East Dorset, Vermont — Lisa Rex of Westbury, NY, claimed her first grand prix victory at the Vermont Summer Festival by winning the $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix, Presented by Devoucoux. The Vermont Summer Festival runs from July 9 to August 17 at the Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
The stage was set for an exciting jump-off after six riders successfully negotiated course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio’s first round track. First on course in both the opening round and the jump-off, Louis Jacobs of East Aurora, NY, laid down the gauntlet by galloping from the first fence to the last and stopping the timers in 35.50 seconds riding his chestnut mare, Kachina.
Grand prix newcomer Robert Mendoza of Newport, NH, was next with Andiamo Pyon, a huge bay gelding with lots of white markings, including four full stockings. While the pair left all the rails in place, their time of 42.51 seconds would eventually place them fifth overall.
Next up was 23-year-old Shaine Brooks of Loundonville, NY. She guided the giant grey mare, Rolling Hills Kolita, to a clear round in a time of 37.35 seconds which would prove good enough for fourth place.
Rex was next, and had the crowd cheering as she raced around the course in a time of 34.91 seconds to take over the lead, despite the fact that her mount, Fit 3, lost one of his shoes along the way. With two riders remaining, all Rex could do was wait and see if her time would hold up.
Amanda Flint and Texas Hold ‘Em were on the pace, but when a rail came down at fence 12a, so did their chances of victory. As the final challenger, it was all up to Ireland’s Jonathan McCrea and Triomphe de Muze. With lots of encouragement from the crowd, McCrea gave it his best shot with the bay Belgian Warmblood stallion, but his final time of 36.70 seconds would leave him in third place overall in the standings.
With that, Rex claimed her first grand prix victory at the Vermont Summer Festival, as well as $9,000 in prize money.
“My horse will do anything – he is pretty special,” said Rex in praise of Fit 3, a 12-year-old chestnut Hannoverian gelding sired by the Olympic show jumping horse, For Pleasure. “In the jump-off, I knew my horse was fast and, if I could ride him, I could win it. It was all up to me! The horse has a lot more experience than I do! He is seasoned.”
Rex got the ride on October Farm’s Fit 3 in December and spent three months working on his fitness before showing him in Wellington, FL. He is only the third grand prix horse that Rex has had in her career, and how much longer she will have the ride is unknown as the horse is for sale.
Having hurt her back after falling from another horse, the Vermont Summer Festival saw Rex back in the saddle after a few weeks off. Two days before her grand prix victory, Rex and Fit 3 placed third in the $10,000 Giorgio Armani, Michael Kors Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets.
“What a great horse show to win at, the people are so nice here!” said Rex. Her sister, Rhonda Todd, who cares for Fit 3, was also rewarded for the important role she played in the victory with gifts from Glenn Geary of Horse Watch.
The Vermont Summer Festival continues with week three of competition, the Manchester Classic Horse Show, on Wednesday, July 23. Competition 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 Battenkill Grand Prix, Presented by Devoucoux – Final Results
|1||Lisa Rex||Westbury, NY||Fit 3||0:0||34.91|
|2||Louis Jacobs||East Aurora, NY||Kachina||0:0||35.50|
|3||Jonathan McCrea||Ireland||Triomphe de Muze||0:0||36.70|
|4||Shaine Brooks||Loudonville, NY||Rolling Hills Kolita||0:0||37.35|
|5||Robert Mendoza||Newport, NH||Andiamo Pyon||0:0||42.51|
|6||Amanda Flint||Lebanon, NJ||Texas Hold ‘Em||0:4||40.75|
|7||Holly Orlando||Wellington, FL||Great Pleasure||1|
|8||Jimmy Torano||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Tampa||2|
|9||Joe Fargis||Middleburg, VA||Kimber||4|
|10||Kent Farrington||Wellington, FL||Thunder-Ball||4|
|11||Danielle Torano||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Vancouver d’Auvray||4|