Anne Kursinski on Unique and Joe Fargis on Vivaldi teamed up last night to win the Rotating Pair Relay class for International jumpers at the Washington International Horse Show at Capital Centre.
The competition requires that the entire course of nine jumps be covered twice by one member of the pair, with one change mandatory. It can be entertaining but confusing to riders and spectators.
Kursinski, 22, of Pasadena, Calif., and Fargis, 33, of Petersburg, Va., had mapped out a strategy. "We planned that Joe would jump the first three fences and then I would jump 4 and 5," said Kursinski, the leading money-winner on the West Coast. "Then he would jump 6, 7 and 8 and I would finish over 9." Kursinski and Fargis clocked 62.10.
Graziano Mancinelli on Othello and Uberto Lupinetti on Bile, representing Italy, placed second with a time of 64.00.
Michael Matz on Honest Tom and Melanie Smith on Belle took third after finishing the intricate course in 65.41.
The win boosted Kursinski into first place in the standings for the national rider championship, with 15 points. Tuesday night's winner, Jamie Mann, has 11 points.
The Rotating Pair Relay was not the only racing event last night. As part of the activities on what is known as "Hunt Night" at the show, there was a brief terrier trial for Jack Russell dogs. The dogs, used in the field when a fox goes down a small hole, raced over miniature jumps.
In other Hunt Night events, Pat McDowell won the first part of the Field Hunter Class on Toy Tiger and Joannah Hall Glass took the second section on Closing the Ring.
The Gentlemen's Hunter Hack class was won by Richard Ohrstrom on Old Whitewood.