East Dorset, Vermont — Norman Dello Joio of Wellington, FL, won the $10,000 Giorgio Armani Open Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, on Friday, August 10, during the fifth week of competition at the Vermont Summer Festival. The largest ‘AA’ rated hunter-jumper horse show held in New England, the Vermont Summer Festival is a six-week competition taking place from July 11 to August 19, 2007, in East Dorset, VT.
Pierre Jolicoeur was creative in his course design, giving the grand prix ring an expansive feel by setting 12 numbered obstacles, including a triple combination at fence five and a double combination at fence nine, on interesting angles.
"I know this ring very well," explained the Montreal native who has been the grand prix course designer at the Vermont Summer Festival on several occasions. "A lot of horses just arrived this week and it was their first time in the ring. I didn’t put too many numbers, and the jump-off was short with no doubles. If you want to win, you have to go fast, or you can just practice for the Grand Prix on Sunday."
The first rider into the ring, Dello Joio riding L’Echo du Rozel for owner Sagamore Farms, posted a clear round to advance to the immediate jump-off. Unfortunately, Dello Joio did not realize that the competition was run as an immediate jump-off format, and relied on the crowd to call out the order of jumps for him. Having one rail down and incurring six time faults, Dello Joio would eventually finish in fifth place.
The second rider into the ring also posted a clear round to advance to the jump-off but, luckily, New Zealander Sharn Wordley knew his route. Riding Boragway, Wordley had the last fence down to finish with four faults in a time of 41.40 seconds, a time that would leave him in fourth place.
Wordley again challenged with the athletic chestnut, Epsom Pierreville, one of the New Zealander’s four entries in the $10,000 Giorgio Armani Open Welcome Stake. This time, Wordley stepped on the accelerator to finish in a time of 38.81 seconds, but again the final fence fell. His effort would prove to be good enough for second place.
Olympian Lauren Hough of Wellington, FL, in her first show on American soil since competing at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, guided the clever bay gelding, Quick Study, to a clear round to advance to the jump-off. Like Wordley had done twice before her, Hough also had the final fence down in a time of 39.87 seconds to move into third place.
Dello Joio was the final jump-off challenger. This time, Dello Joio knew his way around the jump-off route and guided Malcolm, his nine-year-old chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding by Concorde, to a clear jumping round. Despite picking up two time faults for exceeding the time allowed, Dello Joio claimed the victory as well as $3,000 in prize money and a $1,000 gift card from Giorgio Armani.
"We think a lot of him, he’s a great horse," said Dello Joio of the horse he purchased two years ago in England. Having two mounts in the $10,000 Giorgio Armani Open Welcome Stake was an advantage for the 1992 Olympic Bronze Medalist.
"I didn’t know it was an immediate jump-off, and I was trying to learn the course as I went," he smiled ruefully. "I think that Pierre is a great course designer, and I was excited that he was going to be here. The course today was very careful, the triple required scope and the fence after it required rideability."
Dello Joio is a frequent visitor to the Vermont Summer Festival, and it is more than just the $750,000 in prize money that draws him to the area.
"I love coming to Vermont. My in-laws, Eugene and Anne Farrell, live here in Manchester," explained Dello Joio, who is one of the favorites to win Sunday’s $30,000 Manchester and the Mountains Grand Prix beginning at 2 p.m.
For the first time, the Vermont Summer Festival is pleased to offer live video streaming of all five competition rings for those who cannot attend the horse show in person. Visit www.livebroadcast.tv or www.vt-summerfestival.com for more information.
Now in its 14th year at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, Vermont, the Vermont Summer Festival offers more than $750,000 in prize money throughout the six weeks of competition, making it the richest sporting event in the state. Each week features a $10,000 Friday Open Welcome Stake, sponsored by Manchester Designer Outlets, and a $30,000 Sunday Grand Prix. The grand finale of the six-week Vermont Summer Festival is the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix on Sunday, August 19. For more information on the Vermont Summer Festival, please visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.
$2,500 Open Jumper – Final Result
|1||Norman Dello Joio||Wellington, FL||Malcolm||0:2||43.98|
|2||Sharn Wordley||New Zealand||Epsom Pierreville||0:4||38.81|
|3||Lauren Hough||Wellington, FL||Quick Study||0:4||39.87|
|4||Sharn Wordley||New Zealand||Boragway||0:4||41.40|
|5||Norman Dello Joio||Wellington, FL||L’Echo du Rozel||0:10||47.87|
|6||Paul Halpern||Canada||Decima’s Eurostar||4|
|7||Nicholas Dello Joio||Wellington, FL||Draco||4|