The 49th annual Menlo Charity Show held August 6-11 was a dazzling display of horse flesh and sporting endeavor. Hunters, jumpers, hounds and their people enjoyed a week of competition, with 300 attendees filling the Wild West-themed gala and auction to benefit the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
In the pristine grass hunter ring, the horse Center Court (ridden by John French and owned by Hiller Farms) claimed the $25,000 High Performance USHJA Zone HOTY Finals; meanwhile, an international lineup in the jumper divisions led to high excitement.
On Saturday, at the the hotly contested Stephen Silver Grand Prix, 31 horse-and-rider combinations were whittled down to 14 pairs — ultimately, Menlo Park-based Australian Harley Brown took the top prize by 0.182 of a second, riding a steed named Mylord Cornet (owned by Katherine Anne Brewer.) His tactics were straightforward: “I just went for speed, and luckily the poles stayed up.” Celebrating the win, he went onto say, “This show has such a lovely, festive atmosphere – our barn is just around the corner, and all our clients and owners were there. We had four horses in the Grand Prix with different riders.”