East Dorset, Vermont — Louis Jacobs and Kachina couldn’t be caught in the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix, sponsored by Equinox – The Vermont Resort, held Sunday, July 27, at the Vermont Summer Festival at the Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
It was a day the 44-year-old amateur rider from East Aurora, NY, says he won’t soon forget. “Just being in the jump-off with Jimmy [Torano], Kent [Farrington], and Joe [Fargis] was an honor. It made me very proud,” Jacobs said. Needless to say, winning the competition wasn’t easy.
Having finished only one second shy of first place in the $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix one week earlier, Jacobs knows the meaning of stiff competition, and he knew the quality of course he’d face this week. Designed by Kenny Krome of Westminster, MD, the track saw only four riders jump fault-free to advance to the jump-off.
“When I walked it, I didn’t think it seemed as hard as last week’s course,” Jacobs explained. “But it turned out to be a very challenging course to ride; very big, but fair.”
Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, rode first in the jump-off. Though he and Morgan clocked in at 38.33 seconds, they had one rail for four faults. Kent Farrington of Wellington, FL, who won the most Grand Prix classes nationally in 2007, and his mount, Thunder-Ball, finished in 36.18 seconds but dropped a rail at the last fence.
Jacobs and Kachina made their way through the course in 39.45 seconds without touching a rail. Only Fargis, an Olympic gold medalist and Show Jumping Hall of Famer, and his mount, Kimber, winner of Friday’s $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, stood between Jacobs and victory. After a faultless trip, Fargis and Kimber crossed the line in a nail-biting 39.58 seconds and settled for second place.
“Joe and I have ridden together for so long. He’s been my mentor for about 27 years now,” Jacobs said. He noted that Fargis’ riding has definitely influenced his own style. “And he has an absolutely genuine love for the horses,” he added.
Jacobs found Kachina, a 10-year-old selle francais mare in France three years ago. “She was just a big, hairy seven-year-old,” is how he described the 18-hand chestnut horse. “She is so quiet and gentle, but she’s an amazing athlete.” He has developed her through the ranks since then, including winning the $10,000 Hickey-Freeman/Bobby Jones Open Welcome Stake at last year’s Vermont Summer Festival.
“When you find a horse as special as her, you want to take your time. Besides, I have two teenaged children and a full-time job,” Jacobs said with a laugh.
He is the Executive Vice President of his family’s company, Delaware North Companies, based in Buffalo, NY. His wife, Joan, and 13-year-old daughter, Charlotte, join him at the Vermont Summer Festival horse show. “It’s great because we can ride as a family,” he said. His 15-year-old son, Louis, is away at camp this summer.
This year marks the Jacobs Family’s second trip to the Vermont Summer Festival. He said he’s found few shows that are as family-friendly. “You’ll have a hard time getting rid of us now,” he teased.
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 Otter Creek Grand Prix, Presented by the Equinox Resort – Final Results
|1||Louis Jacobs||East Aurora, NY||Kachina||0:0||39.45|
|2||Joe Fargis||Middleburg, VA||Kimber||0:0||39.58|
|3||Kent Farrington||Wellington, FL||Thunder-Ball||0:4||36.18|
|4||Jimmy Torano||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Morgan||0:4||38.33|
|6||Jimmy Torano||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Aguila||4||84.45|
|7||Kevin Babington||Ireland||Caracas 49||5||87.22|
|8||Danielle Torano||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Ormsby Hill||5||87.64|
|9||Holly Orlando||West Palm Beach, FL||Great Pleasure||6||88.32|
|10||Kevin Babington||Ireland||Cosmopolite S||6||89.59|
|11||Alan Korotkin||Wellington, FL||Ruco-Line Vant’ Paradys||7||98.08|
|12||Jimmy Torano||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Caldam D’Or||8||82.46|