A native of Medfield, MA, Peter Wylde worked his way up in the junior rider ranks, earning the United States’ highest junior honor when he won the Rolex-Maclay National Equitation Championship at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden in 1982. He has several grand prix wins to his credit, including a win in the President’s Cup at the Washington International Horse Show in October 1996. Wylde represented the U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) at the 1997 and 1999 World Cup Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden. In 1997, he also won a grand prix during the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida, a feat he repeated in 1998 when he won the $50,000 FedEx Gold Coast Grand Prix on Macanudo Very Well St. George. In all, Wylde had three grand prix wins in 1998 and he placed second in the Cosequin I Love New York Grand Prix at Lake Placid, a USET World Equestrian Games Selection Trial.
In 1999, Wylde was Co-Champion of the $100,000 Rolex/USET Show Jumping Championship at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions just before earning team and individual Silver medals at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada. He won the Van Vlanderen Grand Prix in Belgium in December, 2000. In 2001, he tied for sixth place in the World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden.
He earned a place on the USET squad for the 2002 Show Jumping World Championships at the World Equestrian Games by placing second in the selection trial standings on Fein Cera where they went on to win individual bronze. In 2004 they helped the U.S. win team gold at the Olympic Games in Athens.
Today, Wylde is actively involved in the USHJA’s Emerging Athletes Program as its head clinician and Vice President, and he is looking forward to helping EAP grow even more.
The EAP, which was created as a stepping stone for riders who want to reach the top of the sport, saw its 2011 winner Jacob Pope do just that last year. After Pope won the ’11 EAP Finals, he was offered a working student job with equitation trainer Andre Dignelli, and he went on to win the 2012 Maclay Final.
“We open eyes and we open doors with the EAP. We want to show young kids who don’t have the means to be riders financially, how to get into the sport and be successful at it,” Wylde explains. “We want to try to identify super talented kids who might otherwise slip through the cracks and we want to help them.”
EAP regional clinics are held throughout the year around the country, and Wylde plans to attend more of them, both as a clinician and an observer.
“I love this program, it’s good for our industry and good for our sport,” he adds. “I want to be more involved at every level. And if I happen to identify a talented kid out there in the trenches with the rest of us, I might say you know, you should consider the EAP program.”
Wylde’s two longtime sponsors Dover Saddlery (as a teenager Wylde worked in shipping and receiving at Dover’s very first store) and Cavalor have stepped up to support the EAP, and Wylde continues to work with EAP President Sally Ike to expand the program.
Now in lush Wellington, Florida for the winter season, his surroundings are far removed from the quiet German countryside, but Wylde isn’t looking back.
“I want to do everything,” he says. “At this stage it’s a matter of putting my head down, trying as hard as I can and seeing where I end up.”