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Hillary Dobbs Makes it Three For Three by Claiming $30,000 Grand Prix

"Hillary Dobbs and her new mount Marlo won the $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix on Sunday, July 13, at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, Vermont." Photo credit – David Mullinix Photography.

Hillary Dobbs of Sussex, NJ, won the $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix on her new mount Marlo at the Vermont Summer Festival Horse Show on Sunday, July 13. The 20 year old Harvard student, who leaves to represent the United States in Show Jumping events in Europe the next day, won the first of six grand prix during the series and placed third on her mount Marengo with the fastest four found round during the class held at the Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.

Having already stood in the winner’s circle during Week I on Thursday after claiming the $5,500 Open Speed and again on Friday following the $10,000 Polo Ralph Lauren, Lilly Pulitzer Open Welcome Stake, riding Marengo, Dobbs once again claimed victory in Sunday’s $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix on her new mount Marlo.

A challenging track set by course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil saw six horse-rider combinations advance to the jump-off - Dobbs with her two entries, Marengo and Marlo, Jimmy Torano with Magic Cruise and Caldam’Or, Danielle Torano with Vancouver d’Auvery and Caitlin Venzia with Contino 5.

Jimmy Torano got things off to a strong start, posting a clear round in a time of 35.86 seconds riding Magic Cruise, an eight-year-old grey mare sired by Cruising. Dobbs came next with her first of two mounts, Marengo, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by The Dobbs Group. Although the first fence came down, Dobbs and Marengo went on to jump the rest of the course cleanly, settling for a final score of four faults in a time of 34.06 seconds, which would prove to be the fastest time of the day.

There was a pause in the action as Dobbs warm-up her second mount, Marlo - an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare purchased two weeks earlier by The Dobbs Group. When the pair entered the grand prix ring, they were all business, galloping around the course in a time of 35.60 seconds and leaving all the rails in place to take over the lead from Torano.

It was Jimmy Torano’s turn again, this time with Caldam’Or. What had originally been a triple combination in the first round was now a double, and Torano’s right-hand approach was too tight for Caldam’Or’s liking, causing the little bay to slam on the brakes. Torano had noted that although Dobbs' round had looked effortless, smooth and flowing, he did note (and told his wife Danielle Torano as she entered the arena as the last to jump off that the "only way to beat Hillary" is to do the same turn Dobbs' mastered in six strides instead of seven strides in one very difficult turn).

His wife Danielle Torano, riding the talented stallion Vancouver d’Auvray, refused at the second fence, leaving Danielle with four faults for the stop and one time fault for exceeding the 48-second time allowed.

And so Dobbs found herself the winner yet again, and collected $9,000 in prize money for her first-place finish, as well as $3,900 for third place with Marengo. The win also marked her first grand prix victory with Marlo, who was purchased two weeks earlier from Jimmy and Danielle Torano, both of whom had previously campaigned the mare. In fact, Jimmy Torano and Marlo won the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix held at the 2005 Vermont Summer Festival.

“This is so exciting,” said Dobbs, who will now depart for Europe where she will represent the United States in Nations’ Cup competition before returning to the Vermont Summer Festival for week four. “This is my first grand prix with her, and she jumped even better in the jump-off than in the first round. She has incredible power and scope but is also so sensitive. I already feel a great partnership developing and I am looking forward to the shows ahead.”

Dobbs parents, Debi and CNN host Lou Dobbs were ringside cheering their daughter on. New England’s largest “AA” rated hunter/jumper horse show, the Vermont Summer Festival offers over $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest sporting event in the state of Vermont.

$30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix - Final Results

Rider

Hometown

Horse

Faults

Time

1

Hillary Dobbs

Sussex, NJ

Marlo

0:0

35.60

2

Jimmy Torano

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Magic Cruise

0:0

35.86

3

Hillary Dobbs

Sussex, NJ

Marengo

0:4

34.06

4

Caitlin Venezia

Newbury, MA

Contino

0:4

39.36

5

Danielle Torano

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Vancouver d'Auvray

0:5

48.45

6

Jimmy Torano

Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Caldam'Or

0:7

35.86

7

Connor O'Regan

Ireland

Solernia

2

8

Richard McGrath

Hummelstown, PA

Richydou

4

 

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