East Dorset, Vermont – Devin Ryan of Long Valley, NJ, captured victory in the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix, Presented by Equinox Resort & Spa, held Saturday, July 21, during the third week of the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT. The six-week equestrian competition is running at Harold Beebe Farm from July 4 through August 12, 2012.
After finishing second in Thursday’s $10,000 Vermont Bird Place and Sky Watch Open Welcome, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, Ryan returned to the grand prix ring on Saturday determined to rise to the top of the starting field of 22. Five horse/rider combinations jumped cleanly over the first round track set by 2008 Beijing Olympic course designer, Steve Stephens, to advance to the jump-off.
“I thought it was a very good course,” said Ryan. “It was the perfect number to make it through to the jump-off for a class of this size. When I walked the course it seemed a little harder and set a little bigger than you normally see in Vermont, but I think when you’re challenged like that you get much better results.”
Ryan advanced to the jump-off with two mounts, Calissandro and No Worries. Second to return to the ring, Ryan and Calissandro, an eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding he owns in partnership with Barbara Drake, put in a four-fault performance in a time of 31.10 seconds. They would eventually finish fourth. “I got him when he was two,” explained Ryan. “He’s always had the mentality of a winner since I’ve had him. He’s always very competitive and consistent. He jumped clean in the first round and the rail we had in the jump-off was my fault, not his.”
Danielle Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and Mohrsville, PA, was the first rider to put in a double clear performance, stopping the jump-off clock in 33.75 seconds aboard Capitano, a 17-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Sir Ruly Inc.
Returning to the ring for his second jump-off attempt, Ryan knew he and No Worries, an 11-year-old selle francais gelding owned and bred by Barbara Rowland, would have to go clean and fast. The pair put in the final clear round of the class, crossing the timers in 32.06 seconds to secure the victory.
“He was great today,” said Ryan, who has been riding No Worries since he was three and showing him in Vermont since he was six. “This is only his third show this season, and his first grand prix, and he came out and was just super. It’s good to know my partner is back with me. He’s my oldest horse right now and the longest equine partner I’ve had now. It makes a big difference when you develop them yourself. You know them, and they know you. It makes for a much stronger partnership.”
Ryan’s other entry in Saturday’s Grand Prix, Roman Saluut, came from well-known Holsteiner breeders Blair and Karen Cudmore of Omaha, Nebraska. Ryan and Roman Saluut, a nine-year-old grey stallion, finished seventh in the class after a rail down in the first round.
Based in Long Valley, New Jersey, Ryan’s training business, River Run Stables, has 23 horses competing at the Vermont Summer Festival. Ryan believes it’s only possible to bring that many horses because of the strong support system he has. “We’re really a big family,” noted Ryan. “I couldn’t do what I do without the help and cooperation of my clients, my sponsors, Buckeye Nutrition and CWD, and my owners. Everyone is a part of the team.”
Ryan’s win in the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix is not his first victory in Vermont, having competed at the festival for the past six years. In 2011, Ryan won the $10,000 Vermont Bird Place Open Welcome Stake and the $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix during the opening week of competition.
“There’s a wonderful atmosphere here,” Ryan said of the Vermont Summer Festival. “They have the divisions and levels that both me and my clients can compete at and the weather is usually nice and warm. My clients love it. It’s a wonderful place to come and show. Once you’re here you’re not going to be disappointed with your time.”
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. The first five Saturdays of the Vermont Summer Festival feature a $30,000 Grand Prix. The $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix will be held during the sixth and final week on Saturday, August 11. The weekly $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, are now held each Thursday.
Competition begins at 8 a.m. daily, Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children. All of the gate receipts benefit the a number of Manchester area non-profit organizations, including the Mark Skinner Library, Friends Foundation for MEMS, Community Food Cupboard, and Second Chance Animal Center.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.
$30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix – Vermont Summer Festival III
Rider Horse Faults Time
1. Devin Ryan No Worries 0:0 32.067
2. Danielle Torano Capitano 0:0 33.759
3. Victoria Colvin Monsieur de Reverdy 0:4 30.910
4. Devin Ryan Calissandro 0:4 31.110
5 Kenneth Berkley Ax-Cent 0:4 31.794
6. Jimmy Torano Walk About 4
7. Devin Ryan Roman Saluut 4
8. Amanda Strain Candy 521 4
9. Kenneth Berkley Waminka 4
10. Jimmy Torano Wayne R 4
11. Sloane Coles Chantilly 4
12. Bryn Sadler Bon Giorno 4
Photo: Devin Ryan and No Worries won the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix on Saturday, July 21, at the Vermont Summer Festival horse show in East Dorset, Vermont.
Photo by David Mullinix Photography