Olympic gold medalist Peter Wylde and Lewin 5 sped to their second Grand Prix victory in a row at the Vermont Summer Festival, winning the $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix, presented by Johnson Horse Transportation, during week two of the six-week show jumping competition. The Vermont Summer Festival continues through August 11 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Wylde edged out student Agatha D'Ambra and Udiana for the first place finish with just over a second to spare. D'Ambra and Wylde were the only riders to advance to the jump-off out of the 22 entries that contested the Grand Prix. Wylde also qualified on his second mount, Wiesielotte, but settled for third place after incurring 12 faults in the jump-off.
"The course was careful; I think you had to have a very careful jumper," Wylde commented of the course designed by Canadian Chris Brandt. "There were very technical and tight distances, but our horses seemed to handle that really well. I was really pleased. Agatha and I had five horses between us and they all did five really nice rounds. We're very happy."
D'Ambra was thrilled with her mare Udiana's performance and was more than content to finish second to her new trainer.
"Coming in second place at all is incredible. I'm very happy with it. My horse was brilliant today. I couldn't be happier with her. Peter Wylde is the best, so just the fact that I came in front of his other horse and presented a challenge for him, I'm pretty proud of myself," D'Ambra beamed.
D'Ambra was first to return in the jump-off and Wylde admitted to doubting whether he would be able to catch her after a perfectly executed second round.
"She nailed the jump-off and I thought, 'I'm going to have to really go if I'm going to get it.' I think the only place I caught her was to the last fence. I really raced to the last fence. I think I was probably a little bit behind her going into the last fence but I made up some ground there. She was pretty much perfect in her jump-off," Wylde revealed.
Wylde described how Lewin 5, an 11-year-old gelding owned by Société Civile de l'Ecurie Meautry, has come into his own the last several months of competition.
"Lewin's been consistently right at the top the last grand prix and the last few months I've been riding him. The horse is fantastic and this is now the third grand prix he's won in the last two months," Wylde explained.
"I've ridden him for a year and a half now and he's really developed into being a superstar. It's exciting! He's fun and he's also learned to go fast. He's got a lot of self-confidence now and I can pretty much ask him to do anything and he'll do it for me. He really is there for you," Wylde continued.
Wylde and D'Ambra's partnership is newly formed, yet the pair is clearly well-matched. D'Ambra of Saratoga, NY, contacted Wylde when she heard he was moving his training business to New York.
"I sent him a message saying I needed a trainer and I needed some help and he said he'd love to help me. I shipped in for a lesson two weeks before HITS Saugerties and it was just an immediate click. I think it's pretty obvious in the results that we share the same philosophy with the horses and that we get along really well. I see really good things coming," D'Ambra shared.
Both riders were extremely grateful for the support of their sponsors, whose invaluable support enables them to compete at the highest levels of the sport. "I want to thank my sponsor John Cooley at Elite Equine Veterinary," D'Ambra said.
"I would also like to thank my sponsors Cavalor, Dover Saddlery, Tredstep and of course Tad Coffin Performance Saddles, which are the saddles I'm using on my horses now which I just love and my horses love, too!" Wylde added.
$30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix, Presented by Johnson Horse Transportation
Rider Horse Faults Time
1. Peter Wylde Lewin 5 0:0 33.83
2. Agatha D'Ambra Udiana 0:0 34.95
3. Peter Wylde Wiesielottie 0:12 39.66
4. Penny Brennan Japan 4
5. Luis Larrazabal G&C Flash 4
6. Peter Wylde AK's Clowney 4
7. Mark Bluman G&C Lagran 4
8. Agatha D'Ambra Quivola 4
9. Michael Dorman Zephyr 4
10. James North The Man to See 4
11. Michael Dorman Valinski S 4
12. Penny Brennan Sun Tzu 4
Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media Inc.
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