Devon, PA - July 10, 2011 - Today marked the final day of competition for the two weeks of the first annual Brandywine Valley Summer Series, presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services. The day wrapped up with the $2,500 M&T Bank Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic in the Dixon Oval of the historic Devon Show Grounds. Lillie Keenan piloted Firework to the only double clear effort during today's highlight event to score the winning title and lead the victory gallop. Allison Toffolon and Furalissa also advanced to the jump-off and placed second with a four fault score.
Kenny Krome was the course designer for today's event, and tested riders during the first round with a triple bar, a liverpool, a oxer-vertical double combination, and a vertical-vertical-oxer triple combination. Just two riders mastered the technical first round and advanced to the short course, where they had to begin over a vertical-oxer rollback, followed by a vertical-oxer double combination. They then made a sharp left turn to single vertical and rolled back to the triple bar. Finally, the riders jumped the liverpool oxer and galloped home over a single vertical.
Keenan of New York, NY, was the first to tackle the jump-off aboard Firework and the duo was ready for challenge. They easily took all of the sharp turns and with a quick gallop they soared over each obstacle. Yesterday's winning pair crossed the finish line without fault in a time of 34.009 seconds, which would be good enough for the day's win. Keenan and Firework were also presented with the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Championship award for their performance this week.
"My plan with Firework was to turn tight because that is his strong suit," explained Keenan. "We had some stiff competition because Ali's horse can really go fast. I knew that I was going to have to be very quick if I wanted to win. I have been working on building confidence with the horse, we just got him about a month ago, and I think he has made a lot of progress; it's very exciting."
Keenan added, "We love this horse show. My favorite horse show is Devon, so to be able to come back here later in the summer without the pressure is a lot of fun and really good practice."
The second place finisher in today's jump-off was Allison Toffolon of Bronxville, NY, and Furalissa. The pair found a long distance to the first oxer, bringing down the back rail. The broke the beam at 34.646 seconds with a four fault total. They had a very strong showing over the last two weeks and earned the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Circuit Championship, and Toffolon was also the winner of the Circuit Equitation Rider Championship.
"Furalissa is such a fast horse and we're trying to teach her how to calmly do the rounds," said Toffolon. "Each week she is going better and this week we tried to practice staying at a normal pace, so that our rounds are a little smoother. She's also new to me, so it's nice to be able to teach her. Even though she's not green, she is new to having a junior rider."
After receiving the Equitation Championship, Toffolon noted, "It's nice because this is my first year doing the big equitation and Class Action is a new horse. He's my favorite horse of all time, he's so well trained and he knows his job so well that I can be very confident on him. Every horse show we just get better and better, so it was nice to be recognized at this show."
Keenan also garnered today's third place honors with her second mount, Valentino, owned by Javier Salvador of Chicago, IL. They left all the fences in tact during the first round, but crossed the finish line just a fraction over the time allowed. The duo received the week's Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Reserve Championship. The only other pair to leave all the rails in place during the first round was the fourth place finisher, Missy Tiede of Elverson, PA, and Razzoo, who earned two time faults.
As the two-week horse show came to a close, Brandywine Valley Summer Series Co-Chair Gillian Grant of VIS Consulting commented, "I thought the show was phenomenal. Before the show, it was unbelievable to see all of the sponsorship support, and then during the show it was wonderful to see the exhibitors' positive reactions to the show. Our sponsors attended the show to help present awards and be a part of the event, which was very special. I don't think it could have gone any better!"
Today marked the conclusion of the first annual Brandywine Valley Summer Series, presented by Taylor Harris Insurance Services, at the Devon Show Grounds. The exhibitors and sponsors had a wonderful two weeks and very excited for next year's potential. Tomorrow, riders from the surrounding community will gather to compete during Local Day.
For more information about the Brandywine Valley Summer Series, please visit http://brandywinevalleysummerseries.com.
Photos: Lillie Keenan and Firework won the $2,500 M&T Bank Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series.
Allison Toffolon and Furalissa won the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Circuit Championship at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. All Photos By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.