Olympian Peter Wylde and Graf Emerge Victorious in $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at HITS Vermont

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Peter Wylde and Graf. Photo by Jess Windhurst.

Edited Press Release

Manchester, VT. – July 27, 2023 – Olympian Peter Wylde was perfect on Thursday, piloting Graf to victory during the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at HITS Vermont. The duo was brilliant throughout the hunt-and-go derby, wowing the judges to earn scores of 92 and 89 for a 181 total score. Second place went to Daphne Markcrow and Filibuster, and Jennifer Jones and Soundcheck took third to round out the top three.

“Graf is sort of my child – I bred him,” smiled Wylde of the 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding. “I own his mom, and I have had Graf since day one. He’s just a superb animal. He’s a brilliant, brilliant hunter. I got really lucky, and he turned out to be awesome. I love riding him, and I love showing him – I always have fun.” 

The course started with a single oxer along the outside line and continued to a bending line with a high-option oxer. As the course progressed, a high-option hay bale was followed by a broken line to an end jump, where riders then rolled back to the last jump in the classic round. The handy course started with a high-option vertical with a rollback to the trot jump. Many pairs slipped inside jumps to make a tighter turn towards a high-option oxer and continued around the ring, finishing with an outside line towards the gate.  

Peter Wylde and Graf. Photo by Jess Windhurst.

“Graf’s is really big, he’s 17.3 hands, and he has a very big stride, but he’s super handy and super adjustable – he can turn and jump, and he’s always done that,” Wylde said after his winning round. “It’s really fun because when you go into a class like this, you can really go to try to win. You try to do the best you can, and he gives it to you. I had all the confidence in him going in, and he did everything I hoped he would.” 

This was not the only high-place finish for the pair. Last week, Wylde and Graf were second in the derby, and this week they managed to top the field.  

Wylde concluded, “It’s been really fun. I always love to come to this horse show. I will say the footing now is fantastic, so that makes a big difference for this horse show. You can’t beat this area – Vermont is just so stunningly beautiful. It’s just an awesome show, and I’m glad I could be here for two weeks.” 

Peter Wylde and Graf. Photo by Jess Windhurst.

Finishing in second place was Daphne Markcrow and her own Filibuster, who gathered a total score of 179.5. Third place went to Jennifer Jones and Soundcheck, a pair who finished third in the derby last week and continued their podium placings. An entry of Brick City Equestrian, Soundcheck and Jones ended with a total combined score of 171. 

Jennifer Jones and Soundcheck. Photo by Jess Windhurst.

Two more weeks of the Vermont Summer Festival are taking place in the beautiful mountains. Special events continuing this week will feature the Ride and Drive and the $40,000 Grand Prix, sponsored by Equinox.