Amanda Flint, of Long Valley, NJ, struck gold during the first two weeks of the Vermont Summer Festival, claiming victory in the first four featured classes of the circuit with her string of horses. During the opening week of competition, Flint won the $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, riding Newlight VDL and went on to capture the $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix, presented by Johnson Horse Transportation, aboard Superbad.
Flint repeated her success, claiming the top prize with Chester VDL in the $10,000 Vineyard Vines Open Welcome Stake, to make it three for three. Flint then rode her hot streak through to the weekend, tying herself for first place with Superbad and Chester VDL in the $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix. Jimmy and Danielle Torano, of Fort Lauderdale, FL, kept it all in the family during weeks three and five of the Vermont Summer Festival, with husband and wife each earning a grand prix victory. Danielle Torano triumphed in the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix, presented by Hand Motors, aboard her new mount Woodstock during week three. During week five, Jimmy Torano scored a win of his own when he topped the $30,000 Manchester and the Mountains Grand Prix on Wannahave, owned by the Wannahave Group.
In between the Toranos’ trips to the winner’s circle, five-time Olympian Manuel Torres, of Colombia, emerged victorious in week four’s $30,000 Mount Equinox Grand Prix, presented by Purina Horse Feed. It was also a family affair for Torres as his daughter and son-in-law, Andrea Torres Guerreiro and Leo Guerreiro, own his winning mount Cinderella.
Having been a regular competitor at the Vermont Summer Festival since her equitation days, Julie Welles came full circle at this year’s event. Following their win in the $10,000 Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Open Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, during week five, Welles and Twan won the grand finale of the Vermont Summer Festival, the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix, during the sixth and final week of the show.
Both Amanda Strain and Sloane Coles picked up Open Welcome Stake victories with daring jump-off rounds that showcased both their riding skills and their talented mares’ abilities. Strain took home the blue ribbon with her own Carrara 11 in the $10,000 Marimekko Open Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, during week three, while Coles rode to the top of the $10,000 Overland Sheepskin Company Open Welcome Stake, also presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, with her horse Baloucat. Peter Lutz scored the final event in the series, taking home victory in the $10,000 Brooks Brothers Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, riding Robin de Ponthual for owner McLain Ward.
Kristen Bumpus and Delorean were the first to claim the top prize in the $5,000 NEHJA Hunter Derby series, bringing home the blue. Next to take a victory lap following a Hunter Derby win was Lainie Wimberly, who rode Alicia Nisberg’s Choco Mousse to first place during week two of competition.
Jennifer Bliss and her own Poker Face won week three’s Hunter Derby, setting the stage for their top finish in the $15,000 NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Land Rover Experience, during the sixth and final week of the Vermont Summer Festival.
Mary Lisa Leffler picked up two first place finishes, winning with Kiana Fiore’s Zivago and jumping to the top of week five’s $5,000 NEHJA Hunter Derby.
In 2015, the Vermont Summer Festival returns June 30 to August 9. For well over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont for six weeks of top equestrian sport. For more information visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.