Alissa Kinsey and Grisset Win $15,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Child/Adult Jumper Classic

East Dorset, Vermont – The 2012 Vermont Sumer Festival concluded its six-week circuit on Sunday, August 12, with an exciting win for Alissa Kinsey, of Danville, NH, in the $15,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Child/Adult Jumper Classic. Kinsey rode her talented mare Grisset to victory in a lightning fast round, last to go in a 20-horse jump-off. The six-week Vermont Summer Festival ran July 4 to August 12 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.

Eric Hasbrouck, of North Salem, NY, was the course designer in the grand prix ring for week six. In the $15,000 Child/Adult Jumper Classic, a total of 39 entries showed over the first round course and 20 jumped clear to advance to the jump-off.  Nine of those 20 entries completed double clear rounds, and it was a race against the clock as riders vied for top prizes.

Gillian Kelley, of Rye, NH, was first to go in the jump-off, and set the pace with a clear round in 36.58 seconds riding Emerald Isle Jumpers’ Aramis. Maddie Sico, of Newtown, CT, went next and upped the time to 36.16 seconds aboard Dennis Sisco’s Ensor. Tara Dee, of Bennington, VT, finished a little slower in 38.00 seconds riding Katia Manuel Adams’ Lavendel MBF. The three riders finished eighth, seventh, and ninth respectively.

Lilly Ulrich, of Rochester, NY, went next and blazed through the course in 34.31 seconds riding Up the Creek Farm’s Up Stream. The pair’s time would hold on to the lead for 12 more rounds until the final three competitors surpassed it, giving Ulrich the fourth place prize.

Many of the following entries had rails down as they raced through the course in an attempt to catch Ulrich, but a few still jumped clear. Alissa Kinsey jumped clear in 34.56 seconds riding Caretina to grab the fifth place prize. Thomas Cervelli, of Hanover, MA, finished in sixth with a clear round in 35.59 seconds aboard Universal.

Nina Montross, of Bedford, NY, was the first rider to pass Ulrich at the end of the class. Montross and Palm Meadow Farm, LLC’s Caprifol cleared the course in 33.41 seconds to eventually finish third.

Haley White, of Westport, MA, did her best to up the ante once more and moved into the lead with Danielle Stacy’s Tiona in a time of 32.77 seconds. White would have to settle for second place however, as Alissa Kinsey and Grisset entered the ring, last to go, and sped through the course in 31.74 seconds to capture the win.

Kinsey and Grisset are no strangers to the winners circle at the Vermont Summer Festival. The duo has been on quite a roll throughout the six-week circuit, dominating in the adult jumper division. They doubled up with wins in both the $2,500 M&S Adult Jumper Classic and $2,500 NAL/WIHS Adult Jumper Classic during weeks one, two, and four, and topped the $2,500 NAL WIHS Adult Jumper Classic during week five. Kinsey has also been awarded the Adult Amateur Jumper High Circuit Award.

After a disappointing round on Saturday, Kinsey was not sure what to expect of Grisset in Sunday’s class, but the mare put it together and impressed as usual.

“I knew we could beat the time, but you can have a rail, you can have a refusal, anything can happen,” Kinsey said after the class. “She felt great. She kind of let me down last weekend and yesterday, and I thought that today she had to be beyond 100% after what happened and she was.”

“Last week I turned too tight and I caused her to stop,” Kinsey detailed. “It was my fault, but we didn’t do well. Then yesterday she had a rail in the first round, which is really unlike her, so I was kind of nervous today. I didn’t know which way she would go; she was either going to be even better or maybe she was just tired from six weeks and the luck was going to run out or the gas tank was going to run dry. Actually I think that it was a good thing that she didn’t make it to the jump-off yesterday because she had just that little bit more today.”

Grisset is a 15-year-old Hanoverian mare that Kinsey purchased as an eight-year-old. The pair has won classes at pretty much every major horse show in the country and continues to be a dominant force nationwide.

“She just wins for the most part. We have our moments, everybody does, but she is amazing,” Kinsey smiled. “She just wants to win as bad as I do. She is like my pet; at home, everywhere we go, she is like a dog. She comes with me everywhere. I take care of her myself and I think that, that bond is what makes her try just maybe that much harder. She knows that I’m the only one that really cares for her, so we are a team.”

Kinsey also had a great fifth place result with her mare Caretina in Sunday’s class, and was very pleased with the finish after a difficult year.

“I could not be happier with Caretina,” Kinsey praised. “She was off for a year. She fell down on blacktop at Devon last year before she even got to show there and it traumatized her. She was not hurt, but needed time off because she bruised herself and then something happened during the time off. She just didn’t want to horse show; she didn’t want to do anything. It has taken a year of trying to get her confidence back.”

“It did something to her when she fell down,” Kinsey explained. “I don’t know what, but it was really upsetting because she was second at WEF that year right behind Grisset, almost beating her. She did beat her in a couple of Classics. She won a couple of $10,000 classes. She was finally coming into herself and then it just all got taken away. It was a gamble bringing her back here last week, but right off the bat she was double clean, got second right behind Grisset, just right back where she belonged.”

“Today in the jump-off, we really tried to go for it, but in the last turn she just really got stuck. Otherwise she was amazing,” Kinsey said.

Kinsey has been showing in Vermont since 2008 and concludes another fantastic year with Sunday’s top finishes. Commenting on the show, she stated, “I love this horse show. The people, the show grounds; it is just perfect.”

The Vermont Sumer Festival is set to return to Harold Beebe Farm in 2013, running from July 2 through August 11. Offering more than $750,000 in prize money, the Vermont Summer Festival is the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont. For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont.  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).  For more information about the Vermont Summer Festival, please e-mail: or visit

$15,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Child/Adult Jumper Classic Vermont Summer Festival VI
Rider     Horse    Faults     Time

1.  Alissa Kinsey   Grisset   0:0   31.74
2.  Haley White   Tiona   0:0    32.77
3.  Nina Montross    Caprifol   0:0   33.41
4.  Lilly Ulrich    Up Stream   0:0  34.31
5.  Alissa Kinsey    Caretina   0:0    34.56
6.  Thomas Cervelli    Universal    0:0  35.59
7.  Maddie Sisco    Ensor    0:0   36.16
8.  Gillian Kelley    Aramis    0:0    36.58
9. Tara Dee     Lavendel MBF   0:0     38.00
10.  Gillian Kelley   Charlotte Des Bruyeres   0:4   32.36
11.  Ava Lindsay   Commander Tom  0:4  36.29
12.  Wendy Libert    Papillion Peanut   0:4   36.49

Photo:  Alissa Kinsey and Grisset won the $15,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Child/Adult Jumper Classic on Sunday, August 12, at the 2012 Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
Photo by David Mullinix Photography