East Dorset, Vermont — Hillary Dobbs, 22, of Sussex, NJ, and her mount, Marengo, capped off week five at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT, by successfully defending their title in the $30,000 Manchester & The Mountains Grand Prix, Presented by Hand Motors, on Sunday, August 8.
The win by Dobbs and Marengo marked the second year in a row that the pair laid claim to the $30,000 Manchester & The Mountains Grand Prix, Presented by Hand Motors. A total of 22 horses vied for the title, with six jumping clear to advance to the jump-off.
The first rider on course, Kirsten Coe of Westport, CT, and Sophie Morner’s Kilkenny Randall Z were quick over the ground, but the plank fence came down and they would eventually finish in fifth place.
Tracy Magness of Baltimore, MD, and Tarco Van Ter Moude then looked hard to beat as they left every fence standing and crossed the timers in 37.301 seconds.
Ireland’s Darragh Kenny riding Trade Winds Farm’s Obelix was next into the grand prix ring, but a refusal costing him four faults and a time of 48.774 seconds.
Danielle Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and Capitano, a 15-year-old gelding owned by Sir Ruly Inc., had the crowd on its feet as they took over the lead with no faults in a time of 37.092 seconds.
When Kenny returned with his second mount, the Irish-bred Gael Force owned by Missy Clark and North Run of Warren, VT, he had the advantage of knowing exactly what he had to do. When he crossed the timers without fault, the clock read 35.561 seconds, almost two seconds faster than Torano.
That left only one horse and rider combination remaining, but Dobbs and her Marengo are known for their speed. Dobbs put her 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding in motion and, 35.100 seconds later, they left the ring as the winners for the second year in a row.
“He is so fast,” said a breathless Dobbs after her round. “We have a really great partnership because neither of us wants to lose. I know that from the sidelines my turns might look a little dicey, but I always know that he is looking for the jump so I am never worried about a turn like that because he is looking for it, sometimes much more than I am. I am so lucky to have had him for this many years and hopefully for many more.”
Ian Silitch was one of several new arrivals for the fifth week of competition at the Vermont Summer Festival. Silitch of Ocala, FL, was glad he made the trip to Vermont as he walked away with the top prize in the $10,000 Five Seasons/Lilly Pulitzer Open Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets.
Riding the Spencer Ranch entry of Rivano, Silitch was one of only seven horse and rider combinations from the original starting field of 24 that managed to navigate the first round track set by course designer Eric Hasbrouck without penalty. He was then one of only three who managed the feat a second time over the shortened jump-off course, and he did it in the fastest time, stopping the clock in 33.253 seconds.
“I have ridden Rivano off and on for a few years,” said Silitch. “He disappears all winter and he comes back and we rebuild, and now he is back. He has done just about everything, hunters and jumpers.”
Sylvia de Toledo of New York, NY, spent a lot of time in the winner’s circle at the Vermont Summer Festival. In three weeks, de Toledo amassed an impressive record with her equitation mount, Spock, placing in the ribbons in every class they have entered while her jumper, Tabella, has followed suit. By the end of week five, de Toledo had won the USEF/Pessoa Medal class twice, won the Junior/Amateur Owner Low Jumper Classic, placed second in the ASPCA Horsemanship class, and placed second, fourth and sixth in the WIHS Equitation Overall, winning the WIHS Hunter Phase on two occasions. In addition, she shared riding duties with Charlotte Jacobs as they piloted Bring It On to the Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under Championship title.
“I’ve had a really good show here,” said de Toledo, who has been riding with Jimmy Toon of JT Stables in South Salem, NY, for the past year. “I won the USEF/Pessoa Medal last week and this week and was second in the WIHS with Spock, and my mare was great in the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner jumpers.”
The winner of the $2,500 NAL/WIHS Adult Jumper Classic came as no surprise. NAL and WIHS League Finals veteran Alissa Kinsey of Fort Meyers, FL, and her horse, Grisset, meant business when they posted the blazing fast double-clear effort to win the $2,500 NAL/WIHS Adult Jumper Classic.
In the $1,500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic, Santa’s Rocket gave owner and rider Avery Marks a special present with their victory.
These wins qualify the horse and rider combinations for inclusion in the $15,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Child/Adult Jumper Classic on August 15, the final day of the six-week Vermont Summer Festival. To be eligible to compete in the $15,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Child/Adult Jumper Classic, horses and riders must have posted a clear round in any of the previous Children’s Adult Jumper Classics.
Courtney Boyd of Wellington, FL, riding Eye Spy won the First Year Green Hunter Championship title on Thursday, August 5, during the fifth of six weeks of competition at the Vermont Summer Festival.
Boyd and Eye Spy, an eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Allison Scott, completed all five classes comprising the First Year Green Hunter division, earning two first place ribbons, two second place ribbons and a fourth place finish. Those impressive finishes gave the pair the points necessary to walk away with the Championship title.
The Artful Dodger, ridden by Kristen Newton, claimed top honors in the Second Year Green Hunter division with three blue ribbons, a second and a third place. Having already garnered ribbons for owner Kaela Paternoster of South Glastonbury, CT, at shows such as Ocala, Saratoga and Devon, Newton and the nine-year-old gelding can add Vermont to their ever-growing list of accomplishments.
Charlotte Jacobs, 14, of East Aurora, NY, continued to turn in winning performances in Vermont. Jacobs won the jumper phase and placed third in the hunter phase to claim the overall WIHS Equitation title riding Cortes Z. Jacobs hopes to compete at the WIHS Equitation Classic, held at the prestigious Washington International Horse Show at the end of October.
The sixth and final week gets underway on Wednesday, August 11, and culminates with the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix on Sunday, August 15. Located at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, 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 benefit Manchester Elementary-Middle School (MEMS).
Running July 7 through August 15, 2010, the Vermont Summer Festival offers 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.