Twenty-year-old Emily Short of Cheswick, PA, and the aptly named Grande Finale 3E won the grand finale of the 2013 Vermont Summer Festival, the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix, presented by Hand Motors, on Saturday, August 10, in East Dorset, VT.
A starting field of 28 entries lined out for the final grand prix of the Vermont Summer Festival's six-week circuit with 11 advancing to the jump-off over the course designed by Eric Hasbrouck.
Julie Welles and Bazooka de Muze had set the time to beat at 40.10 seconds early on in the class, and as the second-to-last challengers, Short and Grande Finale 3E sliced nearly two seconds off of Welles' time, crossing the timers in 38.65 seconds. Jimmy Torano and Walk About were the final entries on course, but eight faults would put them out of the running.
Johnathan Corrigan finished third on Olympic de Chamant with a double clear effort in 40.91 seconds while young Charlotte Jacobs took fourth with Promised Land in 41.06 seconds. Torano produced the only other double clear effort to place fifth with Blue Sky Van de Olmenhoeve.
"It's only my second (grand prix) win, so it's really exciting," Short smiled after claiming victory with her 11-year-old Canadian Sport Horse mare (Jamestown x Chin Chin). "I'm really happy with my horse. She's had a couple of weeks off, so I'm excited to be back in the ring and get such good results."
A hairpin turn back to a stone wall proved difficult for several riders, but that is where Short feels she made the time for the win, thanks to her mare's maneuverability.
"She's awesome," said Short of the mare formerly campaigned by Colombia's Roberto Teran for Canadian breeder KingRidge Stables. "She tries really hard for me. I think a lot of that is because she's a mare. She's really fun and really careful. She's quick in the turns. I rolled back to the wall really quickly and she just popped over it."
Short acknowledged that she rarely has to worry about speed when riding Grande Finale 3E, describing her mare as a naturally fast horse that is always happy to do her job. Short believed their victory was the result of the hard work she has diligently put into her mare over the last two years with trainer David Jennings.
"I've worked hard with her and she's a great horse," praised Short. "I'm really happy with her and my riding today. She tries really hard and I think it's paying off."
$50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix
Presented by Hand Motors
Rider Horse Faults Time
1. Emily Short Grande Finale 3E 0:0 38.65
2. Julie Welles Bazooka de Muze 0:0 40.10
3. Johnathan Corrigan Olympic de Chamant 0:0 40.91
4. Charlotte Jacobs Promised Land 0:0 41.06
5. Jimmy Torano Blue Sky Van de Olmenhoeve 0:0 43.07
6. Adrienne Sternlicht Oreade des Dames 0:4 41.46
7. Danielle Torano Capitano 0:4 42.27
8. Adrienne Sternlicht S&L Slingback 0:4 43.78
9. Leann Kelly Leander 0:4 44.34
10. David Jennings Billy the Kid 0:4 48.25
11. Jimmy Torano Walk About 0:8 39.72
12. Adrienne Sternlicht Hathaway 1
Source: Jennifer Ward / www.startinggate.ca.