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Wordley Wins Another With Gorki in $20,000 Bayfest Grand Prix in Woodside

Woodside, California. Sharn Wordley is on a roll. Last week at the Woodside Circuit Opener, Wordley rode Gorki to the win in the $5000 Jumper Classic. This week at the Bay Area Festival (June 30 - July 4) Gorki was among the 29 horses in the $20,000 Bayfest Grand Prix. Mike Galloway built a demanding 14 obstacle course on the undulating Woodside jumper field for the first ever grand prix at the 272 Horse Park at Woodside.

Nine horses posted clear rounds and Wordley had two of them. In jump-off Wordley was first to go with Cody, a nineteen year old gelding he bought in Europe just before shipping to the United States the first of this year. Wordley set the pace for the jump-off with a time of 28.435. Amateur rider Alicia Jonsson has been knocking on the door of the big classes and she met Wordley’s bid and then raised him by screaming around the course aboard NZ Better Believe It with a time of 26.952. Although several tried to match Jonsson’s time, no one quite made it....until Gorki.

“I didn’t know how fast he could go,” smiled Wordley, “but I was a bit faster from one to two, and then I did nine instead of ten to the last oxer.” Wordley managed to shave a half a second off of Jonsson’s time with a 26.448. “Gorki’s half owner, Beverly Grundhofer is going to be very pleased with his performances. People have been coming up to ask if he is for sale, but we might keep him a while.”

The $20,000 Bayfest Grand Prix kicked off with an opening ceremony that included bringing the dignitaries, Al Behr, Executive Director of the Horse Park, and Jodie Lawler, a longtime resident of Woodside and neighbor to the Horse Park, to the ring in an antique Victoria carriage driven by Gerald Fischer. The First California Hussar Regiment carried the colors, accompanied by riders from the Mid-Cal Pony Club.

In other action, Carrie Robinson swept the Amateur Owner Hunters 18-35 by winning all five classes and the championship with Ballari. Tarni Bell was the Amateur Equitation champion. In the Pre-Green Hunter section, Leslie Nelson rode Ooh-La-La to the championship for owner Robin Klein. K.C. Kelley’s Amika was Green Working Hunter champion with John French in the irons, and then Holly Andrews rode the chestnut mare to the Adult Amateur championship.

The contest is close in the Woodside Hunter Incentive Program. The trainer accruing the most points during the seven show series wins an eight day stay in a beachfront villa on Maui’s world famous Kaanapali Beach. After the Woodside Circuit Opener, Lynn Irving maintained her lead, but Leslie Nelson was close behind.

The three week Woodside Summer Circuit concludes next week with the Golden Gate Classic. In addition to the $20,000 Golden Gate Grand Prix, circuit champions will be presented.


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