Alexandra Worthington and De L’Oiseliere Dominate $40,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Grand Prix at Vermont Summer Festival
Week I of competition has come to a close at the Vermont Summer Festival, with several of the country’s top horse and rider combinations gathering to compete during Sunday afternoon’s $40,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Grand Prix. After a technical first round, four pairs advanced to the tiebreaker, where Alexandra Worthington claimed the winning title aboard De L’Oiseliere as the only duo to produce another faultless effort.
“I love Vermont – I actually haven’t been here in probably seven years, but I did my first High Junior classic here when I was 15,” noted Worthington. “I really wanted to put it on the calendar this year – it’s such a nice horse show. I have my younger horse here too, and you can jump in a bunch of classes. The town is beautiful, the facility is beautiful and we just love it here – we love every HITS Horse Show! We will be going to Saugerties next.”
The grand prix track set by Puerto Rico’s Hector Loyola asked many questions of the riders. In the first round, a technical pair of double combinations across the middle of the expansive grand prix ring caused errors for several in the original order. Four riders successfully cleared all 14 jumping efforts and qualified for the jump-off. The second round started with the same first line, but then allowed for riders to be as neat and tidy as they wanted for the rest of the rollbacks. Riders took full advantage of space to gallop, and all four opted to do one less stride racing towards home.
“I thought there were parts of it that were very careful, like the line in the middle proved to be quite challenging for most people, but [De L’Oiseliere] is a very, very careful horse and he can come back quickly and jump from a deep distance, so it really suited him well. He shined today,” smiled Worthington.