Coolronan and Capt. Con Power of Ireland finally put the foreign teams in the running at the Washington International Horse Show yesterday by turning in a sizzling speed run to win the Martin Perpetual Trophy at Capital Center.
After two consecutive victories by the United States Equestrian Team and only Canada of the foreign teams showing a single point after two days of competition, it looked like a long week for the visitors. But Power, 25, the youngest member of the Irish team which won the Nations Cup at Dublin this summer, gave Coolronan the bit and the Irish-bred steed demolised its competition in the timed first round event.
Bernie Traurig, who had won Monday's Inverness Farm Challenge Trophy with The Cardinal, placed second aboard Obi-One-Nanobi for that horse's first points at a Washington show.
Third place went to Belgium, for its first points of this show, when Stany Van Paesschen shot Don Lelei through the twisting course that had taken its toll of many of the world's finest horses. Heat Wave, Douglas White's aged bay mare, was fourth as rider Linda Allen turned in another fine performance. She had finished fourth in Sunday's opening Ringmaster Challenge class.
Six of the world class jumpers going in the speed event managed to go clean through the course. Coolronan was timed in 47.7 seconds, Obe-One-Nanobi in 51.3, Don Lelei in 51.4 and Heat Wave in 52.3.
Early Light, the highly heralded green conformation hunter owned by Mrs. Sylvester Johnson, lived up to advanced notices by sweeping the opening two classes of his division yesterday. Trained by Kenneth Weaver and ridden by Charlie Weaver, the handsome 6-year-old chestnut gelding carried off the Cismont Manor Trophy.
Less than a hour later, Weaver brought Early Light back to win the Statler-Hilton Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest awards of the show, which was won first in 1958 by Morton Smith's legendary Witchcraft.
The regular conformation hunters began their long quest for Washington International tricolors and in a mild upset, Lynne Siegel's Kensington, ridden by Lu Thomas, won the judges' nod over three-time Washington champion Stockling Stuffer. Stocking Stuffer, August A. Busch's Cismont Manor trained beauty, also was placed second in the Shining Hour Challenge Trophy class, the blue ribbon and trophy going to Nokomis Farms' aged chestnut Sir Thomson.
The Busch-Cismont Manor-Weaver combination also added the Chillum Challenge Trophy to its collection in a busy afternoon when Weather Permitting, a 6-year-old grey gelding, toured the course with graceful ease to beat out Match Play, Riot Free and Another Brother in a regular working hunter class.
The Washington International takes on a different tone tonight when ridders from most of the area's hunts hit Capital Centre for "Hunt Night." Because of the large number of entries and the variety of classes, the program will begin at 5 p.m. The international-open jumpers also will continue their battle, going for the Jockey Club Perpetual Trophy, a pair relay, fault and out class.