Jimmy Torano and Alissa Kinsey Come Out on Top at the Vermont Summer Festival
RELEASE: August 5, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Joshua Walker
Jimmy Torano could not have been happier with his winning performance in the $10,000 Escada/Theory Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, on Friday, August 1, at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
Magic Cruise, an eight-year-old Belgian-bred mare owned by SCNC Investments, Inc., has been knocking on the door of the “big” classes for some time now. According to Torano, Friday’s win marked a highlight for this special mare.
“She is a very straightforward horse. I can really count on her to be consistent,” said Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. “She’s been doing well in a lot of the bigger classes here in Vermont but this is her biggest win.”
With Magic Cruise, Torano finished second in the $10,000 Polo Ralph Lauren/Lilly Pulitzer Open Welcome Stake as well as the $30,000 Vermont Summer Festival Grand Prix during Week One of the Vermont Summer Festival.
The course, designed by Jamie Alder, was challenging but fair. A total of 11 horse-and-rider combinations advanced to the jump-off. Of the three that posted double-clear efforts, three belonged to Torano.
His first double-clear was aboard Caldam D’Or in a time of 38.37 seconds. Mary Lisa Leffler and Gerona 92 raised the bar with a faultless jump-off time of 36.22 seconds to eventually finish in second place.
When Magic Cruise left the course intact in 34.49 seconds, nobody could catch her. That included Torano himself aboard Tampa, a young horse with whom he posted a double-clear effort in 36.47 seconds to finish in third place.
“She really deserved to win this class today,” Torano said of Magic Cruise. “She was careful, brave, and fast. She’s everything you want in a horse and she showed that today. It’s really nice when she can win on top of that.”
Torano, 43, also noted that experience played a big part in his success. “And it also helps when you have a horse you can really trust,” he added.
He was also proud of Tampa’s performance. “This is a horse that has had very little experience but is definitely going to be a horse for the future,” Torano said of the eight-year-old Dutch gelding. “I had to beg his owner to buy him, but he’s really showing that he’s going to be something special.”
On top of winning his share of the $10,000 purse and a $1,000 gift card to Theory, Torano also collected a slew of points to go toward the $10,000 Sir Ruly, Inc., Open Jumper High Score Awards. This special award is presented to the rider who gathers the most points in designated jumper classes at the conclusion of Week Six at Vermont Summer Festival. First Time’s a Charm for Alissa Kinsey
Alissa Kinsey’s last-minute decision to ride in the $2,500 Marshall and Sterling Adult Jumper Classic resulted in a victory and a new pair of Veredus jumping boots, courtesy of CM Hadfields Saddlery.
Many of her fellow competitors know Kinsey of Fort Myers, FL, as a “one girl show.” In addition to riding her horses, she also grooms them, transports them, trains them, and sponsors all of her own equestrian endeavors. While it’s not easy, she noted that it does make winning that much sweeter.
She and Grisset, her 11-year-old Holsteiner mare, sauntered into the arena, first in the class as a late entry, and made the course look easy. Only five other horse-and-rider combinations managed to post clear rounds and only two of those were double-clear efforts. But no one could catch Kinsey and Grisset as they achieved the fastest jump-off time of 30.14 seconds.
“She’s a jumping machine,” Kinsey said of Grisset. “She’s a sleeper in the ring. She doesn’t look like a horse you’d have to worry about, but she is so fast.”
Grisset also flaunted her scope and good sense throughout the course and excelled through a tricky set of questions that ran in a line from corner to corner toward the in-gate in the first round. This vertical-to-oxer