"He was willing to run, he was jumping well and he made no mistakes. We knew he was a good jumper, but we weren't sure about his speed. He showed us." Thus, in the language of an old pro, Louis Neilson discusses his two successive victories on Coke Hi—in the Grand National, one of the most important events of the National Steeplechase and Hunt Association, and in the Western Run Plate.
But Louis is not an old pro. The day he and Coke Hi took the two big ones was his 16th birthday and Louis' only previous win was in an informal point-to-point. The following Saturday Louis took Coke Hi over the Glyndon course for the Maryland Hunt Cup, the Derby of timber racing, and came in a highly commendable third.
"Can't expect to win every time," said Louis nonchalantly. The Gilman School in Baltimore took the news with less restraint. "We were pretty proud," says a classmate. "Steeple-chasing is pretty big around here."