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Ward Wins $35,000 Manchester Summer Festival Grand Prix

East Dorset, VT—July 13, 2003—McLain Ward of Brewster, NY won the $35,000 Manchester Summer Festival Grand Prix aboard La Belle, owned by Sarah Willeman & Turnabout Farm. For his victory, Ward was presented with the Battenkill Cup. The $35,000 Manchester Summer Festival Grand Prix marks the first of five Grand Prix that will take place as part of the Vermont Summer Festival, July 9-August 10, at the Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.

Ward was one of only five horse-and-rider combinations to ride clear over course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio’s first round course to qualify to ride in the jump-off. Going third in the final order, Ward posted a time of 36.563 seconds, which proved unbeatable. “She’s a hot mare, super fast and very careful. The mare is beautifully prepared,” Ward said of the eight-year-old mare, who is trained by Missy Clark. “I just show up and ride the horse. I just need to steer. Missy’s horses are always ready to win.”

Winner of the $35,000 Manchester and the Mountains Grand Prix at the 2002 Vermont Summer Festival, Jimmy Torano of Fort Lauderdale, FL earned second place aboard Caruso, owned by James B. Pirtle & Caruso Group. Torano crossed through the timers in a time of 41.746 seconds. Meredith Taylor of Wellington, FL finished third with Equifit Pizarro, owned by ABC Limited.

Earlier in the day, Amanda Starbuck rode Lickity Split, owned by the Stepping Stone Farm of Ridgefield, CT to the win in the Amateur-Owner Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Presented by Nutraceutical International Inc, a highlighted event of the morning in the Grand Prix Ring. Starbuck was one of five horse-and-rider combinations to produce a clear ride in the first round to qualify for the jump-off. Despite a broken stirrup heading to the final fence, she turned in the fastest time, 36.151 seconds, to earn the blue ribbon. Jonathan Phillips aboard Prins finished in second place with a time of 38.201 seconds.

Manchester Summer Festival’s High Junior Jumper Champion, Carolyn Kelly of New York, New York aboard her Kalimea took top honors in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Jumper Classic Presented by Nutraceutical International Inc. In only her third week competing in the High Junior Jumper Division, fifteen-year-old Kelly was the only rider to produce a clear round over the first round course eliminating the need for a jump-off.

Summer Gay aboard Contino, owned by the RCG Farm of Ridgefield, CT took top honors in the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. Carolyn Kelly finished in second place aboard Chagall 115.

In the morning, Anders Jones of Weston, MA rode Lanbourgini to win the Marshall & Sterling Children’s Jumper Classic. Jones was one of eight horse-and-rider combinations to ride clear in the first round to qualify to ride over the shortened jump-off course. The pair stopped the clock in a time of 33.274 seconds. Heather Dobbs of Sussex, NJ aboard Pablo, owned by Katelyn Denby, earned second place with a slightly slower time of 34.059 seconds.

Stephanie Verville rode Magic to win the Marshall & Sterling Adult Amateur Jumper Classic. Verville bested the field of ten horse-and-rider combinations, who qualified to ride in the jump-off phase, by posting a clear round and a time of 29.108 seconds. Verville also earned the Adult Amateur Jumper Division Championship at the Manchester Summer Festival.

The Vermont Summer Festival is New England’s largest “AA” rated hunter/jumper horse show. This year’s event includes five USET-recognized $35,000 Grand Prix to be held on the last day of each show and five $10,000 Mini Prix to be held on the Friday of each show. Each of the five weeks also features a $10,000 Show Jumping Hall Of Fame High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class, part of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series which determines which junior and amateur/owner riders will qualify to ride at the 2003 National Horse Show.

For further information on the 2003 Vermont Summer Festival, please call (802) 362-9023, or visit the Vermont Summer Festival website at

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