East Dorset, Vermont — Jimmy Torano did what no other competitor could do during the $30,000 Mount Equinox Grand Prix. Riding Caldam D’Or, he posted the only double-clear effort to win the featured competition during week four of the six-week Vermont Summer Festival, held at the Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
The course, designed by Jamie Alder, matched the complexity of the grand prix classes of previous weeks. From a starting field of 22 entries, just four jumped clear to earn a ticket to the jump-off. The fence that fell most often was a tall vertical liverpool. Torano noted that it required the utmost precision and focus from horse and rider.
“Those types of liverpools, the verticals with the water on the backside, are the hardest of their type,” explained Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. “The four horses that went clear in the first round are all top-class horses with a lot of miles. Any of those horses can jump anywhere.”
The victory, including $9,000 in prize money for first place, was the second of the week for Torano. On Friday, he won the $10,000 Escada/Theory Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, riding Magic Cruise.
Interestingly, Torano has close ties with all four horses in Sunday’s jump-off. He and Caldam D’Or, a nine-year-old stallion by Calvaro Z and owned by SCNC Investments, were first to return for the jump-off and posted another clear round in a time of 43.74 seconds. Torano’s wife, Danielle, rode Vancouver D’Auvray second in the jump-off. The pair started with a quick pace but seemed to lose direction mid-way through the course. They recovered quickly but had a rail at the second to last obstacle to finish in fourth place.
Mary Lisa Leffler of Brookville, MD, was next in the jump-off aboard Gerona 92, a horse Torano helped sell. This pair caught the third fence on their way to finishing in 42.97 seconds. It came down to the last fence for Hillary Dobbs and Marlo, a gray mare owned by The Dobbs Group, having been purchased from Torano just in time for the Vermont Summer Festival. Dobbs and Marlo, the winners of the $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix during opening week, had the fastest time, 40.87 seconds, but the last rail on course fell, leaving Dobbs the runner-up.
“I love that he is a quality horse with a lot of class,” said Torano, who began riding Caldam D’Or a little over a year ago. “He’s a stallion so you have to keep him in the right state of mind in the ring, but I think with a little more experience in some big classes, he’ll be able to jump anywhere.”
For Torano, that includes some World Cup Qualifying classes. He says he can see the stallion eventually going to the annual World Cup Final now that he’s showed his true talent.
“All of the courses here have been great. The designs have been genius. They are challenging enough, but not enough to over-face anyone. They still allow horses to step up but be challenged at the same time,” Torano said. “Caldam D’Or is ready for the big money classes.”
Competition at the Vermont Summer Festival is held daily Wednesday through Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m. and running until approximately 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children Wednesday through Saturday. On ‘Grand Prix Sunday’, admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children. All gate proceeds are donated to the Friends Foundation for MEMS, benefiting programs in the local Elementary & Middle School.
New England’s largest “AA” rated hunter/jumper horse show, the Vermont Summer Festival offers over $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest sporting event in the state of Vermont. Visit the Vermont Summer Festival website for more information, including full results.
$30,000 Mt. Equinox Grand Prix – Final Results
|1||Jimmy Torano||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Caldam D’Or||0:0||43.74|
|2||Hillary Dobbs||Sussex, NJ||Marlo||0:4||40.87|
|3||Mary Lisa Leffler||Brookeville, MD||Gerona 92||0:4||42.97|
|4||Danielle Torano||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Vancouver D’Auvray||0:4||46.07|
|5||Robert Mendoza||Newport, NH||Andiamo Pyon||4||70.42|
|6||Alexa Lowe||Upperville, VA||Credit Cruise||4||70.77|
|7||Kimberly Mulligan||New Canaan, CT||Butterfly Rouge||4||71.16|
|8||Julie Wells||West Simsbury, CT||St. Laurent||4||71.22|
|9||Caitlin Venezia||Marston Mills, MA||Contino 5||4||72.55|
|10||Jimmy Torano||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Morgan||4||73.23|
|11||Cassandra Herman||Westport, CT||Galop De Beaumont||4||73.72|
|12||Hillary Dobbs||Sussex, NJ||Marengo||4||73.84|