East Dorset, Vermont — For the sixth week in a row, Alissa Kinsey of Fort Meyers, FL, and Grisset won the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Amateur Jumper Classic on Saturday, August, 8, during the final week of competition at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
With a perfect record of six victories in six weeks, Kinsey and Grisset also clinched the Circuit Championship title in the High Adult Amateur Jumper division. Over six weeks of competition, Kinsey and Grisset never even had a rail down in the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Amateur Jumper Classics.
“We’ve really had a groove every weekend,” said Kinsey, shaking her head in wonder over her perfect record. “It wouldn’t be a sport if the rails never fell but, for the past six weeks, it is really amazing that, in this class, none have. What a record!”
Kinsey keeps her horses at a farm in New Hampshire and commutes to the show grounds in Vermont for her classes.
“Shipping in really suits her, she loves it,” said Kinsey of her 12-year-old German-bred mare. “The more frantic the situation, the better it is for her because she is really calm and kind of lazy. It’s hard to motivate her sometimes. You wouldn’t think that, as well as she does. I would say she is like a freight train, a big, heavy freight train – it is hard to get it going but once it is going, it is hard to stop it. That is just how she is; you have to wind her up.
“You wouldn’t believe that she is difficult to ride when you watch her, but it’s really hard,” continued Kinsey. “You have to really think ahead because once she eyes up the jump, she is going and no matter how hard you pull, there is nothing happening down there. So you actually have to ride the turns and see your distance in the turn and then just let it fall into place for her. I can really slice and dice through the course because all you have to do is think right or left and she is right there. She is a really sweet mare, but when you gear up for the jump-off, I just picture her gritting her teeth and growling. That’s just her personality – not being mean about it but just wanting it as bad as I do. I think she even locks her jaw like I do.
“I am so fortunate to have found a horse that suits me so perfectly,” concluded Kinsey. “When I bought her they told me that she was not a speed horse, so now when I tell the people in Germany what she is doing, what she is winning, and how fast she goes, they think that I am lying! It really is so much fun.”
In addition to riding her own horses, Kinsey also grooms, transports, trains, and sponsors all of her own equestrian endeavors. While it’s not easy to do it all herself, Kinsey noted that it does make winning that much sweeter.
“I was here last year for three weeks and I liked it so much up here that I cleared my schedule so that I could be here for the whole time this year,” said Kinsey. “Turns out it was a really good decision. I really like it here; it is a good environment for any horse. They get to see all of the big jumps in the big ring, but it is not that big atmosphere.”
Kinsey will be back in the ring on Sunday, the final day of competition, to contest the WIHS Adult Jumper class, which she has won four out of five times with Grisset.
The Vermont Summer Festival concludes on Sunday, August 8, with the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix beginning at 2 p.m.
The six-week Vermont Summer Festival is the largest “AA” rated hunter/jumper horse show in New England, as well as the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont, offering more than $750,000 in prize money. Visit our website for more information on the 2009 Vermont Summer Festival, e-mail or call (802) 362-9023.