East Dorset, Vermont — Louis, Joan and Charlotte Jacobs of East Aurora, NY, spent lots of time in the winner’s circle during week three of the 2010 Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
Louis Jacobs and Kachina, his 12-year-old selle francais mare by Voltaire, claimed their third victory at the Vermont Summer Festival by winning the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix, Presented by Devoucoux, on Sunday, July 25. Having also won the $10,000 Hickey Freeman/Bobby Jones Welcome Stake on Friday, July 23, as well as the $10,000 Vermont Bird Place and Sky Watch Open Welcome Stake the previous week on Friday, July 16, Jacobs and Kachina made their third victory a big one.
Jacobs and Kachina were one of five horse-rider combinations from a starting field of 21 to advance to the all-deciding jump-off. The shortened jump-off course gave riders options at almost every obstacle, daring the brave to make tight turns and go inside other obstacles. Jacobs and Kachina made the tight inside turns and when they crossed the finish line in a time of 34.292 seconds, it proved to be the best of the class. While receiving his first place prize check of $9,000, Jacobs noted that he had won the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix riding in a Devoucoux saddle.
“We had a good week,” said Jacobs, who also won the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix in 2008 riding Kachina. “She is quite a horse. I don’t show her a lot; I can’t because of my job. She just does whatever I ask of her. My plan for the jump-off worked out. Usually something goes wrong, but this one worked!”
Jacobs continued, “She is a little bit of a slow mover, so I try to make it up with the stride, and she can leave out strides. She’s had a nice couple of weeks here and this is a good show for me because the jumps aren’t over the top and it is a nice place to step up. She is a real good babysitter. Because I am not a professional and this is not my job, I make my share of mistakes and she really covers up, so I am very lucky. She is very special.”
Louis Jacobs’ wife, Joan, won the NAL/WIHS Adult Jumper Classic riding Nigel S, owned by Missy Clark and North Run of Warren, VT. From a starting field of 22, only six managed to complete the first round penalty free to advance to the jump-off. Four horse and rider combinations tested the course before anyone turned in a fault free performance. Joan Jacobs was the last rider on course and, with her family loudly cheering from the sidelines, she sped around the track fault-free in a time of 40.480 to take the top honors.
Their daughter, Charlotte, was the most prolific winner of the Jacobs clan; with Cortez Z she was second in the Pessoa/USEF Hunt Seat Medal; fourth in the Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search; third in the WIHS Overall. Riding Bring It On, Charlotte placed first twice in the Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under and was third in the under saddle. With Draco, the former mount of Nick Dello Joio, Charlotte won two High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper classes; placed second twice riding Promised Land in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper division, and also earned a third place ribbon aboard Kartouche VD Watering in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper division. Charlotte’s week culminated with a win in the $10,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic with Promised Land, earning the Division Champion title as well. There was only one class that Charlotte entered during week three where she did not win a ribbon.
The $2,500 WCHR Handy Hunter Challenge class consisted of 10 fences at a height of 3’6” with no related distances. It did have numerous roll-back turns, a fence that had to be taken at a trot, another fence that had to be jumped from a hand gallop and an option for the riders; they could either jump a big oxer or they could stop, open a gate, and walk through the gate. The judges were looking for the horse that demonstrated the style, soundness, manner and way of going that typifies hunter competition, but was also able to navigate tight turns and exhibit promptness to the obstacles.
The top award went to Penny Lombardo, Loxahatchee, FL, and Bring It On, an eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Laurie Lewis who hails from Oklahoma City, OK. Their final score over the course was a 90, three full points ahead of second place finisher.
Lombardo was thrilled with Bring It On’s performance, saying, “He is such a good boy. It makes you smile going around the ring. He’s just got a great rhythm and he’s so comfortable.”
Chase Boggio has been coming to the Vermont Summer Festival since 2004, when he was a mere 10 years old. Now 16, Boggio has made Vermont a summer tradition. Winning ribbons is another of Boggio’s traditions.
In just one morning, Boggio earned honors in three separate rings, on three different horses, in three different classes. His first win of the day was in the WIHS Equitation Class, a qualifying class for the prestigious Washington International Horse Show. Boggio competed in the two phases of competition, Hunter and Jumper, with his horse Massimo, and handily won each phase to be named the overall winner.
