East Dorset, Vermont — Alissa Kinsey of Danville, NH, and her 17-year-old Hanoverian mare Grisset won the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Jumper Classic on Sunday, July 13, at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
Kinsey laid down one of seven clear rounds over the course designed by Canada’s Chris Brandt, and was one of six to go double-clear in the jump-off. She returned with Grisset as the second jump-off challenger, setting a blistering pace of 29.17 seconds that held up for the win by nearly four seconds.
“Normally, she’s really smooth and accurate and nice, almost like a hunter,” Kinsey said. “But today, she was the raging bull!”
Grisset can be a little sensitive around the tractors at the showgrounds, and with ring maintenance going on in the adjacent ring, the mare was fired up during both rounds. Kinsey acknowledged that after owning the mare for nearly 10 years, she can still get the best out of her even on an off day.
“I know what we can get away with and what we can’t,” Kinsey explained. “I anticipate when she acts up like that and change how I ride. She was a little crazy in the first round. She was really hard to ride but she still jumped really well.”
Kinsey also had the advantage of a jump-off course favoring Grisset’s best direction, with the course following a track of predominately left turns. After countless wins over the years, Grisset knows when to get down to business in the second round.
“She walks in (to the ring) asleep, and then the buzzer goes and as soon as she canters, she’s off!” Kinsey smiled. “My plan for the jump-off was to go fast and get that first inside turn (to the right). After that, just let her go. She loves to run, and (the course) was all left lead, so I barely had to steer.”
Kinsey credits Grisset’s continued success to her low-maintenance training program. It also doesn’t hurt that Grisset is an excellent traveler; Kinsey said she is “literally running onto the trailer” each weekend they compete.
“I’ve cut back a little on some of the shows, but I’ve always just done the classics,” Kinsey explained. “I don’t do any extra classes or warm-ups. She never sees a jump when I’m at home. I hack her two or three times a week – she’s lazy at home! She just wants to load up in the trailer and go to the show.”
When Kinsey first bought Grisset as an eight-year-old, she realized the horse had been over-faced at the level she had been competing at, and found herself with a much happier horse after dropping her down to the 1.10-1.15m divisions.
“She wasn’t cutting it at the bigger fences. It was a bad year that first year with her, but I dropped her down to this level and she just took right to it and found her niche,” Kinsey said.
The Vermont Summer Festival offers a full schedule of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition Wednesday through Sunday at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT. The $10,000 Open Welcome Stake Series, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, is held each Thursday while the week’s feature event, the $30,000 Grand Prix, takes place each Saturday at 1 p.m. The $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix will be held during the sixth and final week on Saturday, August 9.
Spotlighting the hunter competitors, the popular $5,000 3’3” NEHJA Hunter Derby series is held each Thursday, culminating in the $15,000 3’3” NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Land Rover Experience.
Competition runs weekly from Wednesday through Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m. Admission prices are $5 for adults, $3 for children from Wednesday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children. 100% of the gate proceeds benefit area libraries, including Manchester Community Library.
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.
$2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Jumper Classic
|2||Fiametta Varoli||Caldyno joter II||0:0||33.22|
|4||Chelsea Kasper||No Risk||0:0||33.72|
|5||Victoria Morel||Charly Brown||0:0||35.11|
|6||Megan Taylor||Curtis 21||0:0||37.04|