Danielle Torano and Marlo Prevail for Win in $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at Kentucky Spring Horse Show
Lexington, KY – May 8, 2008 –
The $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix CSI 3* took center stage today at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, and Danielle Torano of Fort Lauderdale, FL, rode brilliantly for the win. Torano mastered the course with her mare Marlo and defeated 33 other horse and rider combinations. Designed by Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England, the course included a double, a triple combination, and an open water jump. Riders were allowed 90 seconds to complete the first course without penalty, and only six of the 33 starting entries qualified for the jump-off.
Kevin Babington and Souvenir went second in the order of go and were first to qualify for the short course. Souvenir is owned by Barbara Wall Roux of Woodside, CA. Ainsley Vince and her mount Ronaldo, owned by Ashland Stables in Wellington, FL, qualified for the tie breaker shortly thereafter, and Sarah Segal jumped without penalty aboard her horse True Love. Segal resides in New York, NY.
Eight rounds later, Christine McCrea of East Windsor, CT, and Promised Land joined the short list, and Robin Sweely soon added her name to it when she went clear with Acorn Hill Farm’s Qarco V’T Merlenest. Sweely resides in Madison, VA. Danielle Torano and Marlo perfected their first course as well, and these top six prepared to face off for the win.
Babington and Souvenir were first to revisit the arena, and they jumped well until an unfortunate rail fell at fence 7, a yellow and black oxer with a liverpool. They clocked in at 38.88 seconds. Vince was next in line, and she too accrued four faults; however, her rail came down at fence 10, a green and white vertical following the combination at 9ab. Her time of 36.29 seconds placed her at the top of the standings, but the lead quickly changed hands. Segal and True Love sped around the course energetically and galloped up to the last oxer, clearing the jumps and mastering Jeffery’s track in 37.32 seconds.
The top position was modified once again when McCrea raced from start to finish, opening Promised Land’s stride through the turns and galloping forward. The rail of the vertical at 9b spun in its cups as Promised Land’s hoof grazed the top of it, but the obstacle stayed up. McCrea soared home in 35.24 seconds, taking over the lead.
Sweely took a safe approach in the jump-off and, with a slower pace, left all of the fences intact. Qarco V’T Merlenest stopped the clock in 39.29 seconds, which would hold up for fourth place. Torano and Marlo were the last to compete in the jump-off, and their timing on course was impeccable. With tight turns and a solid pace, Marlo’s large stride covered the ground quickly and she skyrocketed over the fences. Her scope and speed complemented Torano’s talent and determination today, and together Torano and Marlo perfected Jeffery’s jump-off for the victory.
“This was my first class on her here,” beamed Torano after her win. “Marlo just flew back from the World Cup Finals in Sweden; I took her as a second horse. She’s gotten really consistent for me and feels really good. I started riding her in Florida. She was bought for me two years ago, but I had a hard time riding her because she was so big,” she explained. “So [my husband] Jimmy took her over, and he rode her for about two years, I would say, and then I started.”
Torano discussed Jeffery’s course and how it rode for Marlo. “She’s got a really big stride, and there were a lot of places where you had to just keep cantering. There were a couple tight lines, but she came back pretty well in both of them. It felt really nice and easy, and she jumped everything easily. It just felt really good.”
Today’s $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix CSI 3* is one of seven classes that comprise the Hagyard Challenge Series, a series of major show jumping competitions held throughout the summer at the Kentucky Horse Park. The series, sponsored by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, features $215,000 in prize money.
The top competitor of the Hagyard Challenge Series will receive a $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus, which will be presented after the final event in the succession.
The Kentucky Spring Horse Show will continue through Sunday, May 11, at the Kentucky Horse Park, and the Kentucky Spring Classic will be held next week from May 14-18. Highlights include the $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix CSI 3*, next Thursday’s $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix CSI 3*, and the $55,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI 3*, which is a member event of the AGA Grand Prix Series.
Results of Class
231 - $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic II, Sec. 2(a)
1 - 1168 MARLO
DANIELLE TORANO 0.00 85.04 0.00 34.96 JIMMY TORANO AND DANIELLE