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Jimmy Torano Tops $35,000 Vermont Grand Prix, Presented by Bruce Chovnick LLC

East Dorset, VT—August 4, 2002— Jimmy Torano celebrated victory with a win in the $35,000 Vermont Grand Prix, Presented by Bruce Chovnick LLC, at the Manchester and the Mountains Horse Show, part of the 2002 Vermont Summer Festival held at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.

Torano, who has just returned east after competing the United States Equestrian Team’s Selection Trials for the World Equestrian Games in California, did not show any signs of jet lag as he set a blistering pace of 40.93 seconds in the eight-horse jump-off. Torano, who also won a Grand Prix at the Vermont Summer Festival in 2001, appeared very smooth and fluid and he tackled the course set by 1976 Olympian, Buddy Brown, but his pace was deceivingly quick.

“This horse has a really big stride, so he can leave a stride out a lot easier than most,” said Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, in praise of Aguila, a 10-year-old bay Dutch Warmblood gelding by Libero. Torano collected a winner’s check of $10,500 for the day’s work.

Olympian Peter Leone tried to catch Torano’s time but fell almost two seconds short, clocking in at 42.68 seconds to finish in second position.

“I was prepared to put in the winning ride, but, unfortunately, my plans were different from my horse’s,” said Leone who hails from Greenwich, CT. “He was so excited, he knew he was in the speed round, and it ended up working against us. I’m never satisfied being second, but I’m happy with my horse. His performance in the first round was one of the most consistent I have ever felt.”

Leone was aboard Lataro, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding from the famous Landgraf breeding line. The Manchester and the Mountains Horse Show marked Lataro’s first appearance in the grand prix ring since sustaining an injury at the end of April.

Third place went to Mary Lisa Leffler of Brookeville, MD, who posted a clear round in the jump-off in a time of 42.98 seconds with the powerful Graf Rossini S.

Meredith Taylor of Pembroke, MA, the very first rider into the ring from the 34-horse starting field, advanced to the jump-off aboard Equifit Pizarro, with her time of 43.91 seconds earning her fourth place. Kirsti Smith of Rockport, MA, had the fastest four-fault round in the jump-off riding Jennieta to place fifth.

The five-week Vermont Summer Festival, New England’s largest “AA” rated hunter-jumper horse show circuit, culminates with the Vermont Summer Celebration, August 7-11. Each week the Vermont Summer Festival features several open jumper classes including the $35,000 Grand Prix class each Sunday. Top riders and horses, both nationally and internationally, are showcased in these USET-recognized events.

For further information please visit the Vermont Summer Festival website at or call 802-362-7548.


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