East Dorset, Vermont — Natalie Crane of South Dartmouth, MA, claimed victory in the $1,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Jumper competition held Saturday, July 11, at the Vermont Summer Festival Horse Show in East Dorset, VT.
A total of 22 entries attempted the track set in the grand prix ring by Anthony D’Ambrosio, who recently acted as course designer at the 2009 World Cup Final in Las Vegas, NV. A total of eight riders were able to master the course set by one of the best in the business, and the stage was set for an exciting jump-off.
The lead changed hands several times until Crane entered the ring with Matilde Lina, an 11-year-old grey mare that she began leasing in June. The pair galloped around the shortened jump-off course and stopped the timers in 39.99 seconds to overtake the leading time of 40.00 seconds set by Avery Vorwerk of Greenwich, CT, by the narrowest of margins. When the final jump-off challenger, Brooke Knetzger of New Canaan, CT, fell from her mount, Burning Cat Ballou, while negotiating a jump, the win went to Crane.
“I just try to have fun in the jump-off, I don’t try to beat anyone else’s time, I just follow my plan,” explained Crane, 17, who is a student at The Wheeler School in Providence, RI. “She’s generally pretty quick, but I was really happy with her today. I was worried because there were so many long runs, but she came back to me really well.”
It was the second win in a row in the Marshall & Sterling Children’s Jumper for Crane, who claimed victory one week earlier at the Lake Placid Horse Show in New York, where she was also crowned the High Children’s Jumper Champion. Crane has been competing in the Marshall & Sterling Children’s Jumper competitions since last year but said, “this is the first year having a horse that knew what she was doing.”
Leased from the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding School, Crane described Matilde Lina as being “really quiet on the flat. You would think that she was a hunter; I can ride her on a loose rein. But when her show tack goes on, she gets very excited, and when I take her up to the ring, she walks in circles, she won’t stand still.”
Crane, whose mother introduced her to the sport, began riding as a child and started showing five years ago. She has been training with Kathryn Fletcher since last September. In addition to winning her share of the prize money, Crane was presented with a luxurious leather halter, generously donated by C.M. Hadfield’s Saddlery.
Avery Vorwerk of Greenwich, CT, who trains with Eric Hasbrouck, was relegated to second place with her mount, Rora-Peternella. Placing third with a clear jump-off performance in a time of 40.97 seconds was Camilla Bennett of Brookline, MA, and the brown mare, High Society. Rachel Horowitz of Cresskill, NJ, was also clear in a time of 41.96 seconds to take fourth with Westley while the lead-off rider in the jump-off, KC van Aarem of Woodbine, MD, was also double clear in a time of 45.22 seconds to place fifth. With the fastest four-fault round in the jump-off, Jocelyn Alfieri of Darien, CT, placed sixth with her grey Zangersheide gelding, Coliac.
In the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Amateur Jumper Classic, Alissa Kinsey emerged the winner for the second week in a row with Grisset, her 12-year-old Holsteiner mare. During week one, Kinsey of Fort Myers, FL, not only won with Grisset, but also placed second riding Carayan Z. With her victory, Kinsey added another leather halter from C.M. Hadfield’s Saddlery to her growing collection.
Over 1,000 horse shows in the United States are member events of the Marshall & Sterling League. The National Finals will be held from September 10-13 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, NY.
The featured event on Sunday, July 12, at the Vermont Summer Festival is the $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix, Presented by Devoucoux, beginning at 2 p.m. Admission on Grand Prix Sunday is $7 for adults and $5 for children. All gate receipts are donated to the Friends Foundation for MEMS, benefiting programs in the local Elementary & Middle School (MEMS).
Running through to August 9, 2009, 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.
$1,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Jumper
|1||Natalie Crane||South Dartmouth, MA||Matilde Lina||0:0||39.99|
|2||Avery Vorwerk||Greenwich, CT||Rora-Peternella||0:0||40.00|
|3||Camilla Bennett||Brookline, MA||High Society||0:0||40.97|
|4||Rachel Horowitz||Cresskill, NJ||Westley||0:0||41.96|
|5||KC van Aarem||Woodbine, MD||Mastermind||0:0||45.22|
|6||Jocelyn Alfieri||Darien, CT||Coliac||0:4||48.25|
|7||Alexa Boggio||Canton, GA||Thunderbay||0:12||40.05|
|8||Brooke Knetzger||New Canaan, CT||Burning Cat Ballou||0:elim|