Vermont native Adelaide Toensing won the $10,000 G.H. Bass Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, on Thursday, July 26, during the 25th annual Vermont Summer Festival running through August 12 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Five horses jumped clear to advance to a speed battle over courses designed by 1976 Canadian Olympic individual silver medalist Michel Vaillancourt of Saint-Félix-de-Valois, QC. Only fractions of a second separated the top finishers with Toensing, of Charlotte, VT, stopping the clock at 31.71 seconds riding Blue for the win. Irish rider Christian Coyle was just off the pace for second in 32.04 seconds riding Dolce Vita KDW Z for owner Andrew Kocher, while Marylisa Leffler of Brookeville, MD, took third aboard Luminous, owned by Rolling Acres Show Stables, in 33.15 seconds.
Lincoln Russell of Columbus, NC, and Gaverdi Z, owned by Juan Ortiz, finished fourth in 33.90 seconds, and David Tromp of Morriston, FL, rounded out the top five with the fastest four-fault round in the jump-off riding Gogo Nabab.
Toensing was the youngest competitor in the Thursday’s field at 18 years old and grew up just over an hour from the Vermont Summer Festival.
“It’s such a nice show and we get to enjoy it basically in our backyard,” said Toensing, who will begin her freshman year as a pre-veterinary student at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, this fall while also competing on the school’s NCAA equestrian team. “We have been coming here for a long time and we love it. We got some rain this week, but I was very pleased to see that the footing held up well and we as riders appreciate all the work that they have been putting into it.”
Blue, a nine-year-old warmblood gelding by Chacco Blue, was bred in the U.S. by Emil Spadone of Redfield Farm in Califon, NJ. Toensing bought Blue at the start of the 2018 winter season. The pair started in the low amateur jumper division, but quickly climbed the ranks to compete in their first grand prix in Aiken, SC, in May.
“He’s amazing. He’ll do anything for me, and he jumps from anywhere,” said Toensing, who rides under the tutelage of trainers Mark Jungherr and Kristi Smith. “Once I started working with them, my level has skyrocketed and it’s been an exponential climb ever since.
“I never thought I would be at this level so soon,” continued Toensing. “Blue and I just clicked right away and he has helped me so much. It feels great to win this class!”
When asked about her next goal with Blue, Toensing responded, “I really want to win a grand prix!”
In addition to her share of the prize money from Thursday’s win, Toensing was awarded a $1,000 gift card to the G.H. Bass store at the Manchester Designer Outlets. Additionally, Manchester Designer Outlets presented Coyle with a gift certificate to the Theory outlet store in recognition of his second-place finish.
Open jumper competition continues during week four at the Vermont Summer Festival with the $30,000 Mount Equinox Grand Prix, presented by Hampton Inn & Suites Manchester, on Saturday, July 28, when Toensing will try to earn that coveted first grand prix win.
The Vermont Summer Festival is New England’s largest hunter/jumper competition and the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont with more than $750,000 in prize money. The event is also a proud member of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL). Outside the show ring, exhibitors are immersed in the charm of Vermont's shopping, dining, and outdoor activities.
Competition at the 2018 Vermont Summer Festival runs weekly from Wednesday through Sunday, beginning each day at 8 a.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children from Wednesday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $9 for adults and $5 for children with 100% of all gate proceeds benefiting The Dorset School, Manchester Community Library, and the Rotary Club of Manchester.
$10,000 G.H. Bass Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Rider Hometown Horse Faults/Time
1. Adelaide Toensing Charlotte, VT Blue 0/0/31.71
2. Christian Coyle Derry, Ireland Dolce Vita KDW Z 0/0/32.04
3. Marylisa Leffler Brookeville, MD Luminous 0/0/33.15
4. Lincoln Russell Columbus, NC Gaverdi Z 0/0/33.90
5. David Tromp Morriston, FL Gogo Nabab 0/4/32.79
6. Alexandra Carlton Madison, CT Cardiograaf 4
7. Brenna Doherty Laurel Hollow, NY KM Whatever RV 4
8. Amy Masterson Loretto, ON Bentley 4