Lexington, Kentucky, USA. – July 28, 2018 – The crowds came to cheer on top athletes at the Kentucky Horse Park and were not disappointed by the $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix on Saturday. After a field of 35-horse and rider combinations entered the ring, only five returned for a competitive jump-off. Veteran professional, Jimmy Torano, piloted Ilan Feder’s gelding, Glasgow De Muze, to the win in a time of 40.203 seconds, narrowly beating another favorite, Aaron Vale, on his mount Major who crossed the timers with a speedy 41.557. Torano took home the prestigious grand prix win as well as the Envisian Leading Rider Award.
The Rolex Stadium was filled to the brim with spectators who came to the venue to participate in Hats Off Day, which celebrates the impact the horse has had on the state of Kentucky. The crowd was vibrant and cheered excitedly when Sydney Shulman and the first of her two rides, Villamoura, produced the first clear round. Vale, who entered the ring after Shulman, wasted no time in producing his own clear round and guaranteeing the crowd a jump-off. The challenging course, designed by Bobby Murphy, did not allow for another clear round until Torano, followed by Katy Abrahamson, and later Sharn Wordley.
Torano, who has been a prominent equestrian and equestrian sports commentator, only took over the ride on Glasgow De Muze a few months ago, when fellow professional, Ilan Feder, called to let him know that the gelding was on his way to his farm. The 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood (Andiamo x Parco) is no stranger to the winner’s circle, just recently taking home the blue ribbon in the Open Jumper division at the Lake Placid Horse Show as well as top finishes at the Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Aaron Vale (USA) & Major
Returning for the jump-off Shulman set a blistering pace only to have an unfortunate rail at the last fence. Vale, who is known to be almost unbeatable in the Rolex Arena, laid down a feirce ride, besting Shulman and forcing Torano to leave it all on the line. Torano, who has represented the United States in multiple FEI World Cup Finals and was a member on several Nations Cup teams, masterfully navigated the short course to produce a time that proved unbeatable by Abrahamson or Wordley.
Jimmy Torano (USA) Glasgow De Muze with Representatives of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital
The sponsor for tonight’s class, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital was also a leading sponsor of Hats Off Day. Founded in Kentucky, Rood & Riddle has grown to become one of the premier veterinary hospitals in the world and works on equine athletes of all disciplines. Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital veterinarians and staff were on hand to watch the show jumping action and present Torano with his commemorative glass trophy.
Brian Lookabill presenting Jimmy Torano (USA) with the Envisian Leading Rider Award
Due to his strong performance during this week’s Kentucky Summer Horse Show, Torano was also awarded the Envisian Leading Rider Award, presented by Envisian Products, LLC.
From the Winner’s Circle
Jimmy Torano – $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix winner
On Glasgow De Muze:
“This is a horse owned by Ilan Ferder. He called me up about a month and half ago and said ‘I’m going to send you a horse tomorrow.’ We’ve been really successful. The horse is 12 years old and he’s got a lot of experience. This is my fourth grand prix win on him. I won a couple of weeks ago in Lake Placid and he’s just a real winner. If you get in the jump-off, you have a pretty good shot. He’s very fast and he’s very careful. I have to thank Ilan for sending me this horse. He’s a great horse to have in my barn.”
On his plan:
“I walked my course, I made my plan and I stuck to it. I knew I had all fast riders in the jump-off. I thought Sharn [Wordley] was saving his horse for the WEG (World Equestrian Games), but everyone else was deadly fast. I watched Aaron [Vale] go and I thought, ‘I can’t let up anywhere. I have to go all out. I actually felt after the second jump I was behind Aaron and I had to play a little catch-up, but then I ended up from fence number 2 to 3, I left out a stride there. I turned home and in the last line everyone was doing ten [strides] and I did nine, so I had to play a little catch-up but I left strides out where other people didn’t.”
“This is a fantastic venue and it has the best footing in our country. They know how to keep it up and maintain it. The stadium and the crowd is unbelievable. Hugh Kincannon and the management do a great job. They have a system and they’ve done it for years.”
On the Envisian Leading Rider Award:
“I have their product in my barn in Wellington and I have it in my horse trailers. I’m a strong believer in it. I really push that product a lot because I believe in it. My horses seem to like it.”
Bobby Murphy – $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix course designer
On the course:
“There were no areas that caused specific difficulty – it was spread all over. I think it was a good class with five clean and quite a few with just 4 faults. Everything was calculated – every meter, every small amount of space is calculated, and those technicalities you can see play out in some of the rails.”
On his future plans:
“I’m focusing on FEI and jumper courses now. I’m really getting into the mathematical formulas of course designing now. I think a mixture of Maclay championships and back when I was focusing more on hunter derbies – I think all of that has really together now. I’m starting to take all of that data and I’m pushing it out now to my designs in the jumper ring. I’ve learned a lot over the years- Maclay Finals probably has as big part of all of these technicalities. Working with McLain Ward, Chris Kappler, Robert Ridland, and all of the important judges each year, you really learn about distances. I think the years of that kind of course designing has helped me to create a signature style.”
$50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Jimmy Torano (USA) & Glasgow De Muze / Jimmy Torano / USA / 0 | 77.882 / 0 | 40.203
2. Aaron Vale (USA) & Major / 0 | 78.808 / 0 | 41.557
3. Sharn Wordley (NZL) & Casper / 0 | 75.896 / 3 | 49.180
4. Sydney Shulman (USA) & Villamoura / 0 | 75.009 / 4 | 41.483
5. Kady Abrahamson (USA) & Boudika Ideal Home / 0 | 76.527 / 4 | 43.051
6. David O’Brien (IRL) & Kirschwasser SCF / 2 | 81.120
7. McKayla Langmeier (USA) & Iliano Van D’abe / 4 | 74.979
8. Christoph Schroeder (GER) & D’ivraie / 4 | 75.733
9. Kady Abrahamson (USA) & Bugatti / Kady Abrahamson / USA / 4 | 76.016
10. Liza Finsness (USA) & Shiver / Liza Finsness / USA / 4 | 77.641
11. David Oberkircher (USA) & Upper / David Oberkircher / USA / 4 | 77.923
12. Charlie Jacobs (USA) & Cassinja S / Charlie Jacobs / USA / 4 | 78.687
Source: Press Release by Rebecca Walton / Phelps Media Group for Kentucky Horse Shows
Photo: © Lenore Phillips / Phelps Media Group