Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Great Ben Nevis II

There was a great article recently in the Chronicle of the Horse about the steeplechase horse Ben Nevis.  He won the English Grand National in 1980, one of only three American-owned horses to do so.  While he died in 1995 at age 27 of colic, he probably is, along with Jay Trump, one of the greatest American steeplechase horses ever.  He has the track record at the American Grand National in Butler, MD. 

 (COTH Photo)

Here is a link to a YouTube video about the 1980 Grand National.

From the Racing Hall of Fame's website:

Named for a mountain in Scotland, Ben Nevis II became the third American-based horse — joining Battleship and Jay Trump — to win the historic Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree, England, accomplishing the feat at odds of 40-1 in 1980.

Bred in England by A. S. Pattenden, Ben Nevis II came to the United States as somewhat of a project after being purchased by Maryland sportsman Redmond Stewart, Jr., for $6,900. Stewart turned the horse over to his son-in-law, Charlie Fenwick, Jr.

Ben Nevis II made his first official start in the United States in 1976 and went undefeated in seven races in America. His victories included two editions of the Maryland Hunt Cup and five point-to-point events.

After winning the Maryland Hunt Cup in 1977, Ben Nevis II repeated in 1978, setting a course record in the process. He also won Maryland’s Grand National Point-to-Point Purse twice, setting a course record in 1977.

Sent to England for the 1979 Grand National, Ben Nevis II was among the many who failed to complete the daunting course. The following year, with Fenwick up, Ben Nevis II broke clear on the second circuit of the Aintree course and pulled off the 40-1 upset with a 20-length victory. It was the only victory in 12 starts for Ben Nevis II in England.

Ben Nevis II was retired following his victory at Aintree with a record of 9-3-2 from 21 starts and earnings of $124,199. He lived the remainder of his life on Fenwick's farm in Maryland, where he died in 1995 at the age of 27.

 I would also love to find this book and read it:

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