Peter Wylde made his first trip to Manchester, VT, a winning one by claiming victory in the $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix on July 6. The six-week Vermont Summer Festival is running July 2 through August 11 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
A veteran of the United States Equestrian Team, Wylde was the individual bronze medalist at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, before claiming team gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Having been based in Germany for the past 12 years, Wylde recently relocated his business to Millbrook, NY, and is back competing on the U.S. show jumping circuit.
Wylde included the Vermont Summer Festival on his 2013 tour schedule. The decision proved to be a wise one, as he was one of three competitors to advance to the jump-off over the track set by course designer Alan Wade of Ireland. Agatha D’Ambra also jumped clear with Quivola, but incurred two time faults for exceeding the 86-second time allowed.
Returning first for the jump-off, Michael Dorman posted a clear round in a time of 40.31 seconds riding Zephyr to put the pressure on those who followed. Mark Bluman, the winner of Thursday’s $10,000 Open Welcome Stake with G&C Lagran, was next up, this time riding G&C Carla. Bluman only began riding the grey mare two weeks ago, having been given the ride by his brother, Ilan. In their first grand prix together, the pair posted a clear round in 36.16, despite a big stumble upon landing after the second fence, taking more than four seconds off of Dorman’s time to move into the lead.
Wylde was the the third and final challenger, and the seasoned veteran made short work of the jump-off course, smoothly guiding Lewin 5 over the fences, around the turns and through the timers in 34.39 seconds for the victory.
“Alan Wade, in my opinion, is one of the best course designers in the world,” complimented Wylde. “I am always happy to go to a show where he’s building because his courses are consistently excellent. I never have a worry. I thought that the course was well-set, and was a good challenge.”
The win in the $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix marked the second recent victory for Wylde and Lewin 5, an 11-year-old bay German-bred gelding by Lewinski owned by Baron Eduard de Rothschild of Société Civile de l’Ecurie Meautry in Deauville, France. The pair also won the $35,000 Garden State Grand Prix in Augusta, NJ, on May 4.
“I thought it was a really nice class,” said Wylde of the $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix. In addition to taking the win, Wylde also placed tenth after having a rail down at 12‘c’ of the triple combination with AK’s Clowney, also owned by Société Civile de l’Ecurie Meautry. “Clowney had a beautiful round and just lightly touched the rail coming out of the triple. I was a bit surprised by that. I sort of expected him to go clear so I didn’t go too fast. That was my fault. My student, Agatha D’Ambra was fourth. She rode well and her horse jumped well.”
Of Lewin 5, Wylde noted, “He’s been building up to this level and is now consistently in the ribbons, both indoors and out. He’s a lamb. He’s the sweetest horse, very kind. He’s a little lazy, but picks up just enough in the ring, and is very careful. It was a fast enough jump-off today, and he was excellent. I imagine he’s going to be sold pretty soon.”
The grand prix was the first class of the week for Wylde, who arrived in Vermont the night before.
“I spent the 4th of July with my dad on the beach in Massachusetts,” said Wylde, 47. “There were a lot of reasons why I wanted to come back to the States and spending more time with family was a main one. I have a great support team in my stable. I was able to sneak away on vacation for four days and met my horses here last night. I’m always a little anxious when I go away, but I have a great team.”
Wylde will remain in Vermont for the second week of the Vermont Summer Festival, and is already making plans to return next year, saying, “I haven’t been here before and this was the plan that I devised. Next year, I’ll be tailoring my plan based on experience, and I’m already having a great experience here. I love the grounds and the lay-out.
“It’s only been a few months, but I’m basically up to speed with where I want to be,” said Wylde, who is now basing his business, Mullenders & Wylde Horses LLC, out of Winley Farm in Millbrook, NY. “I’m really happy with the way things have fallen into place for me since Florida. Winley Farm, in my opinion, is the best training facility I’ve ever been to. It’s an old thoroughbred breeding farm on 190 acres with paddocks and riding trails. Built in the middle is a high-tech show jumping training facility with 40 box stalls. I’ve never seen this combination of high-tech stable with so much turn-out and grass. I’m so happy and my horses are so happy, which is obvious because they have been performing so well.
“I would like to say thank you to my sponsors, Dover, Cavalor, Tredstep and Tad Coffin Performance Saddles,” concluded Wylde.
The Vermont Summer Festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary in its current Manchester location, offers more than $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont.
The first five Saturdays of the Vermont Summer Festival feature a $30,000 Grand Prix. The $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix will be held during the sixth and final week on Saturday, August 10. The weekly $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, is held each Thursday. The hugely popular $5,000 3’3” Hunter Derby is also held each Thursday for the first five weeks, with week six featuring the $15,000 Hunter Derby.
The Vermont Summer Festival is a proud member event of the Show Jumping Hall Of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL). For more information about the Vermont Summer Festival, please e-mail: email@example.com or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com