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Jimmy Torano and Morgan Speed To Victory At The Tampa Equestrian Festival

Tampa, FL - March 29, 2008 - Jimmy Torano wanted to win the 1.40m Jumper Classic held during the Tampa Bay Classic, part of the Tampa Equestrian Festival at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center. He asked, and his mount Morgan, owned by RV Sales of Broward, delivered.

The class did not have a promising start, as the course of 13 elements, designed by Jose Gamarra, claimed the first two riders in the ring, both seasoned veterans. Both riders had rails down in the triple combination, a two stride to a one stride that claimed half of the riders entered in the class. The third horse and rider combination on course, Ben Maher with Rolette, broke the jinx, turning in a clear round in effortless style.

It took five more trips before Norman Dello Joio and Equinox entered the ring and 80 seconds later crossed through the timers with no faults guaranteeing a jump off. Three horses later, Goldika 559 and McLain Ward made it a three way jump off. Torano and Morgan were the next to last in the ring and gave us four to return.

Maher and Rolette were the first to go and turned in a fault free performance that did not look as fast as it was. Their final time on course was 29.920 seconds.

Norman Dello Joio and Equinox were next to try their luck. The pair turned in a fault free performance and stopped the clock in 30.723 seconds.

McLain Ward and Goldika 559 were the next pair to challenge. Goldika and Ward seemed to have a difference of opinion on where to take off for the triple bar. She left very long to the fence and did not make it across, landing on the obstacle and sending Ward to the ground. Both Ward and Goldika walked out of the ring none the worse for wear, but because of the fall, they were eliminated from the jump off.

That set the stage for Torano and the 16.1 hand, 14 year old Selle Francais gelding Morgan. Gearing up, they crossed the start timers with determination and pace and turned in a clear round in a time of 28.219 seconds to win the class.

"I wanted this and the horse jumped great today," said a very happy Torano. "I guess that it ended up being a tough enough course today because there were only 4 clear. My horse is very careful and he actually ended up jumping around there pretty easily."

"I am so excited. We have never won a big class before," said owner Gigi Stetler, founder of RV Sales of Broward. "He was third last week and I thought that was the top of the iceberg, but this is better. I don't know if it is a good luck thing or a bad luck thing, but every time I watch him go, something happens. Jimmy just told me I am not allowed to come to horse shows anymore."

Results of 1.40m Classic:


1. Morgan/Jimmy Torano/RV Sales of Broward/0/0/28.249

2. Rolette/Ben Maher/Mr. D. Paul/0/0/29.920

3. Equinox/Norman Dello Joio/Slate River Farm/0/0/30.723

4. Goldika 559/McLain Ward/McLain Ward/0/elim.

5. Alina/Mary Lisa Leffler/Alina Group/4/76.827

6. Intrepide Du Valon/Alison Robitaille/4/76.989

7. Via Volo/Alison Robitaille/4/78.329

8. Pablo V/Ben Maher/4/79.473

9. Presidente/Todd Minikus/5/83125

10. Cool Flood/Ashley Partow/8/78.743

11. Romy/Todd Minikus/Diamond Group/11/89.552

12. Pacific Beach/Kate Levy/12/75.744

Competition in the Tampa Bay Classic CSI***-W continues until Sunday, March 30. The Tampa Equestrian Festival runs from March 19-April 6, 2008. The final event at the Festival for the jumpers is the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, held at Raymond James Stadium at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 5th.

For more information on the Tampa Equestrian Festival and the American Invitational, please visit http://www.stadiumjumping.com.

Photo Credit: Jimmy Torano and Morgan(C) 2008 Randi Muster. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.


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