East Dorset, Vermont — Alissa Kinsey of Ft. Meyers, FL, and Grisset, her exceptional bay mare, were the big winners in the inaugural $15,000 Vermont Celebration Children’s Adult Jumper Classic on August 15, the final day of competition at the six-week Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
A total of 39 competitors, who had all earned their starting position over the six weeks of competition at the Vermont Summer Festival, contested the inaugural $15,000 Children’s Adult Jumper Classic. Course designer Chris Brandt’s track was demanding, and only 14 entries managed to post fault-free rounds. Kinsey and Grisset, by virtue of their nine clear rounds in the qualifying competitions, held the enviable position of last to go, giving them the opportunity to watch the rest of the competitors navigate the jump-off before taking their turn.
The first rider back for the jump-off, Inez Guerriero riding the Mill Creek Stables entry of Millcreek Rosalinde, posted a clear round in a time of 37.885 seconds. Their time would not be beaten until the final challengers, Kinsey and Grisset, entered the ring, crossing the timers in 36.259 seconds to take the win.
Brianne Link, 12, of East Islip, NY, riding Black Diamond, owned by JT Stables, was the only other competitor to jump double clear, with a time of 38.681 seconds, for third place. The other jump-off contenders had four or eight faults, with the first fence and the original fence 11 causing the majority of the problems.
“Winning this is great,” said Kinsey. “For them to offer this to us is so great. Grisset and I have always loved this show, and especially the Grand Prix ring. I don’t think she has ever lost a class in the big ring. It is just so expansive and wonderful.
“Yes, I win quite a bit, but I always do big shows,” continued Kinsey. “There were plenty of top notch horses and riders in this class and they all had a shot. I stood on the sidelines very nervous while they all went, because I knew that there were some great, great combinations ahead of me.”
Over the years, Kinsey and Grisset have forged an incredibly strong partnership, and are always favored to win.
“I bought her because I could afford her, and given her experience and record, I knew that I had ‘the horse’,” said Kinsey of her mount. “But at eight years old, she had been a one rider, one owner horse, and it was a hard transition. Plus, her rider had been a man, so to switch to a soft riding lady was difficult. She liked the ride sometimes and then sometimes she wanted to be told to do her job. I really thought after the first year I had her that I had made a huge mistake. It was bad! You could go in and win, or you could go away in an ambulance.
“We really seem to have it together now,” noted Kinsey. “She has realized that, aside from the occasional mishap, I won’t lie to her, I won’t make a big mistake, and because I have her trust, she will cover for me.”
Of Grisset’s only downfall, Kinsey says, “She has really bad feet, so I ride her as little as possible, and I can’t let her take one bad step. The farrier is out sometimes every other week. But if that is her only fault, I can deal with it. At this point, I don’t need to practice on her and she does not need to practice, we do it in the ring. I love that I have a horse that I am melted together with. I hope that when it comes time for her to retire, I find another horse that comes close to her level.”
The six-week Vermont Summer Festival ran July 7 through August 15, 2010, offering more than $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest sporting event based on purse in the state. The Vermont Summer Festival is a proud member event of the Show Jumping Hall Of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL). Please e-mail us or visit our website for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival.
$15,000 Vermont Celebration Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic
|2||Inz Guerriero||Mill Creek Roaslinde||0:0||37.855|
|3||Brianne Link||Black Diamond||0:0||38.681|
|4||Emma Schauder||Ah Ha||0:4||36.382|
|5||Joan Jacobs||Nigel S||0:4||36.655|
|7||Susan Powell||Windward’s Tilia||0:4||38.618|
|8||Bonnie Kretchik||KY Vassalt||0:4||39.543|
|9||Kimberly Tobias||Vipman W||0:4||42.166|
|10||Kaya Didman||Corsa 8||0:4||43.017|
|11||Vicki Whelihan||Almost Famous||0:4||44.497|
|12||Susan Powell||Tinka’s Girl||0:8||42.146|