Mom, ex-Olympian Fair Hill winners U.S. leader upset in equine triathlon

October 26, 1992|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

FAIR HILL -- Sharon Chesson, a "hockey mom" from Far Hills, N.J., and former Olympian Bruce Davidson of Unionville, Pa., won the overall driving and riding championships, respectively, at the conclusion yesterday of the Fair Hill International equine triathlon.

"This is the max for me," said Chesson, a housewife, mother of four children and one of only four female drivers in the trials, which are used as part of the selection process for fielding a U.S. team in next year's World Pair Championships.

Chesson, who has never been a national champion, upset the current U.S. leader, Jimmy Fairclough, after a clean trip yesterday in the obstacle course.

It was Chesson's biggest win since her victory in the dressage phase of the 1989 World Championships in Hungary.

Chesson steadily moved up in the rankings over the three days of competition, starting off with a disappointing third-place dressage score.

Driving her pair of 9-year-old Holsteiner geldings, Aristocrat and Bossa Nova, Chesson was the only driver of the 20 pairs in the event to go clean yesterday in the cone competition.

She pulled ahead of Fairclough after his pair knocked down three cones on the 16-obstacle course. Fairclough had been in the lead after a rousing marathon trip on Saturday.

The Maryland pair of Iton and Federal belonging to Bob Cook, of Mount Airy, and driven by Bill Lower, finished third overall after winning the opening-day dressage phase.

Chesson skipped competing last year, but said she had been working hard to do well at Fair Hill "to gear up" for the 1993 World Championships.

Her children, ranging in ages from 10 to 15, all play ice hockey and she drives her pair of horses "in between taking them to

school and hockey practice," she said.

She and her husband, Peter, started driving about 10 years ago "We were looking for a sport we could do together," Chesson said. "Peter doesn't drive, but he serves as my navigator."

Other Marylanders also fared well in the driving events, whic attracted top U.S. competitors from as far away as Colorado and California.

Gary Stover, of Chesapeake City, finished seventh in the pair event, 53 penalties behind Chesson. In the single horse competition, Chandler Irwin, also of Chesapeake City, finished third and Jane Ramsey of Elkton, was fifth.

In the Equestrian 3-Day, two-time Olympic gold medalis Davidson, who missed a berth on the 1992 team in Barcelona, came from 12th place in dressage to win overall after clean cross-country and stadium-jumping rounds aboard the 7-year-old gelding, Eagle Lion.

Marcia Carabell, of Rochelle, Va., riding an ex-Marylan racehorse named Alden's Image, finished second of the 27 riders.

Marylanders Grant Schneidman of Glyndon and Gayle Molande of Upperco were 11th and 15th, respectively. Mimi Osborne of Glenmoony, Pa., rode Pennylane, a horse owned by Marion White of White Hall, to a ninth-place finish.

Eagle Lion is owned by Mrs. Roy Chapman, the Unionville, Pa., sportswoman who has very diverse equine interests. In addition to winning Maryland's premier 3-Day event with Eagle Lion, she has also won the Maryland Hunt Cup with her former steeplechaser Uncle Merlin and this year's Miss Preakness Stakes at Pimlico with Toots La Mae.

"Now, we just have to win the Preakness," she said.

Mrs. Chapman and her husband have about 20 flat runners with local trainer Bob Camac.

The Fair Hill International is one of the country's two highest-rated 3-Day events. The other is contested in the spring at Lexington, Ky.

CLASS I--Eastern Single Pony Championships

1. Lois Holtby, 174.0; 2. Sharon Makurat, 259.5.

CLASS II--American Horse Shows Association

Single Horse Championships

1. George Hoffman, 164.0; 2. Heike Bean, 170.8; 3. Chandler Irwin, 186.2; 4. Ellen Epstein, 186.8; 5. Jane Ramsey, 199.9; 6. Laurielee Taubenheim, 216.2; 7. David Schwartz, 247.4; 8. Dennis Fouldrod, 264.6.

CLASS III--United States Equestrian Team

Selection Trials for 1993

World Pairs Championships

1. Sharon Chesson, 151.2; 2. James Fairclough, 155.5; 3. Bill Lower, 164.6; 4. Lisa Singer, 171.8; 5. Kelly Valdes, 195.9; 6. Hardy Zantke, 196.5; 7. Gary Stover, 204.9; 8. Herbert Cassidy, 214.7; 9. David Jones, 216.8; 10. John Fairclough, 221.2; 11. Miranda Cadwell, 227.8; 12. Vic Vickroy, 229.8; 13.Tucker Johnson, 237.0; 14.James O'Rourke, 276.9; 15. Jeffrey Day, 283.6; 16.Munro Russell, 291.8; 17. Udo Hochgeschurz, withdrawn; 18.Chester Weber, elim.; 19. Tom Hilgenberg, withdrawn; 20.Andre Paquin, elim.

CLASS IV---National Four-In-Hand Championships

1. Bill Long, 204.7.

Equestrian 3-Day Event

1. Eagle Lion/Bruce Davidson, 82.40; 2. Alden's Image/Marcia Carabell, 85.00; 3. Pacific Lion/Missy Ransehousen, 88.40; 4. Hoopoe/Mike Huber, 97.00; 5. Altair/Phyllis Dawson, 103.00; 6..Happy Talk/Bruce Davidson, 106.00; 7..Greek Fire/Jane Sleeper, 121.40; 8. MASH/Diana Rich, 124.60; 9. Pennylane/Mimi Osborne, 128.40; 10. Sandlewood/Peter Green, 132.20; 11.Final Master/Grant Schneidman, 133.20; 12.Stateside/Courtney Ramsay, 142.20; 13.Dragante/John Staples, 149.60; 14.Country Path/Nina Fout, 158.40; 15.Merry Mac/Gayle Molander, 186.60; 16.Castle Cay/Sarah Cousins, 191.20; 17.Master Sing/Claire Smith, 226.40; 18.Sterling/Wendy Fletcher, 267.40; 19.Table Tales/Sara Miller, 287.60; 20.Full Circle/Sarah Irving, elim.; 21.Simcoe/David O'Brien, elim.; 22.Picnic.Melissa Beardsley, retired; 23.Downtown Uproar/L. Meryman, retired; 24.King of Hearts/R. Sullivan, retired; 25.Spaceman/Jim Stamets, retired; 26.Lou Llewellyn/T. Watkins, withdrawn; 27.Solomon/Mark Combs, withdrawn.

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