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Mary Lisa Leffler Captures Final $35,000 Grand Prix, Sponsored by Equinox Resorts, At the Vermont Summer Festival Horse Show

East Dorset, VT—August 11, 2002— Mary Lisa Leffler won the final $35,000 Grand Prix, Sponsored by Equinox Resort and Spa, as the Vermont Summer Celebration, the final week of competition at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT, brought the 2002 Vermont Summer Festival to a close.

Concluding five weeks of international show jumping competition, Leffler went out in fine style. The only rider to go double clear in the Grand Prix, Leffler, 35, and Graf Rossini S claimed victory on the final day of competition at the Vermont Summer Festival for the second year in a row.

“Having my family here to support me is really great!” said Leffler, who lives on a 200-acre family farm in Brookeville, MD, about the best part of the win. “I have 47 horses here between my own and all my clients, so I am really thankful to the people working at the show for helping me keep everything so organized. I couldn’t do it without them!”

Leffler had her game face on when she was the third rider to return to the ring in the jump-off. After knowing the first two riders each suffered four faults, Leffler’s strategy was to go slow and steady. Her plan proved successful as she left all the jumps up in a time of 42.51 seconds with the 13-year-old Oldenburg stallion, Graf Rossini S, earning $10,500 in prize money for owner Bruce Chovnick LLC.

Placing second was Daniel Damen, 20, who competed at the Vermont Summer Festival for the duration of the five-week circuit. First back in the jump-off, Damen of Cortlandt Manor, NY, and his 11-year-old grey Hannoverian gelding Jewel Thief posted the fastest time, 41.72 seconds, but a rail down cost them the win.

Two-time Canadian Olympian Mario Deslauriers, 37, of Bromont, Quebec, was third with Le Madro, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Tristan & America. The 1984 World Cup Champion had the second fence down in the jump-off for a four-fault finish in a time of 41.94 seconds. After having four faults in the first round with both Amica 62 and Kathleen, Deslauriers also placed ninth and tenth, giving him a total of three horses in the top ten from a field of 24 starters.

Debbie Dolan-Sweeney of Oyster Bay, NY, was fourth riding Sagamore Farm’s Jasmine while Meredith Taylor, 25, who has advanced to the jump-off in four out of five grand prix events at the Vermont Summer Festival, finished fifth with Equifit Pizarro, a 12-year-old bay Rhinelander gelding owned by ABC Limited.

Earlier in the day, Summer Gay of Ridgefield, CT, won the $10,000 Junior/Amateur Owner Classic riding Tyler while Dee Thomas of Wellington, FL, placed second aboard La Nina. The class is part of the 2002 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series.

In the $2,500 M&S Child/Adult Jumper, Nancy Hooker and Flintstone rode away the winners while Caroline Clemens and Dutch Treat won the $2,500 Child/Adult Hunter Special.

The five-week Vermont Summer Festival, New England’s largest “AA” rated hunter-jumper horse show circuit, featured the Manchester Summer Festival, July 10-14, the Manchester Classic, July 17-21, the Valley Classic, July 24-28, and the Manchester and the Mountains Horse Show, July 31-August 4. International show jumping action concluded with the Vermont Summer Celebration, August 7-11.

Each week the Vermont Summer Festival featured several open jumper classes including a weekly $10,000 Mini Prix, Sponsored by Bruce Chovnick LLC, every Friday and a $35,000 Grand Prix class each Sunday. International show jumping riders and horses were showcased in these USET-recognized events.

For full results and further information, please visit the Vermont Summer Festival website at or call 802-496-9669.


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