Northfield, OH – Amateur driver Henry Beachy has been around horses for the better part of 40 years. He’s been back of the starting gate over 1,500 times and won a handful here and there over time.
But Saturday’s (Dec. 2) win in the Great Lakes Amateur Driving Association event was something he’ll never forget.
Escaping from possible tragedy to an incredible triumph, Beachy steered his own Brigotto (Bluto) to a 13-1 upset win in Northfield’s weekly spotlight on amateur driving, overcoming so many obstacles that it’s tough to count.
Fighting tooth and nail to the wire, Brigotto emerged victorious in a photo finish over Fly Jesse Fly, driven by Lauren Harmon with Majestic J third for Eric Miller, just a length away at the line.
So Wishfull, caught in the ruckus and knocked off his hooves, managed to get fourth for Larry Ferrari while Dirty Money picked up the nickel with Don Sherman in that one’s sulky.
To begin, Brigitto made a miscue before the start as the gate hit him in the nose but, once settled down, the gelding was away mid-pack.
Approaching the half mile mark, the leader, Omyheart, went up in the air knocking several horses off their feet with Brigotto running over another horse’s sulky wheel and then hooking up with another.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t know how we escaped the mess…I mean it was a miracle from above. That’s all I can say. It was scary, it was traumatic and I still don’t know how we escaped it all…but we did.”
With Fly Fly Jesse inheriting the lead after the mid-race situation, Brigotto went first up and engaged the leader right to the wire—just getting up in the last stride or two.
“Lauren (Harmon) just may have helped me win because she was screaming so loud that my horse responded.
“It’s the scariest win I have ever had in 40 years and I thank my lucky stars that we all came out of it unscathed.
“I was kind of surprised that he was 13 to 1 because he usually does pretty well when drawing inside.”
For Brigotto, it was his fourth win in 34 starts this year, good for $30,243, and sent his lifetime bankroll to $223,810 with this 15th lifetime win.
For those that had a $2 ticket on Brigotto’s nose, they received a stipend of $28.60.
For Henry Beachy, he was just blessed that he came out of trouble with not a single scratch…but, as he said, “the win was nice, too!”