Farm — a 3-year-old that has not yet raced but is clearly a turf horse, and a 5-year-old mare named Pearl Gem. The latter, by Friesan Fire, won her first start in a waiver maiden claiming race at Laurel in 2017 then got bumped around in the Maryland Million in her next start and got fourth. She’s enjoying time at the farm and has been coming around  nicely again in her last few starts. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see them both at Colonial this summer.”

Most of Bryant’s horses are based outdoors when weather permits.

Bryant’s has a claim to fame or as he said, “Our lone success as breeders and small percentage owners”. He bred popular Pennsylvania-bred horse Page McKenney who won 22 races from 58 starts and earned over $1.9 million in purse money. 15 of those wins came in stakes races.

Page McKenney wins a MATCH Series race in 2018 at Monmouth.

“Page was bred in 2010 and did very well in the Mid-Atlantic region,” Bryant said. “He retired two years ago and we brought him here to babysit other horses, kick back and just enjoy life. Right now, he is up in Maryland with Jazz Napravnik and going through the paces to see how he’ll do in the Retired Racehorse Project Thoroughbred Makeover event this fall. Afterwards, we’ll bring him back here again.”

Horses graze in one of several pastures at Crossroads Farm.

It’s not unusual to see retired horses at the Bryant Farm in the Northern Neck. “When we decided to get into this business years ago, we took the responsibility to care for the horses very seriously, not just during their racing careers. but afterwards as well.”

With 18 horses on their property and full time jobs in the medical field as well, Bryant and his wife are not in a position to accept other horses in the Certfifield program at this time, but there are many other farms and training centers in the Commonwealth that have space and are looking for clients.

For a list of Virginia registered farms and training centers in the Certified Residency program, visit



Fasig-Tipton Changes Midlantic May Sale Dates To May 26, 27

The following appeared in March 17, 2020.

In response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, Fasig-Tipton has adjusted its 2020 Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training sales dates.
The company’s Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale will be Tuesday and Wednesday May 26-27 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Md., eight days later than originally scheduled. The under tack show will be conducted Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, May 21-23.

The decision to move the sale back about one week was made after the Center for Disease Control recommended March 15 that events or large gatherings of 50 people or more be cancelled or postponed for eight weeks.

“We have been in discussions with the Maryland State Fairgrounds following the CDC’s recent guidance announcement and determined it would be best to push the sale back one week,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “This allows appropriate clearance from the current CDC recommended eight-week timetable.”

Fasig-Tipton also has determined sales dates for a second Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training auction, to be held in June. The June Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale will be conducted Wednesday and Thursday, June 24-25, with the under tack show taking place Monday and Tuesday, June 22-23. The auction will also be conducted at the Maryland State Fairgrounds.

“As the auction calendar continues to shift as a result of COVID-19, the addition of this June auction provides another sales venue for buyers and sellers,” added Browning. “We are making every effort to ensure that there are ample opportunities for our customers to conduct needed business under these difficult circumstances. We will continue to monitor the current situation and make additions or changes to our sales schedule as conditions dictate.”

2020 Colonial Downs Schedule

Join us virtually this summer at Colonial Downs! The 2020 season will run from July 27 – September 2 with racing every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 5:30 PM. Stall applications and the condition book are available at Virginia Derby Night is Tuesday, September 1. Closing night will feature five Virginia-bred/sired stakes.