For the first time ever, both breeds of horsemen came together at Colonial Downs last Tuesday night as thoroughbred trainers joined their harness counterparts in sulkies to compete in a quarter-mile dash. The Thoroughbred celebrities got to ride in the sulky with a licensed trainer and (according to various sources) were supposed to have thier hands on the reins during the contest.

Virginia trainer Karen Dennehy of Eagle Point Farm in Ashland defeated five fellow thoroughbred owners and trainers in a tight photo. Karen’s mom, currrent VTA president Donna Dennehy was second while and all time leading Colonial trainer A. Ferris Allen, III, (above) originially of Varina, VA was third.

Virginia HBPA president Robin Richards of Boyce, and Virginia HBPA executive director Frank Petramalo were both “up the track.”

The trainers raced in double-seater jog carts with experienced standardbred horsemen providing advice, especially urging thoroughbred trainers to go with a pace or a trot and not a gallop.

There was some controversy following the race when Donna Dennehy lodged an objection with the stewards claiming daughter Karen didn’t have her hands on the reins during the race. While the photo here seems to justify the senior Dennehy’s complaint, the stewards (in thier infinite wisdom) let the results stand.

A day later, Donna had little to say other than “She cheated. She didn’t have her hands on the reins.”

Looks like things are ripe for a rematch!