Isabella Lombardozzi of Inman, SC, claimed victory in the $1,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Jumper Classic on Sunday, July 22, to conclude the third of six weeks of competition at the 25th annual Vermont Summer Festival, which runs through August 12 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Six horses advanced to the jump-off over courses designed by Manuel Esparza of Mexico, with Lombardozzi returning last in the order riding A Bit O’Blarney for owner Kenar Haratunian. The pair again jumped clear and stopped the clock in a time of 32.05 seconds to take the win over Olympia Davison of New York, NY, riding Gentle Red, owned by Kathryn Callaghan, with a time of 33.16 seconds.
Also jumping double clear, Anna Eligulashvili of Scarsdale, NY, stopped the clock in 33.80 seconds riding Denver, owned by Kathryn Haefner, LLC, to take third while local rider Jessie Goodwin of Stowe, VT, finished fourth riding Domanie with a time of 34.69 seconds for owner Brook Run Farm, LLC. Elizabeth Asprinio of Greenwich, CT, rounded out the top five in 37.35 seconds riding Sesto Senso, owned by Country Lane Farm.
Lombardozzi has only been riding A Bit O’Blarney for a few weeks, but quickly formed a winning bond with the 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding.
“My horse got hurt so Candice [King] let me show this one that we have in to sell and he has turned out to be really good,” said Lombardozzi, 16, who is a working student for U.S. grand prix rider King and will soon enter her senior year of online high school. “He is always going to jump no matter where you are jumping from. He will always be there for you, and that is what makes him special.”
Making her debut at the Vermont Summer Festival this week, Lombardozzi noted, “The courses have been great all week! Yesterday we had a rail in a slice approach that we barely nicked, but today he was much more on it than he was all week. He is very quick in the turns and has a huge stride so I don’t really even have to think about going fast, he just takes me. I think that speed and tidy turns is what really helped us today.”