John Cushman had an unexpected chore left to be done before he oversaw his last race as interim executive director of the Carolina Cup.
The day before the Springdale Race Course hosted The Cup Runneth Over Races --- formerly the Georgia Steeplechase --- on Saturday, April 6, friends, family, co-workers and National Steeplechase Association officials surprised the Camden native and four-time NSA champion jockey by planting a tree in his honor on the grounds of the National Steeplechase Museum. Cushman finished the job by shoveling several spadefuls of dirt onto the base of the tree.
The event was to thank Cushman for his two-plus years of being the event’s interim director and directing the Carolina Cup Racing Association through some bumpy times including the shuttering of the Marion duPont Colonial Cup Race meet in 2017.
Included during the course of the afternoon celebration were short talks, thanking Cushman delivered by outgoing CCRA chairman Beverly Steinman, whose place will be taken by Cushman, NSA director of racing Bill Gallo Jr., and trainer and retired jump jockey Doug Fout. Cushman capped the ceremony by thanking all those in attendance for their support and help while noting that the Carolina Cup had “turned the corner” with its 2019 running and bigger and better things are on the horizon.
Also on hand for the occasion were fellow CCRA board members Julian Burns, Hope Cooper, William Cox, State Rep. Laurie Funderburk and Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard.