Devin Ryan of Long Valley, NJ, captured victory in the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix, Presented by Equinox Resort & Spa, held Saturday, July 21, during the third week of the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT. The six-week equestrian competition is running at Harold Beebe Farm from July 4 through August 12, 2012.
After finishing second in Thursday’s $10,000 Vermont Bird Place and Sky Watch Open Welcome, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, Ryan returned to the grand prix ring on Saturday determined to rise to the top of the starting field of 22. Five horse/rider combinations jumped cleanly over the first round track set by 2008 Beijing Olympic course designer, Steve Stephens, to advance to the jump-off.
“I thought it was a very good course,” said Ryan. “It was the perfect number to make it through to the jump-off for a class of this size. When I walked the course it seemed a little harder and set a little bigger than you normally see in Vermont, but I think when you’re challenged like that you get much better results.”
Ryan advanced to the jump-off with two mounts, Calissandro and No Worries. Second to return to the ring, Ryan and Calissandro, an eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding he owns in partnership with Barbara Drake, put in a four-fault performance in a time of 31.10 seconds. They would eventually finish fourth.
“I got him when he was two,” explained Ryan. “He’s always had the mentality of a winner since I’ve had him. He’s always very competitive and consistent. He jumped clean in the first round and the rail we had in the jump-off was my fault, not his.”
Danielle Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and Mohrsville, PA, was the first rider to put in a double clear performance, stopping the jump-off clock in 33.75 seconds aboard Capitano, a 17-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Sir Ruly Inc.
Returning to the ring for his second jump-off attempt, Ryan knew he and No Worries, an 11-year-old selle francais gelding owned and bred by Barbara Rowland, would have to go clean and fast. The pair put in the final clear round of the class, crossing the timers in 32.06 seconds to secure the victory.
“He was great today,” said Ryan, who has been riding No Worries since he was three and showing him in Vermont since he was six. “This is only his third show this season, and his first grand prix, and he came out and was just super. It’s good to know my partner is back with me. He’s my oldest horse right now and the longest equine partner I’ve had now. It makes a big difference when you develop them yourself. You know them, and they know you. It makes for a much stronger partnership.”
Ryan’s other entry in Saturday’s Grand Prix, Roman Saluut, came from well-known Holsteiner breeders Blair and Karen Cudmore of Omaha, Nebraska. Ryan and Roman Saluut, a nine-year-old grey stallion, finished seventh in the class after a rail down in the first round.
Based in Long Valley, New Jersey, Ryan’s training business, River Run Stables, has 23 horses competing at the Vermont Summer Festival. Ryan believes it’s only possible to bring that many horses because of the strong support system he has.
“We’re really a big family,” noted Ryan. “I couldn’t do what I do without the help and cooperation of my clients, my sponsors, Buckeye Nutrition and CWD, and my owners. Everyone is a part of the team.”
Ryan’s win in the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix is not his first victory in Vermont, having competed at the festival for the past six years. In 2011, Ryan won the $10,000 Vermont Bird Place Open Welcome Stake and the $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix during the opening week of competition.
For more information visit http://www.vt-summerfestival.com
$30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix – Vermont Summer Festival III
1 Devin Ryan, No Worries
2 Danielle Torano, Capitano
3 Victoria Colvin, Monsieur de Reverdy
4 Devin Ryan, Calissandro
5 Kenneth Berkley, Ax-Cent
6 Jimmy Torano, Walk About
7 Devin Ryan, Roman Saluut
8 Amanda Strain, Candy 521
9 Kenneth Berkley, Waminka
10 Jimmy Torano, Wayne R
11 Sloane Coles, Chantilly
12 Bryn Sadler, Bon Giorno
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