East Dorset, Vermont — Week five of the 2012 Vermont Summer Festival kicked off on Wednesday, August 1, with the Manchester & the Mountains Horse Show at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT. Ireland’s Darragh Kenny and Lipton De L’Othain, owned by The Wannahave Group, were the winners in the highlight $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m class for the day. The Vermont Summer Festival runs July 4 through August 12.
Michel Vaillancourt, of Aiken, SC, is the course designer in the grand prix ring this week. In Wednesday’s $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m, Vaillancourt saw nine out of 16 entries navigate his first round course without fault. Six entries went double clear in the jump-off, and Darragh Kenny earned the first, second, fifth and sixth place prizes.
Riding The Wannahave Group’s Lipton De L’Othain, Kenny was the first entry on course and posted a clear jump-off round in 31.14 seconds, which would hold on as the winning round. Kenny earned the second place prize with his next mount, Missy Clark/North Run’s Bazooka De Muze, clearing the short course in 32.40 seconds. Wim Janssen, of Wellington, FL, rode V.P.N. to third place with a time of 34.83 seconds. Bryn Sadler, of Santa Fe, NM, finished fourth in 34.92 seconds aboard Showcase 81 LLC’s Cincinnati.
The final two horses to jump double clear were also ridden by Kenny. The rider took fifth place riding Mavis Spencer’s Valentino through the timers in 35.15 seconds. Kenny and Con Air, owned by Missy Clark/North Run, were awarded the sixth place prize for their time of 35.30 seconds.
Rounding out the top finishers, Luis Larrazabal, of Wellington, FL, placed seventh and eighth in the class riding Gustavo Mirabal’s G&C Leroy and G&C Lepanto. Larrazabal and G&C Leroy had four faults in the jump-off in 31.20 seconds to finish seventh. Larrazabal and G&C Lepanto had eight faults in 31.70 seconds for the eighth place prize.
Darragh Kenny had five horses in Wednesday’s class and jumped double clear with four of them. His top mount of the day, Lipton De L’Othain, is a 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Prince Du Logis. Other mounts included Bazooka De Muze, Valentino, Con Air, and Eskador Star.
Kenny enjoys the challenge of riding multiple horses in a class, and explained that even though each horse is different, the strategy on course generally remains the same.
“I like riding and I like showing, so it is nice to have so many horses,” he smiled. “The more horses I get to show, the better it is for me. They are all very different actually. The horse that won is very, very careful and a little bit sharp and quick. Valentino is a big, scopey horse that is really careful as well. They are all very different to ride, but they all want to leave the jumps up, so it is good.”
“The strategy doesn’t change,” Kenny added. “Myself and Missy (Clark) and John (Brennan), we go over the course before I go with each horse, but it is mostly the same idea with all of the horses. We are just trying to get the most success that we can for the owners of the horses."
Although Kenny shows many horses for clients as a professional at Clark and Brennan’s North Run stable, Lipton De L’Othain is a horse that was purchased specifically for him to ride. The gelding previously had great success with rider Peter Wylde, and is already excelling under Kenny’s guidance.
“I was very lucky. Missy and John put a lot of effort into getting me a couple of horses to show and they have all been great,” Kenny acknowledged. “They bought him for me to show. He is one that we are going to keep for a little while and show and see how it goes. He has been a very good horse for me. He won a $25,000 grand prix in Saratoga this year and he always pulls out and wins a couple of classes, so he is a great horse.”
With his success in week four and several top finishes to start off week five, Kenny is steadily moving up in the race for the $10,000 Open Jumper High Score Awards, presented by Sir Ruly, Inc. Riders earn points by placing in the top eight of the Open Jumper 1.40m and the Open Jumper Welcome Stake classes throughout the six-week circuit. In the Saturday grand prix events, points are awarded to the top 12 finishers.
Ken Berkley, of Flemington, NJ, still leads the standings after four weeks of competition, but will not compete in the final two weeks. Kenny, who won the bonus last year, sat in the 14th position last week and has now moved into second place. Kenny also won last week’s $5,000 1.40m class riding Eskador Star, and will earn many points toward the bonus from his top finishes this week.
The $10,000 Open Jumper High Score Awards, presented by Sir Ruly, Inc., now serves as a legacy and reminder of Raul ‘Ruly’ Torano’s generosity and commitment to show jumping excellence, both at the Vermont Summer Festival and to the sport as a whole. The bonus serves as a great incentive for the riders each year and recognizes their effort in the sport. A total of $10,000 is divided among the top three riders overall, with the winner receiving $5,000, the second place finisher taking home $3,000, and the third place rider earning $2,000.
Offering more than $750,000 in prize money, the Vermont Summer Festival is the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont. The first five Saturdays of the Vermont Summer Festival feature a $30,000 Grand Prix. The $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix will be held during the sixth and final week on Saturday, August 11. The weekly $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, are held each Thursday.
Competition begins at 8 a.m. daily, Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children. All of the gate receipts benefit the a number of Manchester area non-profit organizations, including the Mark Skinner Library, Friends Foundation for MEMS, Community Food Cupboard, and Second Chance Animal Center.
For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont. 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.
$5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m – Vermont Summer Festival V
|1||Darragh Kenny||Lipton De L'Othain||0:0||31.14|
|2||Darragh Kenny||Bazooka De Muze||0:0||32.40|
|6||Darragh Kenny||Con Air||0:0||35.30|
|7||Luis Larrazabal||G&C Leroy||0:4||31.20|
|8||Luis Larrazabal||G&C Lepanto||0:8||31.70|
$10,000 Open Jumper High Score Award, sponsored by Sir Ruly, Inc.
Standings through July 29, 2012