Five Olympian riders who fell short of gold in Barcelona, Spain, will try to win top honors in the $30,000 American Cafe Columbia Classic Grand Prix next month at Howard Community College.
Lisa Jacquin and Michael Matz, Olympians from Collegeville, Pa., will compete in the horse jumping show. Matz is one of the all-time leading money winners on the Grand Prix circuit.
Other Olympians participating include Anne Kursinski (Flemington, N.J.), Tim Grubb (Great Britain) and Harold Chopping (Canada). Chopping won last fall, taking home $25,000.
"It [the presence of the Olympic riders] gives the event prestige," Grand Prix chairman Evelyn Bolduc said. "It's going to raise the level of the show another notch. Because of the Olympic year, I think the excitement will carry over to the event. They demonstrate the quality of riders we have."
The event will also feature Kim Williams of Marriottsville, who captured the event in 1989, and Ken Krome of Mount Airy. Additional regional competitors include D.D. Alexander (Ambler, Pa.) and Katie and Henri Williams (Middleburg, Va.).
The fifth annual Grand Prix, scheduled for Sept. 20, benefits the HCC Educational Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships and educational services for community college students.
Last year's Grand Prix raised $93,000 and attracted about 4,500 spectators.
This season's goal is $100,000. American Cafe, the primary sponsor, has donated $15,000, and four other business have pledged $15,000 each.
"The amount raised last year was amazing," Bolduc said. "This year looks as promising."
The event, featuring amateur and professional riders from throughout the United States and the world, is part of the national Grand Prix league, which sponsors equestrian races in the eastern United States.
The Grand Prix is one of two major equestrian events in the region. The Washington International Horse Show, held in November, is the other.
Two races are scheduled: the Grand Prix at 3 p.m., and the junior/amateur jumper classic at 12:30 p.m.
Lawn seats are $5 and free to children 12 and under, and bleacher seating is $7.50, with children 12 and under $5.