Peter Wylde Anything But Wild in Wellington Victory
WELLINGTON, FL, Feb. 16 -
Peter Wylde made winning look like a leisurely ride in the park on his way to victory in the $20,000 Absorbine Myoplast 1.50m Classic held Saturday at the CN Winter Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
Course designer Olaf Petersen of Germany went easy on the 53-horse starting field with 22 jumping clear and advancing to the jump-off. Three riders opted not to return for the tie-breaker - Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa with Chaplin 40, Canada’s Mario Deslauriers with Paradigm and Belgium’s Eric Flameng with Roxanne.
Of those that did return, the times became increasingly faster. When 19-year-old Hillary Dobbs of Sussex, N.J., moved into the lead with a time of 38.31 seconds, it looked as though she and Marengo, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by The Dobbs Group, were going to win the $20,000 Absorbine Myoplast 1.50m Classic for the second consecutive week. As Wylde negotiated the shortened jump-off track, he did not appear to be on the pace, but the clock told a different story- a time of 38.26 seconds moved him to the top of the leader board and, eventually, into the winner’s circle.
“I didn’t think it was so easy, the technical issues were there, but it could have been a shade higher,” noted Wylde in reference to the first round course. “This is a brand new horse for me, owned by Clare Bronfman. She sent him to me this past fall, and I have just been working on his fitness and muscle tone and started showing him down here. It is a much better horse than I expected.”
As for his winning jump-off ride with the 16-year-old grey Swedish gelding, Wylde said, “This horse has the biggest stride of any I have ever ridden. I was thrilled with how well he turned back to the vertical from fence nine to 10. He is a championship horse; he has all the scope in the world. He is a horse that one would want to take to a major games. It is hard to think that our Olympic trials start in two weeks. I am torn between pushing and waiting a bit longer.”
Wylde, who is currently based in Holland, last showed at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington in 2000, and this year has a string of 12 horses competing, 11 of which he brought with him from Europe. He will contest the Olympic Show Jumping Selection Trials which begin on February 28 at the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Despite her recent wave of success, Dobbs is still debating whether she will enter the Selection Trials. In Saturday’s class, the second year Harvard student finished second with Maregno as well as fourth with Quincy B, a horse once ridden by Wylde.
“You can never ease off with riders like Kevin Babington and Peter Wylde behind you, but I did and that taught me a lesson,” said Dobbs. “Yes, I am aggressive, but smoother riders are going to beat me. Hopefully with more experience and more mileage, I’ll pick up the qualities of these top riders.”
The CSI3* Kilkenny Insurance, week five of the international show jumping competition, concludes Sunday with the $60,000 CSI3* Grand Prix. The 2008 CN Winter Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising, attracts the best horses and riders from around the world to Wellington, Fla., and offers more than $5 million in prize money.
Results of Class 1001 - $20,000 Absorbine Myoplast 1.50m Classic
1 - 7207 IRCO
SUN PETER WYLDE 0.00 75.028 0.00 38.260 SLATE RIVER FARMS
The 2008 CN Winter Equestrian Festival attracts the best horses and riders from around the world to Wellington and offers more than $5 million in prize money. For more information, visit www.equestriansport.com