Page 104 - The Hunt - Spring/Summer 2023
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                   PRESCHOOL - GRADE 12
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 Jimmy Paxson continued from page 66
There’s nothing like having a front-row seat to the races.”
Jill Abbott, Winterthur’s race director and chair of the race chairman’s committee of the National Steeplechase Association, sees Paxson and his team as masters of NSA races. “Jimmy and his outriders spend every weekend volunteering their time and talents to keep horse and rider safe at every event,” she says. “The races wouldn’t happen without them, and their commitment is a true labor love for horses and the sport of steeplechasing.”
Paxson is a distant relative of Adele Warden Paxson, a socialite, philanthropist, conservationist and champion breeder of thoroughbred racehorses who was an avid horsewoman and competed sidesaddle at the Devon Horse Show. He frequently enlists foxhunters who ride sidesaddle to join the outriders at steeplechase meetings, a special treat for spectators. “In a beautiful, sweeping habit and a hat with a veil, a woman riding sidesaddle is the ultimate eye candy,” he says.
Paxson adds more panache when he brings his Penn-Marydel hounds, a breed developed in Pennsylvania, Maryland
and Delaware that’s prized for its slender athleticism, intelligence, courage and loyalty. At one time, Paxson kept 80 hounds, but he gave more than two dozen to the Potomac Hunt in Maryland.
On the steeplechase circuit, Paxson rides Basten. The 14-year-old gray gelding is a thoroughbred who came off the racetrack, as have all his horses. He attributes Basten’s prowess in outriding
to the experience he gained foxhunting. “In flat racing, it’s all about going fast,” he says. “Foxhunting teaches horses to wait, to know where their feet are, how to manage different terrains. The horses we outride on are quick but stay sane.”
At home on the farm, Paxson tends his hounds and horses and loads hay into the barn. He’s a go-to guy in the equine community, helping to place thoroughbreds in need of homes. He’s ever at the ready to share his love with others, most recently leading the River Hills group in a parade of horses kicking off the Christmas market in Chesapeake City, Maryland. “I have good health and good horses under me,” he says. “I have everything a man could want.” SL

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