Jimmy Torano of Wellington, FL, and Day Dream topped a six-horse jump-off to win the $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix on Saturday, July 16, at the 2016 Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT. The Vermont Summer Festival runs for six consecutive weeks, from July 5 through August 14, at Harold Beebe Farm.
Twenty-three horses made up the starting field, with six jumping clear over the tracks set by course designer Paul Jewell of Lambertville, NJ. Returning third in the jump-off order, Torano and Day Dream posted a time of 35 seconds flat to take the lead from junior rider, Lauren Fischer of Bedford Hills, NY, who had stopped the clock in 35.42 seconds riding Offenbach du Granit. Fischer settled for second while Amanda Flint of Long Valley, NJ, who dominated the first week of competition at the Vermont Summer Festival, piloted VDL Wittinger to third place in a time 36.01 seconds.
Fourth was presented to Amy Momrow of Wellington, FL, and Baldino du'Rouet, owned by Monty Kelly, who had four faults in the jump-off. Momrow was presented with the Kastel Denmark Ladies Style of Riding Award for her performance in Saturday's $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix.
Finishing in fifth with 12 faults was Andres Alvarez of Saratoga Springs, NY, and Cash Z while Theodore Demetriou of Wellington, FL, rounded out the jump-off field in sixth place with Conntador.
The excitement surrounding Torano's first grand prix of the season in Vermont was tempered with the sad news that Kiki Umla of Wellington, FL, a well-known figure in the show jumping industry, had died.
“Right before the grand prix I read that Kiki Umla had died,” said Torano. “I said to myself, 'win this class for Kiki.’ I am dedicating this win to her. She is a long-time friend and has been so great to us and our kids.”
While the win was a sentimental one for Torano, it was also encouraging.
“I have high hopes for this horse,” he said of the Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zento x Heartbreaker). “When I bought him I thought he could jump everything. For an eight-year-old, he's done a lot of great things.”
Torano added Day Dream to his string at the start of the 2015 winter season in Florida. Purchased by Torano in Holland, Day Dream is now owned in partnership with Chip and Debbie Perkins and Isalou Inc. (Daryl Portela).
“When he came to me he was underdeveloped, so I hid him away for awhile and brought him out for the first time last spring,” said Torano. “Ever since then, he has been dynamite. He is a clear round machine, always knows where the jumps are, and is really careful.”
Torano purchased Day Dream from Dutch rider Willem Greve, who he buys the majority of his mounts from.
“He told me, 'I have your next horse' and I really trusted him,” said Torano. “He sent me video of the horse jumping huge jumps as a six-year-old and I flew over for a day and bought him. I'm trying to be very, very patient with him. Even when I got him as a coming seven-year-old, I thought he could go right into a 1.50m class. He's one that can step up and do the bigger classes.”
Torano was pleased to win in front of what he considers to be a hometown crowd. His uncle, Raul "Ruly" Torano, who is the namesake of the Sir Ruly, Inc., Open Jumper Awards, considered the Vermont Summer Festival to be one of his favorite shows.
“It's like a second home for us,” said Torano. “We come here with high expectations and it's always nice to win here.”
Torano and his team at JET Show Stables will be competing in Vermont throughout the next four weeks of the Vermont Summer Festival.
For his win, Torano was presented with a cooler from Mona's Monograms and an equestrian-themed belt from Oughton Limited. In addition, the Vermont Summer Festival honored his groom with the weekly Grand Prix Groom Award. In recognition of Ricardo Santos' hard work to prepare Day Dream for grand prix competition, he was presented with a monogrammed jacket and coolerette from sponsor Glenn Geary of Horsewatch.
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. Outside the show ring, exhibitors enjoy the charm of Vermont's shopping, dining, and outdoor activities.
Competition at the 2016 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, Dorset Equine Rescue, and Meals on Wheels.
Please e-mail or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival.
$30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix - Saturday, July 16, 2016
Rider Hometown Horse Faults Time
1. Jimmy Torano Wellington, FL Day Dream 0:0 35.00
2. Lauren Fischer Bedford Hills, NY Offenbach du Granit 0:0 35.42
3. Amanda Flint Long Valley, NJ VDL Wittinger 0:0 36.01
4. Amy Momrow Wellington, FL Baldino du'Rouet 0:4 36.56
5. Andres Alvarez Saratoga Springs, NY Cash Z 0:12 36.00
6. Theodore Demetriou Wellington, FL Conntador 0:12 38.01
7. Amanda Flint Long Valley, NJ Cairo 2 84.59
8. Kristy Herrera Wellington, FL Cordaba AG Z 4 79.19
9. Danielle Menker Riviera Beach, FL Beluga 4 79.37
10. Danielle Torano Wellington, FL Brazzaville 4 79.45
11. Amanda Flint Long Valley, NJ VDL Coverboy 4 81.09
12. Amanda Strain Deep River, CT Casino Royale 4 81.82