September 23, 2016 – New York, NY – USA’s Jimmy Torano jumped to an exciting victory in the $216,000 U.S. Open FEI Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by Rolex, on a beautiful Friday night in New York City at the 2016 Rolex Central Park Horse Show (RCPHS). The fastest of only two double clear rounds in a ten-horse jump-off with some of the world’s best, Torano and Day Dream took the win in front of the one-of-a-kind backdrop of skyscrapers over Sharn Wordley (NZL), who finished in the number two position for the second year in a row riding Barnetta. Conor Swail (IRL) had the fastest four-fault round to place third riding Cita.
Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set the track for the $216,000 FEI Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by Rolex, on Friday night for 34 starters in Central Park. Ten horse and rider combinations advanced to the jump-off, and only two were able to complete the short course without fault. Torano set the time to beat in the jump-off, with the first clear round in 37.05 seconds, and held on for victory. Wordley then went for a safer round to finish second on his time of 41.39 seconds riding the Sky Group’s Barnetta.
Swail was blazing fast aboard Ariel and Susan Grange’s Cita in 33.12 seconds, but dropped a rail to finish third. McLain Ward (USA) and Double H Farm’s HH Carlos Z were also extremely fast in 34.89 seconds, but had an unusual rail at the first fence to place fourth. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run Jumper Five LLC’s Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili rounded out the top five with four faults in 35.19 seconds.
Torano’s winning mount Day Dream is just eight years old, but shows exceptional talent that was on display Friday night. Torano and his wife Danielle own the Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zento x Heartbreaker) along with Daryl Portela’s Isalou, Inc., and imported the gelding from Europe two years ago.
“I bought him at the end of his six-year-old year and have been bringing him along,” Torano stated. “From day one I believed in him. I always said he was going to do big things. He jumped some grand prixs at the end of his seven-year-old year, and he won a couple times this summer. I got him from the same guy I get all my horses – Willem Greve in Holland. The horse has a lot of quality, and he is very careful. When I go to the jumps I never think he is going to knock one down. His rideability needs to get better, but he really knows where the poles are, so I have a lot of trust in him.”
The pair competed at the American Gold Cup last week, and Torano took a chance on trying to get a spot to compete in Central Park this week.
“He came out of the Gold Cup pretty well, which is why I called Mark (Bellissimo) and Michael (Stone) to see if there was an extra spot. I really waited until the last second,” Torano detailed. “I brought my horse to the jog even though he wasn’t in, because Michael said to go ahead and do it, and then somebody dropped out at the last second and I was able to come in. It all worked out, and I guess it was one of those things that was just meant to be.”
Torano continued, “He is a very brave horse. I was not worried about the lights. I was not worried about the venue or the atmosphere here. He is careful, but he is brave. Obviously I did not think I was going to come in and win the class. You have a top group of combinations here.”
In 2015, Torano did the commentary for the NBC Sports broadcast of the RCPHS grand prix, and after experiencing the event so closely through that perspective, the rider wanted to compete even more.
“I really can’t say enough about the event,” Torano stated. “What gets better than riding in New York City with the skyline like this? The crowd was unbelievable. I can’t thank Mark, Michael, and the management group in its entirety enough. The footing was spectacular. It is a great event. It is as good as it gets anywhere.”
Wordley was very happy with his second place finish again this year riding Barnetta, a 12-year-old Westphalian gelding (Baloubet du Rouet x Polydor), and complimented his horse’s consistency.
“I am ecstatic. Barnetta is a great horse,” Wordley stated. “He is not the fastest horse, but he is very consistent. He does clear rounds. Last year, there were only two in the jump-off, and my strategy was just to go slow and hope that everybody else had a rail down. I thought my luck had run out with ten in the jump-off this year, but luck went our way.”
Conor Swail and Cita. PC: Sportfot
Conor Swail and Cita had a fantastic week, also placing second in Thursday’s $40,000 U.S. Open Canadian Pacific FEI Speed Class and carried on to a third place finish Friday night. Swail has had great results with the ten-year-old Holsteiner mare (Casall x Pik Ramiro) all year. While he thought that he took a little too much risk in the jump-off, he remains extremely happy with his mount.
“I thought she was outstanding tonight,” Swail stated. “The first round was a beautiful round. Then in the jump-off – the problem I have with her is that I never think she is going to knock anything down. She is so careful, and she rarely has a jump down in front. I just felt that I needed to be very fast because of a couple of the top guys were after me there with very fast horses. Basically, I made a little bit of a mistake. I cut in very tight, and I probably needed to square up my turn slightly better, but because I am riding so much quality and I felt that it did not matter where I was or what angle I was going at, I took a risk and unfortunately it did not pay off today.
“Congratulations to Jimmy,” Swail added. “He went around on a young horse and did a super job. Third place was good for me. I am so proud of my mare; I thought she jumped amazing.”
McLain Ward was presented with a bonus check for $25,000 for winning the U.S. Open title, presented by Mark and Katherine Bellissimo. PC: Sportfot
With a clear round to win Thursday’s $40,000 U.S. Open Canadian Pacific Speed Class and a clear first round in Friday night’s $216,000 FEI Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by Rolex, McLain Ward (USA) earned the second annual U.S. Open Championship and was presented with a $25,000 rider bonus to conclude jumper competition at the 2016 Rolex Central Park Horse Show.
