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HORSE SCENE: Wylde and Zorro claim Grand Prix

Last Sunday, Peter Wylde of Lake Worth, Fla., returned to Commonwealth Park in Culpeper after 25 years with Zorro, and they won the $40,000 Jumper Grand Prix.

To those watching the competition, it did not look as if Zorro was galloping fast enough to win. Because Zorro’s stride is so long, it looks slow and loping, but the clock showed he was galloping with great speed, especially in the jump off where speed counts.

Wylde was the first competitor to jump the 17-obstacle course designed by Jerry Dougherty. Wylde and Zorro put in a clear round.

Wylde compared Zorro’s jumping style to that of an equitation horse in that he jumps very carefully. Their second round was also clear without faults, incurred by knocking down rails.

In the jump-off, Wylde and Zorro set the great American time to beat with a time of 46.06 seconds and couldn’t be caught.

Brooke Kemper of Culpeper and her horse Classified gave Wylde the greatest competition with fault-free rounds and a place in the jump-off. Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, N.C., aboard Basje, was also in contention for the final honors in the jump-off with clear rounds.

In the final jump-off round, Kemper had a rail down and finished third, succeeded by Chopping who had a fault-free round, but was not quite fast enough, crossing the timer just six-tenths of a second slower than Zorro for second place.

Wylde was very pleasantly surprised by the changes at Commonwealth Park since he last showed there in 1989 and plans to return soon.


July 18: Twilight Jumpers, Great Meadows

July 19: River Chase; Elmington; Still Meadow; Dressage at Green Hill; Southern Heritage Dressage; Twilight Polo; BBHSA Gymkhanna; River City.

July 20: Central Va. Show Jumping; Hazelwild; Lake of the Woods; Sandstone; Fox Chase Pr. William.

July 22: YWA at Culpeper; Oakland.

July 23: Autumn Olive; Picturesque.

July 25–27: Rose Mount; TB Heritage, Doswell; American Connemara Pony Society Region III show.

July 26–27: WEG Selection Trials at Great Meadows; USDF Region 1 Youth Team Competition at Morven Park.

July 25: Hill Top

July 26: Silver Star; Moriah; Kelly’s Ford; Bellemount; Nokesville Society Western show.

July 27: Moriah; Hunter Lane; Fox Chase.

July 30: Touch Point; Picturesque.

July 31: Looking Glass Dressage

July 31–Aug. 3: Eastern Arabian Championship, VHC


Betsy Carter can be reached at The Free Lance–Star, 616 Amelia St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401; or by fax at 540/373-8455.