Page 125 - The Hunt - Spring/Summer 2023
P. 125

                  under a wooden beam posted across an entryway. “Is Keri here?” she asks a barn worker.
Casually seated on the dirt floor of the barn, her back propped against an interior wall, Keri Brion is one of the bright new stars among the constellation of Fair Hill trainers. She trains both thoroughbreds that run at the tracks and jumpers entered in steeplechases. After 11 seasons as assistant trainer with Jonathan Shepard and as a sometime jockey, Brion trained two horses nominated for the Eclipse steeplechase award. Her horse, the Mean Queen, won it. Brion herself was named the leading trainer after securing a quarter of a million in purses. Horses she trained won all but one of the 2021 Grade 1 steeplechase races.
Brion now trains about 55-60 horses,
34 in the barn she rents. Working for several primary owners, including a couple of syndicates, she keeps two assistant trainers busy and has 20 employees in total. “About 30 percent of the horses race on the flat,
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and the other 70 percent are jumpers—and some do both,” Brion says.
Brion hopes to soon win enough thoroughbred races to have stakes
owners give her the same quality of horse steeplechase owners currently do. She protests the suggestion that she might be overworked, even though she makes most decisions and emails the owners as to which horse will run in which race. She also selects horses for her owners in Ireland and trained a few who never won there to get their noses across the wire first here. Brion also attends all the races for the jumpers. “At the end of the day, I write down a list of what needs to be done the next day,” she says.
In fact, Brion could have a job as brand ambassador for Goswell and Fair Hill. “There’s not a better place to train horses in America,” she says. “Everything a trainer could want is here.”
Find another condo association that can make that claim.
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