Jimmy Torano of Wellington, FL, secured his second grand prix win of the Vermont Summer Festival in the $30,000 Manchester & the Mountains Grand Prix, presented by Purina Horse Feed, on Saturday, August 5, during the fifth week of competition at the six-week circuit running through August 13 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Course designer Manuel Esparza of Mexico City, Mexico, who assisted at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, set the track for the $30,000 Manchester and the Mountains Grand Prix. Four horses advanced to the jump-off following clear first-round efforts, but Torano was the only rider to go double clear riding Dutch Lady. Last to enter the ring in both the first round and the jump-off, Torano and Dutch Lady crossed the timers in 49.72 seconds for the win.
Finishing second, Leann Kelly of Valatie, NY, pulled two rails over the short course riding Leander and stopped the clock in 44.15 seconds. Torano was also third aboard Armageddon after incurring eights faults in 55.12 seconds, while Canadian rider Sam Pegg of Uxbridge, ON, took fourth riding Shaia de Macheco after retiring from the jump-off. Canadian Equestrian Team veteran Harold Chopping rounded out the top five riding Basje with the fastest four-fault ride over the original first-round track.
“This is a very careful mare with a lot of blood and she’s a real fighter,” said Torano of Dutch Lady, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Indorado x Animo) owned by Jennifer Gates of Evergate Stables, LLC, and usually campaigned by Gates’ trainer and fellow U.S. grand prix rider, Hardin Towell. “I am glad to have her. Hardin and Jen were going to Europe, but she wasn’t really ready to go jump those big classes yet and they left her with me to give her some mileage. She has been a great horse to have in my string. I am thankful to them that they trust me with her.
“She has gone clear in the first round of every class I have entered her in since I got her, which says a lot,” continued Torano, who first competed Dutch Lady at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows in North Salem, NY, in May. “Today was ideal for her; she went last in the jump-off and everyone before us had eight faults or retired, so I was in the driver’s seat. Sometimes that is even more pressure. I would rather go full tilt and leave all the jumps up, but having to go slow and dead last is nerve wracking. Coming up to the last jump knowing I was clear was a nice feeling.”
Of Esparza’s course, Torano noted, “When I walked it I was not worried, but it ended up being very tough and he made it as technical as he could. He does a great job and is a top course builder. The Vermont Summer Festival takes the time and effort to bring those top course designers here for us and that is a really nice. To open up a prize list and see Manuel, Alan Wade, and Michel Vaillancourt; those are some of the best course designers in the world and it’s nice to see.”
Along with his team at JET Show Stable, Torano is enjoying a successful season at the Vermont Summer Festival, having also won the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix riding Armageddon on Saturday, July 22, during week three. During the sixth and final week of competition, he will ride horses for Missy Clark and John Brennan of North Run, based in Warren, VT, for the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix on Saturday, August 12.
“I am not from Vermont, but this is home for us,” said Torano, who spends his summers in Vermont alongside his wife and amateur competitor, Danielle, and their children, Natalia and JJ. “Thanks to the crowd that comes out to watch the grand prix, I feel welcomed here.”
For the win, Torano was awarded a scrim by Mona's Monograms as well as a crystal trophy from Chris Johnson of Eastern Hay & Grain, the official Purina Horse Feed supplier at the Vermont Summer Festival. In addition, the Vermont Summer Festival presented Torano’s barn manager, Alexandra Vespico, with the weekly Grand Prix Groom Award in recognition of her hard work, alongside groom Ricardo Santos, in preparing Dutch Lady for grand prix competition. Vespico was presented with a monogrammed jacket and coolerette from sponsor Glenn Geary of Horsewatch.
The fifth week of show jumping competition at the Vermont Summer Festival concludes with Classics for adult, children, and junior/amateur-owner competitors in the Grand Prix Ring on Sunday, August 6.
For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont for great competition in an ideal summer setting. Offering more than $750,000 in prize money over the course of its six-week run, the Vermont Summer Festival is New England’s largest hunter/jumper competition as well as the state’s richest sporting event based on purse. Outside the show ring, exhibitors are immersed in the charm of Vermont's shopping, dining, and outdoor activities.
Competition at the 2017 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 Manchester Community Library, Meals on Wheels of Bennington County, and the Rotary Club of Manchester.
For more information on the Vermont Summer Festival, please e-mail or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.
$30,000 Manchester & The Mountains Grand Prix, presented by Purina Horse Feed
Saturday, August 5, 2017
Rider Hometown Horse Faults Time
1. Jimmy Torano Wellington, FL Dutch Lady 0:0/49.72
2. Leann Kelly Valatie, NY Leander 0:8/44.15
3. Jimmy Torano Wellington, FL Armageddon 0:8/55.12
4. Sam Pegg Canada Shaia de Macheco 0:retired
5. Harold Chopping Canada Basje 4
6. Marylisa Leffler Brookeville, MD Bling Bling 4
7. Jimmy Torano Wellington, FL Umberto Ter Wilgen Z 4
8. Gabriel Rodrigues Honorio Brazil Tabasco de la Nutria 4
9. Danielle Torano Wellington, FL Carewicz 4
10. Amanda Strain Deep River, CT Casino Royale 6
11. Sam Pegg Canada Caroquados T 8
12. Linda Sheridan Frenchtown, NJ Vantina HPF 8