College hopes to raise $100,000 from Columbia Classic Grand Prix

EQUINE SPORTS

September 16, 1992|By Muphen R. Whitney

The power, speed and excitement of top-class show-jumping return this weekend for the fifth time to the grounds of Howard Community College in Columbia.

Sunday's fifth annual American Cafe Columbia Classic Grand Prix will fatten the coffers of the college's financial aid and educational services fund, said spokesman Randall R. Bengfort.

"Our goal last year was to raise $75,000, and we cleared about $90,000 for the college," Bengfort said. "This year we are aiming for $100,000 to help the more than 16,000 Howard County residents that enroll here each year."

Show-jumping is one of the equestrian sports contested at the Olympics. Columbia Grand Prix organizers are honoring that fact with a special Olympic salute during the day's activities.

Olympic riders who competed in Barcelona -- including Americans Michael Matz, Canadian Ian Millar and British rider Tim Grubb -- are expected to compete in the $30,000 Grand Prix.

The Columbia Classic is part of the Eastern Division of the National Grand Prix League. The order of finish in this event will determine which riders go on to compete for the national championship at the Capital Centre in Landover on Nov. 1.

The first event on Sunday's card is the $5,000 Merrill Lynch Junior/Amateur Classic that will draw riders from Maryland and surrounding states. This event will follow the opening ceremonies that begin at noon.

The featured Grand Prix is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. after a Shire Horse and Wagon parade, a women's side-saddle exhibition, the riders' parade and the Olympic tribute.

"This is the first year that the Columbia Classic Grand Prix has been a part of the Maryland Million Thoroughbred Week of equine activities leading up to the Maryland Million races," said Bengfort. "We expect that to add to our crowd this year."

This event always has drawn large crowds and traditionally has been favored with good weather. In addition to the show jumping and exhibitions, pony rides, boutiques and other attractions for all family members are planned.

The college is located on Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia.

General admission lawn seating is $5 for adults; children 12 and under are admitted free. Bleacher seating is $7.50 for adults and $5.00 for children 12 and under. The Tailgate Package at $50 includes reserved parking and six bleacher tickets.

Information: 992-4810.

Understanding show-jumping

In the equestrian sport of show-jumping, horses must negotiate a course of obstacles of all types, including verticals (straight up and down fences), spreads (fences with a horizontal as well as a vertical component), water obstacles, liverpools (a fence set over water) and walls.

A jump can consist of a single element, two elements (a "double combination") or three elements (a "triple combination").

In the initial round, time is not a factor except that there is a time limit. If horse and rider exceed the time allowed they are assessed penalty points (faults).

Faults also are assessed for a knockdown (lowering the height of a fence), four faults; a horse's refusal to jump a fence -- three faults for the first refusal, six faults for a second refusal, elimination on the third; and putting a hoof in a water jump, four faults. A fall by horse or rider is cause for elimination.

All horse and rider combinations who "go clear" (incur no faults) in the first round return for a jump-off. This round contains fewer obstacles and has a shorter time limit.

Time is a factor in this round. The fastest round with the fewest faults wins.

If there are no clear trips in the first round, the horses with the fewest number of faults advance to the jump-off round. The jump-off round gets down to a question of finesse and tactics as the horses and riders try to go as fast as they can and still leave all the fences intact.

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