By Kate Pettersen and Sabrina Brashares for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Competition for the Green Conformation Hunter division wrapped up on Thursday in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. Jimmy Torano, who was also celebrating his birthday, rode Isalou, Inc.’s Laskano to top honors with three firsts, a second, a third, and a seventh place ribbon.
Torano, of Wellington, FL, has had the ride on the nine-year-old Westphalian gelding by Los Angeles since last April. Torano and his good friend and client, Daryl Portela, purchased Laskano last year from Emil Spadone in Ocala, FL.
“The horse just wants to win. He doesn’t want to let you down,” described Torano. “He actually won a Green 3’6” class right before this, so he won three classes in a row today. He has won so many classes for me in the professional divisions, and also for Daryl in the amateur divisions. He is just an easy horse.”
Torano piloted Laskano to win both over fences classes on Thursday, and the pair also took home the blue ribbon in the model.
“I really let him gallop today. There was a long run to a single oxer, and I really galloped to that,” explained Torano. “Even when I went in, I immediately picked up a canter and started galloping to the first jump in both classes and I think that got the judge’s attention.”
The duo is looking forward to next week, World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Week 6, and will hopefully earn themselves a spot in the $50,000 WCHR Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular. Torano also plans to show Laskano in the USHJA International Hunter Derbies coming up this season.
“I am planning to show him at Devon and Derby Finals,” commented Torano. “I’m really going to try to save him for the big classes.”
Michael Murphy, of Apopka, FL, and Kimberly Stewart’s Crush received the reserve champion title in the division. The pair earned two firsts, two seconds, a third place.