Friday’s festivities also included a special performance by Frederik the Great: The World’s Most Handsome Horse, and a ceremony honoring the U.S. Dressage Team Olympic Bronze medalists; U.S. Show Jumping Team Olympic Silver medalists; and Phillip Dutton, Olympic Individual Bronze medalist. Competition continues on Saturday with the Pony Hunters, Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunters, and Professional Hunters in the U.S. Open Hunter Duchossois Cup, presented by The Gochman Family.
Kicking off Friday evening at the 2016 Rolex Central Park Horse Show, Alexandra Crown (USA) and her ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Basic (Silverstone x Indoctro) were the winners of the $5,000 Junior/Amateur 1.20m Speed Class.
Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set the track for Friday’s speed competition, with 12 entries and four clear rounds. Last to go, Crown and Basic clocked the winning time of 66.14 seconds. Claudia Villamil (PUR) and her own Infinity placed second in 68.42 seconds. Lisbeth Hazoury (DOM) rode Los Establos Sporthorses Corp.’s Grey van de Castanoschans to third place in 70.09 seconds. Fourth place honors were awarded to Lilli Hymowitz (USA) aboard Rose Hill Farm’s Elatrice in a time of 71.09 seconds.
A New York City resident, 21-year-old Crown rode at the inaugural RCPHS in 2014 and returned this year with two top horses, also finishing second in Thursday night’s $25,000 U.S. Open Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 FEI Grand Prix aboard her own Von Cim. This was her first time to take a win in the world-famous Central Park event and a memorable moment for the young rider.
“It is really exciting. This is my hometown. It is my backyard,” Crown stated. “I grew up ice skating in Wollman Rink, so it is really cool to get to win here in front of my parents and our friends. I am very happy.”
Crown, who trains with U.S. Olympian Kent Farrington, has had many international wins around the world aboard Basic and knew that the mare would try her hardest in the night’s competition.
“She is amazing. She is insanely quick across the ground. She is so naturally fast, and she just wants to win,” Crown described. “She always tries for you. She wants to win as much as I do, so it is a good combination when you have a horse that goes into the ring that is fighting for you.”
Speaking of the challenging track for her winning round, Crown noted, “There were some inside turns in that course, and you had to make some blind turns to the jumps, which kind of suits her. She does not have the biggest stride in the world, so courses with long distances in between jumps aren’t the best for her. We were able to just use her natural speed, and turn tight to the jumps, and keep it neat, so it worked out really well.”
Junior/Amateur Jumper winners Alexandra Crown and Basic are joined
in their winning presentation with Dan and Ellen Crown, Ken Keller, CEO
of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Allyn Mann, Director of the Animal Health
Division, and Katherine and Mark Bellissimo. PC: Sportfot
Final Results: $216,000 U.S. Open FEI Grand Prix CSI 3*, Presented by Rolex
1.DAY DREAM: 2008 KWPN gelding by Zento x Heartbreaker
2. BARNETTA: 2004 Westphalian gelding by Baloubet du Rouet x Polydor
SHARN WORDLEY (NZL), Sky Group: 0/0/41.39
3. CITA: 2006 Holsteiner mare by Casall x Pik Ramiro
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Ariel and Susan Grange: 0/4/33.12
4. HH CARLOS Z: 2002 Zangersheide gelding by Chellano Z x Voltaire
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Double H Farm: 0/4/34.89
5. BULL RUN’S FAUSTINO DE TILI: 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion by Berlin x Darco
KRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC: 0/4/35.19
6. LUCIFER V: 2006 Westphalian gelding by Lord Dezi x Grandeur
HARDIN TOWELL (USA), Evergate Stables LLC: 0/4/35.58
7. CREEDANCE: 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Lord Z x Notaris
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), RCG Farm: 0/4/36.32
8. HARDROCK Z: 2003 Zangersheide stallion by Heartbreaker x Carthago Z
9. PJOTTER VAN DE ZONNEHOEVE: 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Plato x Emillion
10. CROWN 5: 2005 Holsteiner by Cassini I x Lord
GEORGINA BLOOMBERG (USA), Gotham Enterprizes LLC: 0/8/42.40
11. BUTTON SITTE: 2007 Belgian Warmblood stallion by Ogano Sitte x Parco
RICHIE MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity LLC: 4/77.97
12. QUALITY GIRL: 2003 Oldenburg mare by Quidam’s Rubin x Dobrock
TODD MINIKUS (USA), Quality Group: 4/79.16
1. 85 BASIC ALEXANDRA CROWN ALEXANDRA CROWN: 0/66.149
2. 106 INFINITY CLAUDIA VILLAMIL CLAUDIA VILLAMI: 0/68.421
3. 40 GREY VAN DE CASTANOSCHANS LISBETH HAZOURY LOS ESTABLOS SPORTHORSES CORP: 0/70.090
4. ELATRICE LILLI HYMOWITZ ROSE HILL FARM: 0/71.091
5. 19 LILLY BH MIMI GOCHMAN DAVID GOCHMAN: 4/65.112
6. 20 CATCH ME Z SOPHIE GOCHMAN DAVID GOCHMAN: 4/65.61
7. 100 QUIRINUS TEDDY VLOCK VLOCK SHOW STABLES LLC: 4/68.364
8. 33 REBEL DE SION STELLA ROHLCKE LOVSTA STUTERI: 12/77.277
by Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.