East Dorset, Vermont — Hot off his victory in Friday’s $10,000 Giorgio Armani Open Welcome Stake, Norman Dello Joio of Wellington, FL, returned to the ring on Sunday, August 12, to win the $30,000 Manchester and the Mountains Grand Prix and conclude 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.
A total of 29 starters lined up to tackle the test set by course designer Pierre Jolicoeur. While a triple combination was noticeably absent, three double combinations proved to be the undoing of many of the competitors with 6a and 8a coming down the most frequently.
"What I tried to do today was to make it not as technical, but bigger," explained Jolicoeur of his strategy. "I want to give a chance to the horses with scope. A grand prix is all about having the best horse and rider win."
Jolicoeur predicted that seven horses would advance to the jump-off, and he came very close to guessing correctly with six jumping clear rounds to move on to the tie-breaker.
Hillary Dobbs, who had been the very first rider on course, challenged the jump-off first riding Marengo. A clear round in a time of 40.71 seconds gave her the early lead. Dello Joio followed her into the ring with Malcolm. The nine-year-old chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding stumbled after the third to last fence but managed to stay upright and continued home fault-free, stopping the clock at 38.15 seconds. None of the four horses that followed were able to do better, although Tracy Magness of Hughesville, MD, came close by stopping the clock at 39.25 seconds with Tarco van ter Moude.
Following Dello Joio, Magness and Dobbs in the final placings was Ian Silitch and Rivano, owned by Rachel Spencer. Silitch was double clear, but his time of 40.45 seconds left him off the pace.
Olympian Lauren Hough of Wellington, FL, was impressively fast with Strandgarden’s Mercedes Z, but a fallen rail at what had been 10b in the first round kept her out of the winner’s circle. Canada’s Sulu Rose-Reed, the Grand Prix winner one week earlier, had to settle for sixth this week with the 12-year-old grey Holsteiner gelding, Gannon, when she, too, had a rail at 10b.
The Vermont Summer Festival now enters its sixth and final week of competition with the ‘Vermont Summer Celebration’ running August 15 to 19. The featured event is the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 19, which concludes the richest sporting event in the state of Vermont.
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. Each week features a $10,000 Friday Open Welcome Stake, sponsored by Manchester Designer Outlets, and a Grand Prix every Sunday at 2 p.m. Visit the Vermont Summer Festival website for more information.
$30,000 Manchester & the Mountains Grand Prix – Final Result
|1||Norman Dello Joio||Wellington, FL||Malcolm||0:0||38.15|
|2||Tracy Magness||Hughesville, MD||Tarco van ter Moude||0:0||39.25|
|3||Hillary Dobbs||Sussex, NJ||Marengo||0:0||40.71|
|4||Ian Silitch||Keswick, VA||Rivano||0:0||40.45|
|5||Lauren Hough||Wellington, FL||Strandgarden’s Mercedes Z||0:4||38.80|
|6||Sulu Rose-Reed||Manakin, VA||Gannon||0:4||42.70|
|7||Sharn Wordly||New Zealand||Epson Pierreville||4|
|8||Ashley Baker||Wellington, FL||Garibaldi||4|
|9||Jimmy Torano||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Aguila||4|
|10||Norman Dello Joio||Wellington, FL||L’Echo du Rozel||4|