Jordan Coyle of Derry, Northern Ireland, raced to a win in the $30,000 Mount Equinox Grand Prix, presented by Johnson Horse Transportation, on Saturday, July 29, during the fourth week of competition at the six-week Vermont Summer Festival running through August 13 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Six horse-rider combinations advanced to the jump-off over a track set by Canadian course designer and 1976 Olympic individual silver medalist, Michel Vaillancourt. When Jean Sheptoff of Littleton, MA, opted to withdraw Coconut Z from the jump-off, five were left to battle it out for victory. Coyle secured the win by nearly three seconds, stopping the clock in 33.85 seconds riding Escalette, owned by Elan Farm.
“Before the jump-off, I told Chelsea Dwinell, who helps me at the horse shows, ‘there’s only five clear. I am going to try and win it’,” said Coyle, 24, who returned third in the jump-off order. “The worst I was going to be was fifth, so it was nice to not have too much pressure.”
Canada’s Sam Pegg of Uxbridge, ON, took second place with a time of 36.23 seconds aboard Shaia de Macheco, his partner for Thursday’s victory in the $10,000 New Balance Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets. Jimmy Torano of Wellington, FL, claimed third place with a clear round in a time of 36.41 seconds riding Day Dream.
Lainie Wimberly of Ridgefield, CT, was also clear in a time of 40.76 seconds for fourth place riding former three-day eventing mount, RF Quarterman, while Tracy Magness of Baltimore, MD, rounded out the top five after opting to retire Intenz van HD when two rails came down.
Coyle started competing in the U.S. during the 2017 winter season when he joined the team at Old Salem Farm, based in North Salem, NY. After working with trainers, Frank Madden and Stella Manship, he got the ride on Escalette only six weeks ago.
“What is most special about her is that she doesn’t want to knock any jumps, no matter what,” said Coyle of the nine-year-old Selle Français mare by Made in Semilly. “I haven’t had a horse like this in a long time, but that is why I came to America; to try and get horses like this one. I am delighted that Stella gave me the chance to ride her.”
In addition to training at Old Salem Farm, Manship owns Elan Farm with her mother, Jocelyn, and recently gave Escalette a year off from competition.
“She spent the past year out in a field and this is her first show back,” said Coyle, who now hopes to compete the mare in Under 25 grand prix competition this fall. “She is still pretty young and can jump a bit bigger, but before today I didn’t have any plans because I didn’t know what she was capable of.
“The horse has only knocked one first-round jump in two weeks, which is amazing,” continued Coyle, who also placed fourth in the Vermont Summer Festival Welcome Stake on Thursday, as well as second in the Welcome Stake and fourth in the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix during week three. “I am absolutely delighted with the horse!”
Of his first time competing at the Vermont Summer Festival, Coyle noted, “If I wasn’t going home for the Dublin Horse Show next week I would stay here until the end. It’s a brilliant show in a lovely location.”
For the win, Coyle was awarded a scrim by Mona’s Monograms as well as a crystal trophy from Elizabeth Rae representing class sponsor, Johnson Horse Transportation. In addition, the Vermont Summer Festival presented his groom, Rodolfo Morillo, with the weekly Grand Prix Groom Award in recognition of his hard work preparing Escalette for grand prix competition. Morillo was presented with a monogrammed jacket and coolerette from sponsor Glenn Geary of Horsewatch.
The fourth week of show jumping competition at the Vermont Summer Festival concludes with Classics for adult, children, and junior/amateur-owner competitors in the Grand Prix Ring on Sunday, July 30.
For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont for great competition in an ideal summer setting. Offering more than $750,000 in prize money over the course of its six-week run, the Vermont Summer Festival is New England’s largest hunter/jumper competition as well as the state’s richest sporting event based on purse. Outside the show ring, exhibitors are immersed in the charm of Vermont’s shopping, dining, and outdoor activities.
Competition at the 2017 Vermont Summer Festival runs weekly from Wednesday through Sunday, beginning each day at 8 a.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children from Wednesday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $9 for adults and $5 for children with 100% of all gate proceeds benefiting the Manchester Community Library, Meals on Wheels of Bennington County, and the Rotary Club of Manchester.
For more information on the Vermont Summer Festival, please e-mail or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.
$30,000 Mount Equinox Grand Prix, presented by Johnson Horse Transportation
Saturday, July 29, 2017
1. Jordan Coyle/Ireland/Escalette/0:0/33.85
2. Sam Pegg/Canada/Shaia de Macheco/0:0/36.23
3. Jimmy Torano/Wellington, FL/Day Dream/0:0/36.41
4. Lainie Wimberly/Ridgefield, CT/RF Quarterman/0:0/40.76
5. Tracy Magness/Baltimore, MD/Intenz van HD/0:retired