The first day of international open jumping at the Washington International Horse Show had the team competitors pitted against the individual open riders. When it was over, the individuals had a distinct advantage at US Airways Arena.
Kimberly Frey of Hume, Va., won the $25,000 International Open Jumpers and tied for first in the $5,000 International Open Jumpers among the individual riders. With the 10-year-old Selle Francais, Bergerac, Frey flew around the course of 10 fences set at 5 feet 3 inches with a maximum spread of 6 feet.
Only 12 of the 28 riders went clean, but Frey maneuvered expertly through a brutal triple combination with one stride in between the fences. In the jump-off, Frey finished the seven fences in the speedy time of 32.02 seconds.
Laura Linbeck (Mundelein, Ill.) rode the 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood Santos XVI to a second-place finish of 32.61 in the jump-off round.
Italy's Enrico Maria Frana, who rode the Selle Francais stallion Triomphe D'Epona at 33.07, was the first international team member to score. Italy also scored with Roberto Arnoldi and Lora Piano Goewanita in eighth place.
Alison Firestone, of Upperville, Va., and her horse Arnica de la Barre, were the only pair from the U.S. team to place in the jump-off. Firestone, a silver medalist at the 1999 Pan American Games, finished fourth.
Earlier in the day Frey (Conawara) tied with U.S. team member Leslie Howard (Isper) in the $5,000 International Jumpers. Italy's Claudio Minardi was second on Dime de la Cour. Schuyler Riley and Stormchaser placed fourth individually.
Frey has had the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood Conawara for about only four weeks.
"I don't really know him. I was just going to canter around and see what happens. I wasn't really expecting to win," said Frey, who bought the horse in Holland. "I have only shown him once before this."
Swiss team member Paul Estermann and the light chestnut Graceland were notables in both classes. The pair, which pulled a rail but gets bonus points for creativity, had the fastest time (47.24) in the $5,000 class. Italy's Arnoldi, riding Lora Piano Paprika Della Loggia, could be a contender as the week of open jumping continues.