Devon, PA - The first annual Brandywine Valley Summer Series presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services kicked off its first day of competition this Wednesday in the Dixon Oval at the prestigious Devon Show Grounds. The top horse and rider combinations gathered to compete at the historic venue and support this exciting new event. The sun shone brightly as riders competed during the first day of the professional hunter divisions and the Adult Amateur divisions, as well as during the Ariat Adult Medal and the $500 NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter Classic.
The adult riders began the day by showcasing their equitation skills during the Ariat Adult Medal. Elizabeth Lubrano received the top call following the test for her ride aboard Tornado, owned by Horizon Hill Farm of Glenmoore, PA.
Today's course was designed by Michael Rheinheimer and included a bending line, an in-and-out, and multiple inside turns. Miranda Scarpone of Kinnelon, NJ, took an early lead with a score of 82. Lubrano followed in second with a 78, while Devin Cox of Kennett Square, PA, was third with a 76, and Catherine Marcks of Lancaster, PA, was in fourth with a 75.
For the test, riders had to walk from the line-up and then canter a single vertical. They then made a left turn to a second single vertical and finally made their way to the last fence before halting and sitting the trot back to the line. Cox made a slight error at the second fence and moved to fourth, while Marcks' smooth trip moved her into the third position. Scarpone also had a good test, but Lubrano quickly made her way to the top of the leaderboard after opting for an inside turn to the second fence. Lubrano eventually took home the winning prize, a gift certificate to Ariat International, while Scarpone placed second.
"Tornado was a jumper, so this was only his second time doing the equitation and his first time with me," explained Lubrano. "I was a little conservative during my first round but it was consistent and solid, and that is all I was looking to do. He's pretty straight forward, a pretty brave horse as long as you can flow up the lines."
Lubrano continued, "During the test I saw a lot of people jumping off of the left lead, but no one really attempted the inside turn, and that is his strength because he was a jumper. I figured to make myself stand out I would do the inside turn and it came up nicely; he's really rideable, so it wasn't an issue." The Penn State Senior hopes to compete with the talented mount later this year during the Ariat Adult Medal Finals.
Later in the day, the $500 NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter Classic was held in the Dixon Oval, where Laura Yoworsky led the way from start to finish aboard Marvelous, owned by Jennifer Shinners of Harleysville, PA. The duo scored an 84 during the first round and then followed with a score of 85 during the second round for a 169 total. The second place honors went to Miranda Scarpone and Rosso Rossini, who earned a 75 during the first round and an 86 during the second round for a 161 total. Rounding out the top three was Amy Zettler of Alexandria, VA, with Glad Rags for their scores of 82 and 76.
"He is only five years old, but he has a phenomenal jump and if I don't mess him up he is flawless," commented Yoworsky. "I began riding him in the Adult Hunters in October and hopefully his owner Jennifer will start riding him next year." Yoworsky added, "It was a great day and this is a very nice show."
The Brandywine Valley Summer Series will continue tomorrow with the conclusion of the professional hunter divisions, where top horse and rider combinations will vie for the championship and reserve championship titles. This week's highlights include the $10,000 Chester County Food Bank Mini Prix on Friday and the $3,000 Johnson Horse Transportation National Hunter Derby on Saturday under the lights. The 'AA'-rated competition will continue for two weeks through July 10, with a local day on July 11.
For more information about the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, please visit http://brandywinevalleysummerseries.com/.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Lubrano and Torando were victorious in the Ariat Adult Medal at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.