For the second year in a row, Jimmy Torano of Wellington, FL, won the $10,000 Sir Ruly, Inc., Open Jumper Awards at the six-week Vermont Summer Festival, held from July 4 through August 13 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Over the course of five weeks, Torano posted top results in the Open Jumper division to accumulate a staggering total of 423 points and earn $5,000 of the $10,000 in bonus money on offer, presented in honor of his late uncle Raul "Ruly" Torano. Highlights of Torano’s success at this year’s Vermont Summer Festival included wins in the $30,000 Manchester & the Mountains Grand Prix, presented by Purina Horse Feed, on Saturday, August 5, and the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix on Saturday, July 22.
Initiated by Raul Torano, the Sir Ruly, Inc. Open Jumper Awards now serve as a legacy of his generosity and support for the annual Vermont Summer Festival as well as the Manchester community in general. He created the Awards to recognize and reward show jumping competitors who consistently post top placings in the three open jumper classes held each week of the Vermont Summer Festival: the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumper, the $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, and the $30,000 and $50,000 Grand Prix events. Competitors accumulate points by placing in any of the three classes, with the $10,000 in bonus money awarded to the top three finishers in the point standings at the end of the six-week circuit.
“These awards are a great way to honor and remember Ruly,” said Torano, who competes each year at the Vermont Summer Festival alongside his wife, Danielle Torano, and their children, Natalia and JJ. “It is a special opportunity for me to join my family in presenting the awards each year. I consider the Vermont Summer Festival to be my hometown crowd, and we were on a roll this summer.”
Placing second in the $10,000 Sir Ruly, Inc., Open Jumper Awards to earn a $3,000 bonus with a total of 125 points was David Jennings of Franklin, TN, who kicked off the Vermont Summer Festival with a win in the $10,000 Manchester Designer Outlets Welcome Stake during week one. Jennings also ended this year’s competition on a high note, placing second in the coveted $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix during the final week of competition.
Third place in the $10,000 Sir Ruly, Inc., Open Jumper Awards was a tied between Matthew Metell of Wellington, FL, and Ireland’s Jordan Coyle, who is based out of Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY. The two competitors split the $2,000 bonus for third place, taking home $1,000 apiece. Coyle’s top result was a win in the $30,000 Mount Equinox Grand Prix, presented by Johnson Horse Transportation, on Saturday, July 29, while Metell won three out of the six grand prix events at this year’s Vermont Summer Festival.
“I really appreciated the sponsorship of this award,” said Metell, who rides and trains with Theodore “Teddy” Demetriou at Wolver Hollow based in Chester, NY. “For me, bonuses like this mean a lot. I started doing this as a working student and I work hard every day to get to do this, so every little bit helps.”
Metell earned the first grand prix victory of his career in the $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix on Saturday, July 8, followed by another win in the $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix, presented by The Equinox Resort, on Saturday, July 15. He then returned during week six to win the highlight grand prix of the Vermont Summer Festival, the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix.
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.
For more information on the Vermont Summer Festival, please e-mail or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.
$10,000 Sir Ruly, Inc., Open Jumper Awards - Final Standings
Rider Hometown Points Prize
1. Jimmy Torano Wellington, FL 423 $5,000
2. David Jennings Franklin, TN 125 $3,000
3. Jordan Coyle Ireland 88 $1,000
4. Matthew Metell Wellington, FL 88 $1,000