This University of Delaware Freshman Is a Steeplechase Star

Photography by Robert Keller

An amateur Hunt Cup Winner and University of Delaware freshman embraces a family history in riding in his own racing career.

Traversing 4 miles of 22 stout timber fences as high as 4 foot, 10 inches in a course-record 8 minutes, 15 seconds in the historic 125th running of the Maryland Hunt Cup last spring is now the unique legacy of Teddy Davies and his horse, Vintage Vinnie.

The University of Delaware freshman’s next quest: repeating as champion at the nation’s most-esteemed steeplechase race resumes April 29.

“At first…it didn’t feel real,” the jockey says. “Then, a couple months later… I thought, damn! If I won it again, I’d be more excited because I had a better understanding of how badly I wanted to feel that rush again.”

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It’s a thrill his family knows well. Davies, who turned 19 in February, holds a proud pedigree. His father Joe Davies won the Hunt Cup three times as a rider. His mother Blythe Miller Davies was the cup’s winning jockey in 2011. That year, she came out of retirement and rode as an amateur like Teddy. At Dunmore Farm, the family’s timber racing operation in Monkton, Maryland, the Davieses have trained the last six consecutive cup champions.

“Riding is hereditary—it’s certainly hereditary in our family,” says Blythe, the first woman to top the National Steeplechase Association rider chart. Between 1978 and 2022, she won more than 300 of her 1,000 races on the flat and over fences. “We’ve been fortunate. It’s wonderful we can share it.”

Teddy Davies
Hunt Cup champion Teddy Davies and his horse, Vintage Vinnie, have their sights set on a consecutive win at the esteemed Steeplechase race.

Of the 500 races Joe rode between 1979 and 2005—including 13 Hunt Cup starts—he won over 100.

In fact, it’s incredibly hereditary. Blythe’s father, R. Bruce Miller, was a legendary trainer for 60 years, producing 3,700 starters, more than 560 winners and $10 million-plus in earnings, making his mark in steeplechase. Most notable was Hall of Fame horse Lonesome Glory, a five-time Eclipse Award winner in the 1990s.

Joe’s mother was also a longtime hunt master. A great-grandfather of Teddy’s was a lifelong huntsman, and another owned Laurel Race Course and created the historic Washington, D.C., International, the world’s first international stakes race.

“As an amateur, he’s a commodity. I don’t want to jinx it because he’s young, but he’s very much a natural.”
—Blythe Miller Davies

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Teddy, who began racing at 16, takes it in stride: “Riding horses is one thing you might say we have some pride and joy in,” he says.

He plans to remain an amateur and graduate with a business degree and an entrepreneurial focus. “There’s no rush,” Blythe says. “As an amateur, he’s a commodity. I don’t want to jinx it because he’s young, but he’s very much a natural.”

Vintage Vinnie, a sturdy and speedy black thoroughbred, has been the cup’s winner and record-setter the last two years—so lightning could strike twice for Teddy, and thrice for his horse. “We’re hoping for the best,” he says, “but already being a Hunt Cup winner isn’t too bad, really.”

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