Vermont Summer Festival Crowns Champions

WAITSFIELD, VT-August 20, 2001-The 2001 Vermont Summer Festival, July 11 - August 12, crowned numerous champions this year. Jimmy Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Aguila kicked things off by winning the $35,000 Battenkill Grand Prix during the first week of competition in Manchester, VT. Torano, one of three riders who advanced to the jump-off from a starting field of 22, went clean in the jump-off with a very fast time of 43.529 seconds. Callan Solem and Allison also finished clear, but their time of 45.767 dropped them to second. Meredith Taylor finished third with four faults and a time of 47.106 aboard Equifit Pizarro.

During the second week of action in Manchester, Sarah Willeman of Hamilton, MA began a three-week grand prix dominance. She led the charge by winning the $35,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix with a fault-free jump-off round aboard Labelle. Federico Sztyrie piloted Granusha to a second place finish, while Mark Leone and Casino followed close behind in third. 

Willeman's second win came at the $35,000 Mt. Equinox Grand Prix in East Dorset. Her fault-free ride with Hurricane edged out Sztyrie and Mary Lisa Leffler, who finished second and third respectively. 

Her grand prix win streak was extended to three in a row after Willeman captured the $35,000 Sugarbush Grand Prix in Waitsfield, VT. She and Hurricane led the grand prix charge with a fault-free jump-off round to claim the win. James Lala piloted Hadsfield Karona to a second place finish, while Bill Lowry and King followed close behind in third. 

During the final week of the Festival, Leffler ended Willeman's grand prix win streak by winning the $35,000 Mad River Grand Prix in Waitsfield. Riding Graf Rossini S, Leffler mastered the grand prix course with a fault-free jump-off round to claim her first win of the Festival. Ian Silitch and Margo turned in a solid performance to take second, while Canadian Olympic veteran Mario Deslauriers and Amica 62 followed close behind to finish third. In National Horse Sports Foundation Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic series action, Paige Johnson of The Plains, VA proved to be the dominating force, winning back-to-back classes. During the fourth week of the Vermont Summer Festival, Johnson and her horse, Dominique, took top honors over Lindsay Dawn Curtis and Katelyn Denby.

The following week, she won her second consecutive Hall of Fame class with her horse, Beach Bum. Amy Shafmaster and Emillion finished second, while Jeff Brandmaier took third place honors aboard Captiva. Other winners in the National Horse Sports Foundation Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic included Vanessa Stevenson of Southampton, NY, and her horse, Fortunato (week 1); Danielle Torano, wife of Jimmy Torano, of Fort Lauderdale, FL and her horse, Lojana (week 2); and Anna McNight and her horse, Marina (week 3). For further information on the results of the 2001 Vermont Summer Festival Series please see the weekly results posted on the website