Herve Godignon, a French national rider at the Washington International Horse Show, brought Kysra D'Auzay home first in the $7,500 international-open jumper match race last night at Capital Centre.
In the final, Godignon, 31, of Normandy, rode the 7-year-old mare cleanly over the five-obstacle course, while Buddy Brown rode Charles Fox, a small bay gelding also known as "The Bionic Pony," over an identical course. The pair were matched after 17 other entries lost out.
Charles Fox, who stands about 15 hands, outran the French performance horse, but knocked down a fence for four faults that gave the high-stepping mare the victory.
Charles Fox finished second and Horoscope, with Donald Cheska in the saddle, and Everon, with U.S. Equestrian Katie Monahan up, tied for third.
Barney Ward, who was slated to run his McLain against Everon in the fourth round jumpoff, withdrew after his 8-year-old gelding was cut in the previous round.
The U.S. riding team held the international lead with 65 points, followed by Canada with 28 and West Germany with 19.
Ward remains the leading national rider with 23 points, with Buddy Brown at 19 and Anne Kursinski and Tim Grubb tied with 13.
Nearly 37 horses are entered in this afternoon's first round of the $35,000 President's Cup Grand Prix. As many as 22 of them could return for the determining evening jump-off.
Despite a broken collarbone, Leslie Burr, 27, is expected to ride her 7-year-old gelding, Albany. Burr, who leads Monahan, 101 to 91 points, could clinch the Mercedes rider of the year title with a victory. Monahan won the title and a custom-built car last year and is expected to ride Noren, the winningest horse on the circuit, tonight.