TRF fetes top OTTB foxhunter at Piedmont

Brian Jarvis and his OTTB General Skye won the first TRF Second Chances Challenge Trophy at the Piedmont Fox Hounds Hunter Trials last weekend.

Brian Jarvis and his OTTB General Skye won the first TRF Second Chances Challenge Trophy at the Piedmont Fox Hounds Hunter Trials last weekend.

A bold, bay Thoroughbred who cut an impressive figure on the Virginia foxhunting scene took home the first TRF Second Chances Challenge Trophy last weekend at the Piedmont Fox Hounds Hunter Trials.

The elegant OTTB General Skye, 11, and his owner/rider Brian Jarvis were judged to be the most impressive Thoroughbred team moving across the spectacular grounds in view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, says Elizabeth Beer, development officer of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.

General Skye
Sire: General Royal
Dam: Signorita Cielo, by Conquistador Cielo
Foal date: March 10, 2005
“He was by far the most outstanding Thoroughbred competing that day,” says Beer, noting that the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation offers the trophy in recognition of the foxhunting talent of ex-racehorse Thoroughbreds. “This award helps demonstrate that the Thoroughbred is one of the best foxhunting breeds.”

Owner/rider Brian Jarvis acquired the 16.3-hand gelding with four white stockings seven years ago from Zohar Ben-Dov of Kinross Farm, whom he credits for allowing the gelding to leave the premises to pursue a chance at a second career. “Zohar is the reason I have General, and he was willing to let me buy him for a more than reasonable price, so he gets all the credit.”

Jarvis was immediately smitten with the bold, bay Thoroughbred he surmised would be a "cool dude."

Jarvis was immediately smitten with the bold, bay Thoroughbred he surmised would be a “cool dude.”

Jarvis first spotted General at a steeplechase race in Charlottesville, and was immediately smitten. “He’s a big horse, with a white stripe, four white stockings, and incredibly impressive to watch in the paddock,” he says. “I just liked his eye. He looked like he could be a really cool dude.”

After making his interest clear to General’s past trainer Neil Morris, Jarvis was able to obtain the horse soon after and introduce him to foxhunting.

On their first ride, General proved to be every inch the worthy teammate. With a good head on his shoulders, he rode confidently through the woods and fields, never racing or dragging Jarvis along. “He really enjoys it,” he says. “And he’s very quiet with the hounds.”

And best of all, General has never met a jump or a fence he can’t trot, he adds.

After a particularly good ride at Piedmont last weekend, Jarvis says he was taken aback to learn the pair had the distinction of winning the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Second Chances Challenge Trophy.

“My first thought when I found out was how truly proud I was of General, and how happy I was for him that he performed so well in front of so many people, and among so many talented horses,” Jarvis says. “I’m biased, but General is really one of the best ones out there. And he’s one of the best Thoroughbreds I’ve owned.”

—This blog is sponsored by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF, Inc.). Please read more about ways to help the organization here: Ways to Help.

6 responses to “TRF fetes top OTTB foxhunter at Piedmont”

  1. Laura

    Sigh… there’s always a spoiler/hater. In the meantime… this horse has a wonderful 2nd career with Brian. I see them all the time in the hunt field & this is truly well deserved honor!

  2. Tonya LaFarr

    Congratulations to Jarvis and the General!

  3. Carolyn McDonald

    The long standing traditional so-called sport of fox hunting was outlawed in the UK several years ago on the grounds of animal cruelty. Only a sadist partakes in this abhorrent “sport”.

    General is very lucky to have survived the cruel and barbaric “sport” of steeplechase.

    Did General tell Jarvis that he enjoys fox hunting?

    1. Susan B

      The foxes are not killed in the US as they were in the UK. The hunt clubs actually have long standing traditions of taking very good care of their resident fox populations. If you’re interested in learning about it, I would be happy to pass on more information.

      Congratulations to General and Mr. Jarvis on their wonderful accomplishment!

      1. Carolyn McDonald

        The foxes are terrorised, they don’t have to be killed for it to be defined as animal cruelty. I know more than I’ve ever wanted to know about fox hunting in the USA.

        Fox hunting is an archaic tradition that has no place in a modern society.

        Even some former participants in fox hunting in the UK evolved and agreed that it was no longer acceptable and outlawed it altogether.

  4. Mary McLeod

    Congratulations to the perfect match of Jarvis and General! Bon Chance, Mary in Boone

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