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Tufts In The Olympics: Racing Toward Victory

Tufts In The Olympics: Racing Toward VictoryTuftsgraduate Peter Wylde celebrates his spot on the U.S. Equestrianteam and the challenges he overcame to get there.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [08.13.04] -- Standing 11th in the world rankings, Peter Wylde is no strangerto victory. His awards span from winning the top competition forriders in New England under the age of 18 in 1981, to winningthe Bronze medal at the 2002 World Equestrian Games. But the Tuftsgraduate considers making the U.S. Olympic Team for the firsttime this past May his greatest personal accomplishment.

“Thishas been a lifetime dream, a lifetime goal,” he told TheLos Angeles Times. “Making an Olympic team has beenthe one championship event to elude me.”

Though Wyldeis extremely talented, he never took the easy way out to achievesuccess.

Wylde’saward-winning—and now Olympic-bound—horse, Fein Cera,was a cast-away that one of his colleagues did not want. The horsewas temperamental, but Wylde took an interest in her, practicingwalking, trotting and cantering before working on jumps. It tookawhile, but the end result was a strong bond between the two thathas seen them through victory after victory. Fein Cera was evennamed “Best Horse” at the 2002 World Equestrian Games.

“Itwas a huge honor to have taken this horse that no one wanted tobuy and turn her into the best horse at the World Equestrian Games,”Wylde said in an interview with Tufts Magazine. “Iregard that as my best award as a rider, more so than my bronzemedal. I take a lot of pride in that achievement.”

Before hisdays with Fein Cera, Wylde won many prizes while managing stables.The day after he graduated from Tufts, Wylde opened Bondurant,Inc., a training stable in Medfield, Massachusetts (the area wherehis riding career began). After six years running Bondurant, Wyldespent a year in Switzerland for intensive training, then returnedto the United States to run a stable in New York while racingworld-class grand prix horses.

Wylde hassince returned to Europe in order to improve his skill and thereputation of American riders in the region. He now has a stablein Maastricht, Holland, with 12 horses and an elite group of students.He told The Los Angeles Times that he went abroad “tocompete against the best all the time and to get better.”

Last yearhe won the prestigious Whitney Stone Cup, not only for his illustriouscompetition record, but also for serving as an ambassador forthe sport.

“Petergave up a very successful and lucrative situation in America toput himself in the center of the sport on the international stage,”Conrad Homfeld - a colleague and pivotal member of the last U.S.team to win the gold at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles - toldTufts Magazine. “He saw that in order to achieveinternational success he had to be willing to pack up and movehis life over there. Other riders don’t have that same kindof dedication and commitment to the sport.”

No one needdoubt Wylde’s commitment to an Olympic win.

“Wehave a superb team of talented and experienced riders who knowhow to win at the international level and world-class horses capableof winning an Olympic medal,” Frank Chapot, coach of theUnited States show jumping team, told The Journal News.

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