Last night's featured international open event at the Washington International Horse Show at Capital Centre was for high-stakes rollers -- riders looking for a Monopoly game played over fences.
And when the game was over Largo, a 12-year-old bay stallion, ridden by Rob Gage, was the winner, having collected 1,120 points in less than a minute to win the $7,500 Gambler's Stake.
Largo was the 26th off in a field of 31 entries who toured an 11-obstacle course where each fence -- with one notable exception -- was worth 10 to 200 points, depending on its degree of difficulty. Time was a factor only when there was a duplicate score.
But the biggest stumbling block was the famous "Joker," a tall fence that ran horizontally to the rectangular course, making it difficult for a rider to twist his mount around and clear the fence's top rail. A faultless jump was worth 200 points, but a mistake at the fence cost the rider 200 points.
Each of the fences was optional, except the "Joker," which was mandatory for all riders.
Tim, ridden by Mark Leone of Franklin Lakes, N.J. was second with 1,110 points, followed by Goby and rider John Anderson, who jumped for 1,000 points in 54.90 seconds. Desire, ridden by West German team member Klaus Reinacher, also had 1,000 points but in a slower 60.17 clocking. Canada's Lisa Carlsen rode Tango to a 990-point fifth-place finish.
The United States leads in the competition with 31 points. West Germany has 24 points and Canada, 17. Katie Monahan of the United States, who finished seventh aboard Matterhorn, remains the leading international rider with eight points. Tim Grubb of Great Britain and Germany's Reinacher are tied for second place with seven. Rodney Jenkins leads in the national rider race with 16.