Wylde rides to victory in fifth annual Columbia Grand Prix

EQUINE SPORTS

September 23, 1992|By Muphen R. Whitney

The $30,000 American Cafe Columbia Classic Grand Prix drew nationally and internationally renowned riders for the fifth annual staging of the event Sunday at Howard Community College in Columbia.

Former national junior hunter equitation champion Peter Wylde rode to the win with a dazzlingly speedy and accurate ride over the challenging course on his 13-year-old Dutch-bred mare Tootsie. This pair incurred no penalties and posted a time of 41.032 seconds.

Tim Grubb, who represented the British Equestrian Team at the Barcelona Olympics last month, finished second with a clean round about one second off Wylde's time. Grubb rode Ever, who tackled the course in a very concentrated and deliberate manner.

Third place in this exciting contest went to Maryland rider Lynne C. Little of Raylyn farm in Frederick County. Little and the 11-year-old mare Isis were one of five teams of 27 starters that went clean (incurred no penalties) in the first round.

Returning for the jump-off round, this intrepid duo attacked the eight-fence course with good speed, but were a little wide on the turns. They went clean, but their time of 44.330 held them to third.

"This is only her fourth Grand Prix this year," Little said of the thoroughbred mare that belongs to George and Stephanie Ash of Frederick.

"She was laid up for a while with a strained tendon sheath from the bad footing in Florida last winter. I wished she would have turned a little better today, but a horse has to really be ready for a course like this and I think she jumped really well for not having very many starts this year. I was very pleased to be in the top three, especially since the Ashes were able to come and watch, but I really wanted to win this one."

Little had taken another horse, the 6-year-old Dutch-bred gelding Entre Nous, intending this to be his Grand Prix debut. But one look at Canadian designer Blair Williams' challenging course on the undulating hillside made Little decide that this was not the place to introduce the youngster to the upper levels of show jumping.

"It was a very well-designed course and Blair did a good job of taking everything into consideration, but after I walked it I decided to leave Entre Nous in the trailer today," Little said.

"Isis is more seasoned and I knew she would jump this type of course very well, even though she has shown very little this year. She is really ridable once she gets in the ring. She is a 150 percent team player and is very adjustable."

That attitude and ability to adjust are just two of the things for which Little looks when she assesses a horse for top-level show jumping.

"Horses have to be very, very careful when they jump if they are going to be great jumpers. Horses who aren't careful can be good jumpers, but they will never be great. I also look first at the horse's hind end before I look at the front end. You can help a horse improve its front end and move better through gymnastic exercises and other work, but the power comes from the hind end and you need for that power to be there."

The other two competitors who made the jump-off -- Laurie JakuBauskas of Greenville, Del., on Locked and Loaded, and Maryann Steiert of Southern Pines, S.C., on Talisman de Boheme -- finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Earlier in the day Pennsylvania rider Sherri Jamison rode to victory in the $5,000 Merrill Lynch Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic. Jamison teamed with her mare Lynx to post the only clear jump-off round.

Kim Wickenden of New Jersey incurred four faults to finish second. Martha Jolicoeur of Culpeper, Va., was third aboard Brother Regis with four faults. Jolicoeur and Island Life incurred eight faults to finish fourth. Yolanda Garcia Cereceda, who is from Madrid, Spain, and rides with Olympian Michael Matz in Pennsylvania, finished fifth with eight faults.

*

Don't forget that the Carroll County Equestrian Council will conduct its drawing for an Australian stock saddle this Saturday.

Tickets are $1 for a chance at the saddle, which is worth approximately $1,000.

Tickets are available at Carroll County Tack, donor of the saddle, on Old Gamber Road or from council President Sonny Biddison at 833-4593.

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