Watching the ponies is becoming a popular activity around these parts.
No, the county hasn't added a pari-mutuel track to its landscape. But for one Sunday a year, spectators flock to Howard Community College to witness an afternoon of Grand Prix show jumping.
More than 2,000 were on hand last Sunday as world-class jumpers competed in The American Cafe Columbia Classic Grand Prix. The event, now in its third year, benefited the HCC Educational Foundation's Endowment Fund. The fund is used to provide scholarships to the college. School officials said they did not yet know how much money the event brought to the fund.
In the senior grand prix competition, Debbie Shaffner steered both the first- and fourth-place mounts. The Ambler, Pa., resident rode Notorious, owned by the Draper Prudente Partnership to the championship. She was also aboard Delta Prospect, a Centennial Farms' entry.
Agha Khan, with Randy Johnson of Potomac in Montgomery County riding, claimed the runner-up trophy. Agha Khan was entered by Green Pastures.
Another Marylander, Ken Krome of Westminster, guided Frank to a fifth-place showing. Outward Bound and JoAnne Kovacs of Westport, Conn., came in third.
In the junior competition, Claire Khun took the top two places aboard Agreement. Flimflam, carrying Pam Deslauriers, finished third among the juniors.