East Dorset, Vermont — Two and a half weeks after Lisa Rex of Westbury, NY, won her first Grand Prix aboard Fit 3, she returned to win the $10,000 TSE Cashmere/Furla Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, on Friday, August 8, at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
The last time Rex and Fit 3 were in the grand prix ring at the Vermont Summer Festival, they won the $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix during the second of six weeks of competition. “But I got antsy and we came back,” Rex said smiling.
She plans to show at the Hampton Classic in August and thought a few more trips over the courses at the Vermont Summer Festival would be of benefit. The $3,000 in prize money, as well as a $1,000 gift certificate to TSE Cashmere, were merely icing on the cake.
“The course today was really hard,” Rex said. “The first thing I thought was, ‘It’s a good thing I did equitation as a kid!’ It was very technical and kept you thinking.”
Olympic gold medalist Conrad Homfeld of Bridgehampton, NY, designed the course that saw seven riders jump clear and advance to the jump-off while two were double clear. “It was a clever course,” Rex explained. “You really had to show the horse the jumps and know exactly where you were going, but it was exhilarating! I was out of breath when we finished.”
Linda Sheridan of Ringoes, NJ, rode the first clear round aboard Invitational. Though fast at 34.74 seconds, a dropped rail in the jump-off eventually placed them in third. Rex and Fit 3 followed and posted the winning time of 35.81 seconds without fault.
Canadian Angela Covert-Lawrence of St. Lazare, Quebec, and her grey mare, Unica, finished in second place after posting the only other double-clear round of the day in a time of 36.22 seconds. Alexa Lowe of Upperville, VA, rode clear aboard Credit Cruise but caught a rail in the jump-off to finish fourth with 37.26 seconds.
Rex started riding Fit 3, a 12-year-old Hannoverian gelding, in late December. When she first saw him jumping in 1.50-meter classes at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, it was love at first sight. But she never dreamed she would get to ride him. When his previous owner went to college, Fit 3 needed a new home and Rex jumped at the opportunity.
“He was a bit soft when I first got him because he hadn’t been doing anything for a year,” she remembered. “So I spent three months legging him up and getting him fit again. But now he’ll do it all. He’s a real fighter.”
Five months later, she found herself winning her first Grand Prix at the Vermont Summer Festival. “This is my favorite horse show all year,” she said. “The show, the town of Manchester, the mountains—everything is wonderful. And the management here is top-notch.”
Rex hopes to keep her and Fit 3’s winning streak alive in the $30,000 Manchester & The Mountains Grand Prix, Presented by Hand Motors, on Sunday, August 10, beginning at 2:00 p.m.
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 Schools.
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.
$10,000 TSE Cashmere/Furla Open Welcome Stake – Final Results
|1||Lisa Rex||Westbury, NY||Fit 3||0:0||35.81|
|2||Angela Covert-Lawrence||St. Lazare, Quebec||Unica||0:0||36.22|
|3||Linda Sheridan||Ringoes, NJ||Invitational||0:4||34.74|
|4||Alexa Lowe||Upperville, VA||Credit Cruise||0:4||37.26|
|5||Ashley Partow||Bernardsville, NJ||Cool Flood||0:4||38.15|
|6||Mary Lisa Leffler||Brookeville, MD||Gerona 92||0:8||36.49|
|7||Robert Mendoza||Newport, NH||Vision||0:8||36.79|
|8||Julie Welles||West Simsbury, CT||Unicum||1||75.48|