East Dorset, Vermont — Hillary Dobbs of Sussex, NJ, had no one to beat but herself as she sped around the course to take first and second place in the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix, the final event of the six-week Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
From a starting field of 22, eight horse and rider combinations managed to deliver clear rounds over the course designed by Pierre Jolicoeur. The track featured bending lines and fences set at maximum height. The majority of faults came at the final fence, unlucky number 13, a big airy vertical set at the ingate after a long gallop.
Dobbs qualified three horses for the jump off, and it was the speedy Marengo who took the top prize, turning in a fault-free performance in a time of 37.86 seconds. Marengo seemed to know that he had the winning time, letting out a huge buck as he crossed through the timers.
Dobbs also took second place on Corlett. The first horse back for the jump-off, Corlett posted a clear round in a time of 39.85 seconds.
Danielle Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and her stallion, Vancouver d’Auvray, left all the rails in place and, even though they were decidedly slower, their time of 40.79 seconds was good enough for third place.
Torano’s husband, Jimmy, was not able to beat Dobbs with either of his jump-off contenders. With Caldam D’Or, Jimmy Torano had a rail down in a time of 42.13 seconds which place them eighth. Having already test-ridden the shortened jump-off track, Jimmy Torano returned to the ring with the nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Heechhiem’s Tampa, to post a clear round in a time of 41.40 seconds for fourth place.
Norman Dello Joio, the Individual Bronze Medalist at the 1992 Olympic Games, gave it his best shot with KLM Jimmy, a Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Dello Joio’s Wembley Farms in Wellington, FL. An unfortunate rail down gave the pair a four-fault penalty while their quick time of 39.20 seconds placed Dello Joio fifth.
Kimberly Mulligan from New Canaan, CT, and Butterfly Rouge were also very quick, with a time of 39.99 seconds, but had a rail down to finish in sixth place.
Dobbs then entered the ring with her third and final jump-off ride, Udento VDL. When the final fence fell, Dobbs and the eight-year-old stallion settled for seventh place in the line-up.
“My parents missed the Grand Prix last week, so I am really excited that they were here this week to see this,” said Dobbs, who is the daughter of CNN television personality, Lou Dobbs. “Last week was the first grand prix that I had won in a little while, so I was glad that they could come and see another good performance.”
With her win in the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix, Dobbs and Marengo logged back-to-back victories, having also won the $30,000 Manchester & The Mountains Grand Prix one week earlier. The pair also won the $10,000 Polo Ralph Lauren Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Design Outlets, on Friday, August 7.
“Marengo is a special horse,” said Dobbs of her winning partner. “He’s so good at the speed, at the turns, and he is as competitive as I am. He looks to turn after a jump, and he pins his ears and bucks after the timers. This is the best he has ever felt. I am so happy with this horse. To win one of the Grand Prix events in Vermont is great, let alone two.”
As for her second-placed mount, Corlett, Dobbs said, “Corlett is back on track. We didn’t want to get her ready until we had a big show like the Hamptons in sight. The first class here she was a little rusty, but now she is right there. I did make some errors in the jump-off with her – going first I was just a little indecisive, but she is back to her old self.”
While Marengo and Corlett are veterans in Dobbs’ string, she is also excited about the developing Udento VDL.
“I was a little nervous about this class with Udento, this is the biggest course that he has jumped, and I’m always very careful about my horses, especially the young ones,” said Dobbs, who trains with Missy Clark and John Brennan at their North Run Stables in Warren, VT. “I was so proud of my stallion; he is really showing his true colors right now. John and Missy are so good at finding me horses that suit my style of riding. He reminds me of Quincy B, and that is a good thing.”
The 2009 Vermont Summer Festival, held for the 17th year at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, offered more than $750,000 in prize money throughout the six weeks of competition, making it the richest sporting event in the state based on purse. The 2010 Vermont Summer Festival will again offer six weeks of competition from July 7 to August 15. Visit our website for more information on the 2009 Vermont Summer Festival, e-mail or call (802) 362-9023.
$50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix
|1||Hillary Dobbs||Sussex, NJ||Marengo||0:0||37.865|
|2||Hillary Dobbs||Sussex, NJ||Corlett||0:0||39.858|
|3||Danielle Torano||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Vancouver D’Auvray||0:0||40.790|
|4||Jimmy Torano||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Heechhiem’s Tampa||0:0||41.408|
|5||Norman Dello Joio||Wellington, FL||KLM Jimmy||0:4||39.201|
|6||Kimberly Mulligan||New Canaan, CT||Butterfly Rouge||0:4||39.992|
|7||Hillary Dobbs||Sussex, NJ||Udento VDL||0:4||40.398|
|8||Jimmy Torano||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Caldam D’Or||0:4||42.136|
|9||Darragh Kenny||Ireland||Bazooka De Muse||4||75.432|
|10||Linda Sheridan||Ringoes, NJ||Invitational||4||76.536|
|11||Darragh Kenny||Ireland||Gael Force||4||76.630|
|12||Timothy Hooker||Wellington, FL||Apollo||4||76.982|