East Dorset, VT – Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, TX, riding MTM Timon laid claim to the top prize in the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix, presented by Purina, on the final day of the six-week Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
The track set by Canadian course designer Chris Brandt tested the mettle of 22 starters, asking many technical questions to which only four had all the answers. Hillary Dobbs of Sussex, NJ, and Marengo were the first to produce a fault-free round, and were joined by Judy Garofalo Torres of Dover Plains, NY, and Higher Ground Farm’s great campaigner, the 20-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion, Oliver. Fenney and MTM Timon quickly followed suit with a fault-free performance, and only Tracy Magness and Tarco Van Ter Moude were also clear to advance to the jump-off.
Dobbs had logged quite a few miles before the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix. After winning Friday’s $10,000 Polo/Ralph Lauren Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, at the Vermont Summer Festival, Dobbs traveled home to Sussex, NJ, to compete in Saturday’s Sussex Grand Prix, which she won riding Corlett, before returning to Vermont on Sunday morning for the Grand Prix. Exhibiting their trademark competitive spirit, Dobbs and Marengo galloped into the ring, jumping and turning with ease to stop the timers in 32.327 seconds.
Garofalo Torres opted for a safe round with Oliver, turning in a fault-free performance in a conservative time of 35.726 seconds. Magness and Tarco did not have an auspicious start to their jump-off round and, after having rails down, elected to withdraw.
Safe was not part of Fenney’s plan when she entered the ring with MTM Timon. She and the 10-year-old sorrel gelding were off and running, and when they stopped the clock with the winning time of 31.632 seconds, the crowd was cheering.
“A clear round was hard to get,” said Fenney, who was presented with her awards by Vermont Governor Jim Douglas. “When everyone walked the course, nothing seemed too abnormally hard. I think that all the lines were awkward. And that liverpool jump was probably the highest fence out there.”
Of her jump-off strategy, Fenney said, “I watched Hillary go and I thought there was no way I was going to beat that time because Timon spends a whole lot of time in the air. I can make good turns, so that was the plan, to just make better turns. And it all worked. I left out a stride to the last jump and I think I left out a stride in a couple of the corners, and he was great. We have had Timon about two years, and he just keeps getting better and better every class we do. He is learning a lot.”
Dobbs, 22, also had high praise for her mount, Marengo.
“He is the greatest,” said Dobbs. “He is so consistent. Tracy just did it better than I did today. Marengo was trying his heart out and he has been the whole circuit. He won two and was second in this one. It is just an honor to ride a horse like him. It is where you really feel lucky. Corlett was back to her old self last night under the lights and we were the only double clear to win the Sussex Grand Prix. That was great, to go home to my hometown and win that. It has been a whirlwind few days.”
The sixth and final week of the Vermont Summer Festival culminated with the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix, presented by Purina, on Sunday, August 15. Vermont Governor Jim Douglas was on hand to present the awards to the winner.
Running July 7 through August 15, 2010, the Vermont Summer Festival offered more than $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest sporting event based on purse in the state. 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.
$50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix, presented by Purina
1 Tracy Fenney MTM Timon 0:0 31.632
2 Hillary Dobbs Marengo 0:0 32.327
3 Judy Garofalo Torres Oliver 0:0 35.762
4 Tracy Magness Tarco Van Ter Moude 0:VW
5 Michael McCormick MTM Remington 4 72.239
6 Timothy Hooker Apollo 4 72.346
7 Darragh Kenny Gael Force 4 73.715
8 Danielle Torano Capitano 4 75.213
9 Callie Schott Coral Reef Ambassador 4 75.257
10 Caitlin Venezia Calimiro 4 75.656
11 Irk Webby La Rocco Jun 4 75.880
12 Caitlin Venezia Okapi De Ste Hermelle 4 75.895
Photos: Tracy Fenney and MTM Timon won the $30,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix, presented by Purina, to close out the six-week Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT. Photo credit - David Mullinix Photography
Tracy Fenney, mounted, receives her prizes from (left to right) Randy Sipkema of Purina, Bob Gunnison of Country Ag Services, Vermont Governor and Mrs. Jim Douglas, and her groom, Manuel Yaz. Photo credit - David Mullinix Photography