Edited Press Release
East Dorset, VT – July 15, 2022 – As week II of the Vermont Summer Festival series continues, leading jumper riders took to the ring Friday afternoon for the $10,000 SmartPak Prix. The perfect Vermont summer weather added to the beautiful scene for the day’s highlight event in the Grand Prix Ring. Following a testing first round of jumping action, Willie Tynan with two of his mounts posted the only clear rounds. Fenise produced the lone double clear of the afternoon to top the leaderboard, while Ballinteskin Joe earned the second-place prize. Tynan was also the fastest 4-faulter from the first round with Seattle, dominating the class with the top three placings.
The duo of Tynan and Fenise returned to their winning ways after winning the same event last week. “Fenise won this class last week and was first to go in today,” noted Tynan. “We had the option to either stay in or come out [for the jump-off round], so being first to go, I didn’t want to come out and have to warm up again. It has been hot, and he is really big, and I want to keep him well for Sunday, so it was easy to stay in as the first to go, and he set the pace well.”
This week’s course was designed by Canada’s Danny Foster and included many tactful elements such as a few sharp bending lines and a one-stride combination both at the beginning of the course and near the end. The combination at 10ab prevented many in the original order from moving onto the jump-off. The shortened track included multiple tight turns and opportunities to gallop and make up time.
“I had a plan going in with Fenise and it stayed the same,” explained Tynan. “If I was clear I just wanted to set the pace and worry about everyone else after. Then on my second horse [Ballinteskin Joe], if someone else was in the lead and I had a second chance, I would jump off immediately. It ended up that there was no one else clear when I went in on the second horse, so I opted to come out just in case there were no more clears so he didn’t have to jump off. My last horse [Seattle] is a young one and just had one down, but it was nice for him to finish right behind the others.”
Many other horses and riders came close, but picked up 4-faults in the first round at the last combination effort. Coming back in the middle of the pack with his second mount of three, Ballinteskin Joe, Tynan repeated his first performance success for second place as the only other clear.
Tynan was also last in the order with his third and final mount, Seattle. With only himself clear across the class, Tynan had nothing to lose. After they dropped a rail in the middle of the track, the combination flew to a speedy round one time of 71.75 seconds – making them the fastest of the 4-faulters. With his three fantastic efforts Tynan captured all three top spots in the class.
“All the horses, even the baby horses have loved showing up here in Vermont so far,” concluded Tynan. “It’s nice to get the 5-year-old and 4-year-old into the main ring because you don’t usually get that at the big shows. They get to learn the ropes a little, and there are also nice classes for the amateurs – the kids have been good as well, so it is definitely a nice show for everybody!”