A short time later, Boggio walked out of the jumper ring with a fourth place ribbon for his efforts on Don Stewart’s Rembrandt Z in the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper division. This was followed quickly by another ribbon, this time in the $2,500 WCHR Handy Hunter Challenge, where he rode Dynasty for Lionshare Farm.
Boggio returned to the equitation ring later in the week and walked away with the blue ribbon in the USEF Talent Search class. He also posted very good results in both the Welcome Stake and the Grand Prix on his new mount Hennessey.
“I just got a new jumper a few months ago, and I am showing him in a few Grand Prix up here,” said Boggio in between rides. “That is really where I want to concentrate; this is my equitation and jumper year. I think I am qualified for pretty much everything now.”
Casey Green who hails from Westport, CT, was named Best Child Rider on a Horse. Green and her mount Savannah, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare, were victorious in every class in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 Division, earning them the division Championship as well as the high praise of Best Child Rider. Green and Savannah are no strangers to the winner’s circle; the pair currently stands sixth in the nation for points earned in the highly competitive Junior Hunter division.
“I’ve had Savannah for five years now”, said Green. “She is my baby. She was very good in all the junior classes. She was my first and only hunter. I’ve ridden with Lainie Wimberley for eight years and she found Savannah for me off of ponies when she was five. She is the best horse I could have asked for. She is really sweet in the barn and comes out the same every day, jumps great, moves great, she is one of those once in a lifetime horses. It seems like it has been such a long time with her, but we are such a good team.
“I was very happy about the Best Child Rider Award. It is nice to be recognized by the judges. There are so many great riders out there. It was a big honor. We have had great judging here, a lot of the big name judges have been here as well as great course designers, and the great footing. I really like these Vermont shows, they are amazing. It is like a big family – everyone comes up and it is so relaxed and stress free.”
Vivian Yowan and Rockette were Reserve Champions in the Medium Pony Hunter Division. In addition, Yowan won the WIHS Pony Equitation class and was fourth in the USEF Pony Medal competition. Her riding skill impressed the judges enough for them to award her the title of Best Child Rider on a Pony.
Julia Imperatore, 16, from Basking Ridge, NJ, bested a field of 20 to win the NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic. Seven young riders and their mounts completed the first round of competition fault-free to advance to the jump-off round against the clock. Imperatore turned in another clear round in the fastest time of the day, 36.870 seconds on her big chestnut mare, K.E.C. Bombay. Imperatore and K.E.C. Bombay are trained by New Zealand Olympic rider Kirk Webby.
“I just got her last year and it took me a little bit to get used to her but ever since then we’ve really clicked together,” said Imperatore. “She knows when we step into the ring for a big class and she is really on her game. I have been trying to qualify for both the Marshall & Sterling and the NAL Finals. I’ve been at this level for a couple of years and I think after the Finals I will move up. It would be really cool to show indoors, but then I really want to move up to the Lows.”
Christina Firestone, 14, of Wellington, FL, handily won the $5,000 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic with Vienna, beating her other mount, Unsinkable Molly Brown, who placed second.
Firestone comes by her equestrian talent and horse knowledge naturally. She is the niece of show jumper Alison Firestone Robitaille and the daughter of Matt Firestone who has been involved with Thoroughbreds his whole life. He selected Genuine Risk, winner of the 1980Kentucky Derby, as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton July sale in 1978 for Bert and Diana Firestone. Matt also was a competitive rider, representing the United States Equestrian Team at international competitions in the U.S. and Europe.
Christina Firestone is a well-rounded equestrian, not only showing successfully in the jumper division. She also competed in equitation; placing third in the ASPCA Horsemanship class and also rode Magic Hat in the Large Pony Hunter division, garnering ribbons in each class.
The fourth of six weeks of competition comprising the Vermont Summer Festival gets underway on Wednesday, July 28. The fourth week’s featured event is the $30,000 Mount Equinox Grand Prix, beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday, August 1. 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 six-week Vermont Summer Festival culminates with the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix on Sunday, August 15. 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.