East Dorset, Vermont - The $10,000 Sir Ruly Open Jumper Awards return to the Vermont Summer Festival for the eighth year in a row, celebrating Raul “Ruly” Torano’s love for horses while rewarding the top jumper riders of the six-week circuit.
The 2014 Vermont Summer Festival will be held from July 1 through August 10 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT, and awards over $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont.
The Sir Ruly Open Jumper Awards reward the top show jumping riders who consistently place 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/$50,000 Grand Prix.
Riders accumulate points by placing in any of the three classes, with $10,000 in bonus money awarded to the top three finishers at the end of the six-week circuit. In 2013, Colombia’s Mark Bluman topped the standings to earn a cash bonus of $5,000 in recognition of his consistency. Bluman finished just ahead Penny Brennan, who went home with $3,000 for her efforts, while United States Equestrian Team veteran Jimmy Torano, nephew of the awards’ namesake, rounded out the top three for $2,000.
Jimmy Torano and his family have been competing at the Vermont Summer Festival for well over a decade, and the show is a beloved stop on their summer show schedule. Ruly Torano’s passion for horses first began while watching his family compete at the Vermont Summer Festival, and he ultimately became Jimmy Torano’s biggest sponsor as well as a treasured member of the Manchester community.
“Anyone who you ask from the show or from the area that knew him will tell you he was a gentleman,” said Jimmy Torano. “He was a hell of a guy. He was my uncle but he was also a great sponsor for my wife, Danielle, and me. He believed in us and he believed in this place.”
Ruly Torano originally stepped up to sponsor the Open Jumper Awards at the Vermont Summer Festival in 2006, and after his passing a few years ago, the Torano family decided to keep the tradition going as a tribute to his love for the show and the Manchester community at large.
“Everyone at the Vermont Summer Festival has wonderful memories of Ruly Torano,” said Ruth Lacey, Marketing Director for the Vermont Summer Festival. “He was an incredibly generous man with a fierce enthusiasm for show jumping that lives on today with the Sir Ruly Open Jumper Awards. His love for the sport and his family will always be remembered at the Vermont Summer Festival.”
For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont. Known for its wide variety of area amenities including restaurants, outdoor activities, and lots and lots of shopping, Manchester-area businesses warmly welcome horse show competitors to the area each summer.
The first five Saturdays of the Vermont Summer Festival will 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 9. The hugely popular $5,000 3’3” Hunter Derby will also be held each Thursday for the first five weeks, with week six featuring the $15,000 Hunter Derby.
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). Please e-mail us or visit our website for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival.