Torano rides Sans Soucie Z to victory

EAST DORSET — Jimmy Torano of Florida won the $10,000 G.H. Bass Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, on Thursday during the final week of the Vermont Summer Festival which runs through Aug. 13 at Harold Beebe Farm.

Gerry Briggs, of Tennessee, acting as course designer for the sixth and final week of the Vermont Summer Festival, saw five horse-rider combinations finish clear over his first-round course to advance to the jump-off. With a fault-free ride in the jump-off, Torano posted the winning time of 38.80 seconds riding Sans Soucis Z, a 14-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Caroline Lloyd.

First to go in both rounds, David Jennings of Tennessee returned to the Vermont Summer Festival for week six, having won the $10,000 Manchester Designer Outlets Welcome Stake during the first week of competition on July 6. This time, Jennings settled for second riding his winning mount from week one, Donegue, with a clear effort in 40.04 seconds. He also took third riding Blue Moon 22 following a faultless jump-off ride in 41.18 seconds.

Amateur competitor Danielle Torano of Florida joined her husband in the top five with a clear jump-off round in a time of 45.86 seconds for fourth place riding Umberto Ter Wilgen Z. Riding yet another mount, Aventador, Jennings also took fifth place.

Jimmy Torano took over the ride on Sans Soucis Z during the 2017 winter season and catch rides the gelding for trainers Missy Clark and John Brennan of North Run in Warren, Vt. Clark called Torano the day after he won the $216,000 U.S. Open FEI Grand Prix CSI3 at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show last September and asked him to take over the reins.

"This horse has a lot of experience and it has been great to have another one in the big classes," said Torano of Sans Soucis Z, a mount previously campaigned by 2004 Olympic Champion Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil, as well as Ireland's Darragh Kenny, who piloted the gelding as a member of the winning Irish team in the 2015 Furusiyya FEI Nations' Cup at the Dublin Horse Show. "He is a very competitive, careful, fast horse and, little by little, he has stepped up for me."

Having not jumped a single fence since the Lake Placid Horse Show earlier this summer, Sans Soucis Z has now won two classes in a row at the Vermont Summer Festival, having also topped the $5,000 Open Jumper class on Wednesday.

"He stayed in light work for about six weeks since we last competed, but he came back winning right away," noted Torano, who will pilot Sans Soucis Z in the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix on Saturday. "He is in good form and felt great today. I could turn back on some of those fences and he always tried to stay out of the way."

Torano is piloting several horses for Clark and Brennan during the final week of the Vermont Summer Festival, explaining, "Riding their horses has helped protect my top horse, Day Dream, and keeps me in the ring to stay sharp for the other horses in my own barn. It's a great feeling to have so many horses at the top level right now."

In addition to his share of the prize money and a commemorative scrim from Mona's Monograms, Torano was presented with a $1,000 gift card to the G.H. Bass outlet store in Manchester.

For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont for great competition in an ideal summer setting. Offering more than $750,000 in prize money over the course of its six-week run, the Vermont Summer Festival is New England's largest hunter/jumper competition as well as the state's richest sporting event based on purse. Outside the show ring, exhibitors are immersed in the charm of Vermont's shopping, dining, and outdoor activities.

Competition at the 2017 Vermont Summer Festival concludes on Sunday, and begins each day at 8 a.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children from Wednesday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $9 for adults and $5 for children with 100 percent of all gate proceeds benefiting the Manchester Community Library, Meals on Wheels of Bennington County, and the Rotary Club of Manchester.

For more information on the Vermont Summer Festival, visit

$10,000 G.H. Bass Welcome Stake results

1.     Jimmy Torano, Sans Soucis Z                         

2.     David Jennings, Donegue                         

3.     David Jennings, Blue Moon 22                         

4.     Danielle Torano, Umberto Ter Wilgen Z          

5.     David Jennings, Aventador                              

6.     Lauren Fischer, Rissoa d'Ag Bois Margot          

7.     Jimmy Torano, Casa de la Marta Bay          

8.     Amanda Strain, Casino Royale


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