East Dorset, Vermont — Norman Dello Joio won the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix to conclude six weeks of competition at the 2007 Vermont Summer Festival. The largest ‘AA’ rated hunter-jumper horse show held in New England, the Vermont Summer Festival took place July 11 to August 19, 2007, in East Dorset, VT.
For the second week in a row, Dello Joio and Malcolm were crowned the Grand Prix champions. A total of 32 horses lined up to attempt the track set by Ken Krome whose course featured 13 numbered obstacles with a double combination set at fence five and a triple combination at fence ten. Nine horse-rider combinations jumped fault-free to advance to the jump-off including 25-year-old Yale graduate Ashley Baker of Wellington, FL, and Hillary Dobbs of Sussex, NJ, who both qualified two horses for the jump-off. Olympian Lauren Hough of Wellington, FL, just missed having two horses in the jump-off when she incurred one time fault for exceeding the 82-second time allowed with Quick Study.
The nine-horse jump-off turned into a horse race with the times getting exceedingly faster as the competition progressed. As the final rider in the ring, Dello Joio knew exactly what he had to do to catch Dobbs who was holding the lead with 33.45 seconds with Corlett. The 1992 Olympic Bronze Medallist sliced the jumps and tightened his turns and when the clock flashed 33.25 seconds, a cheer went up from the crowd. For his victory, which he dedicated to Max Richter, a part owner in Malcolm who died two days earlier, Dello Joio earned $15,000 in prize money.
"He’s coming into his own," said Dello Joio of the nine-year-old chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding by Concorde that he purchased two years ago. "I thought that the horses jumped particularly well today. I was worried about the jump-off. Instead of emphasizing jumping, it emphasized speed. I was lucky to go last so I knew exactly what I had to do. I feel like we’ve done our homework and he’s a horse with a great future in front of him."
During the two weeks he showed at the Vermont Summer Festival, Dello Joio won three of the four major classes offered. During week five, his victory in the $10,000 Giorgio Armani Open Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, was followed two days later with a win in the $30,000 Manchester and the Mountains Grand Prix, and he closed out the 2007 Vermont Summer Festival by winning the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix.
Having won Thursday’s $3,000 NAL Open Speed competition riding Marengo, Dobbs settled for second place on Sunday with Corlett and also placed sixth with Quincy B after incurring four faults when a rail fell at 5a.
"Both of my horses jumped phenomenally," noted Dobbs, a 19-year-old student at Harvard. "Corlett knows when it is the jump-off and she tries her heart out. I took a shot, but Norman is the master."
Lauren Hough placed third after turning in a time of 33.49 seconds with Strandgarden’s Mercedes Z while Tracy Magness placed fourth, having been the early leader after getting the jump-off underway with a clear round in a time of 34.07 seconds with Tarco van ter Moude. Jimmy Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, was the only other rider to turn in a double clear round in a time of 34.10 seconds to place fifth.
Baker ran into trouble at the last fence with Jackson and Garibaldi to place seventh and eighth respectively while New Zealand native Sharn Wordley’s trouble began with a refusal at the second fence and left him with a final total of 16 faults riding Fall Kheer.
Under beautiful sunny skies, Vermont Governor James Douglas addressed the crowd, saying, "I am delighted to once again be at the Vermont Summer Festival, and we are pleased to welcome you to the state of Vermont, those who are Vermonters and those who are visiting. We hope that those who are just visiting will come often and be a part of our community. We wish all of the competitors the best of luck."
Throughout the six weeks of competition, the Vermont Summer Festival offered more than $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest sporting event in the state. The Vermont Summer Festival will return for its 15th year at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT, from July 9 to August 17, 2008.
Visit the Vermont Summer Festival website for more information, including full results.
$50,000 Vermont Summer Festival Grand Prix – Final Results
|1||Norman Dello Joio||Wellington, FL||Malcolm||0:0||33.25|
|2||Hillary Dobbs||Sussex, NJ||Corlett||0:0||33.45|
|3||Lauren Hough||Wellington, FL||Strandgarden’s Mercedes Z||0:0||33.49|
|4||Tracy Magness||Hughesville, MD||Tarco van ter Moude||0:0||34.07|
|5||Jimmy Torano||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Morgan||0:0||34.10|
|6||Hillary Dobbs||Sussex, NJ||Quincy B||0:4||35.66|
|7||Ashley Baker||Wellington, FL||Jackson||0:4||36.52|
|8||Ashley Baker||Wellington, FL||Garibaldi||0:4||43.82|
|9||Sharn Wordley||New Zealand||Fall Kheer||0:16||46.10|
|10||Lauren Hough||Wellington, FL||Quick Study||1|