East Dorset, Vermont — Jimmy Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and Aguila won the $2,500 Open Jumper on Wednesday, August 8, to open the ‘Manchester and the Mountains Horse Show’, 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.
Course designer Pierre Jolicoeur set a track that saw three horses advance to the jump-off. The first to challenge was Canadian rider Paul Halpern of Russell, Ontario. Riding the eight-year-old grey gelding, Decima’s Eurostar, Halpern had a rail and stopped the clock in 33.58 seconds, a result that would eventually place him third.
Jimmy Torano, a fan favorite and frequent winner at the Vermont Summer Festival, was the next rider to post a clear round with his long-time partner Aguila, a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Sir Ruly Inc. In the jump-off, Torano made an impressive inside turn that helped him cross the finish line in a time of 31.65 seconds.
Halpern had another shot at victory with Rolls Royce and although he was able to jump double clear, his time of 32.60 seconds was not fast enough to catch Torano. Still, a second and third place finish on his first day ever competing at the Vermont Summer Festival was a great way to begin the show.
"I can’t complain about the way things have started," smiled Halpern, who will be competing throughout weeks five and six of the Vermont Summer Festival. "This is my first time here, and it is a beautiful venue. I had heard good things about it from my colleagues and friends, and it is close to home."
As for his mounts, Halpern said, "I began riding Decima’s Eurostar at the end of June. Before that, his owner, Kathy Bryden, had shown him herself since getting him as a three-year-old. Rolls Royce is owned by Rebecca Irvine, and she is currently doing her internship to become a doctor, so I have taken over the ride. Rolls Royce is as good a horse as I have ever ridden."
As the fastest four-faulter, Ian Silitch of Keswick, VA, took fourth place riding Escapade for owner November Hill Farm. Two more Canadians followed in the standings. Greg Kuti of Schomberg, ON, who had just arrived in Vermont, took fifth place with his 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Optimaal, while Quebec’s Angela Covert-Lawrence, a long-time competitor at the Vermont Summer Festival, placed sixth with Assini, her seven-year-old grey Belgian Warmblood mare.
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 more than of $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||Jimmy Torano||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Aguila||0:0||31.65|
|2||Paul Halpern||Russell, ON||Rolls Royce||0:0||32.60|
|3||Paul Halpern||Russell, ON||Decima’s Eurostar||0:4||33.58|
|4||Ian Silitch||Keswick, VA||Escapade||4|
|8||Paul Halpern||Russell, ON||Sebastien K||19|