Articles: Press Release
Holland's Wilhelm Grave Guides Oselli to Victory in $30,000 Otter Creek
Grand Prix Sponsored by Devoucoux at the 2006 Vermont Summer Festival
Mary Hilton for Phelps Media Group, Inc., International
at (561) 753-3389 or at email@example.com
East Dorset, Vermont - July 23, 2006 - Wilhelm Grave, 23, of The
Netherlands aboard Oselli topped a field of 21 horses to win the $30,000
Otter Creek Grand Prix Sponsored by Devoucoux held Sunday, July 23, at
the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, Vermont.
Following Saturday's torrential downpours, the skies cleared and the
grounds were dry and breezy for Sunday's main event which wrapped up
Week 2, the 'Manchester Classic', of the five-week Vermont Summer
Festival, which saw nearly 1,100 horses competing. Show jumping action
continues next week with the 'Valley Classic' (July 26-30).
Grand Prix winners Grave and Oselli, owned by Jimmy and Danielle Torano,
were enjoying a happy reunion. Oselli is a 10-year-old gray Dutch
Warmblood mare by Carthago that Grave's father bought as a foal, and
that Grave trained from the beginning as a show jumper. The Toranos
acquired her from Grave during the 2006 Winter Equestrian Festival in
Wellington, Florida. "She's a little bit of a character but she has all
the potential to jump the big classes," said Grave who arrived in
Vermont on Thursday and showed Oselli twice before Sunday's Grand Prix.
"She has improved so much within a half year. Jimmy put a lot of work
into her and actually, for today's victory, all the credit goes to Jimmy
and his staff because they put a lot of good work in her. I'm happy that
it turned out so good!"
Course designer and Canadian Olympic Silver Medalist, Michel
Vaillancourt, set a first round course of 13 jumps including a triple
combination at Fence 7 and a double at Fence 9 with the time allowed set
at 84 seconds. "The American way of showing is totally different from
Europe, but I like the easy-going way," said Grave noting that it
allowed riders to move their horses up a level. "It was a technical
class. The course was not huge but it was big enough. You had to have
good control of your horse until the end. The time was not too long - it
was quite short."
Grave actually overcame a challenge in round one that had the crowd
gasping when, heading to the double at 9AB, Oselli put on the brakes.
"The mare gave 200% in the triple combination at 7, and over the next
oxer, I might have been too rough holding her and she backed up a bit
going to the double, but I got her going again and she was okay," Grave
explained. "Quality-wise, she's so careful. I'm so happy with the mare.
Maybe if you were unlucky you'd have a rail coming in, but today I was
Seven horses went clean to qualify for the jump-off. Vaillancourt
shortened the track to eight efforts with one double combination and set
the time allowed at 46 seconds.
First to go was Canada's Christi McQuaker aboard her mare Ella, the pair
that won the Open NAL Speed III class on Thursday, but it was not their
day - they racked up eight jumping faults and finished well over the
time allowed in 51.800 seconds to end up in sixth place. Christine
McCrea riding Laddidor for owner Candy Tribble & Windsor Show Stables
was next to go and picked up the pace considerably, breaking the beam in
39.651 seconds, which proved to be the fastest time, but a rail down
cost the duo four faults and they ended up in third place.
Grave and Oselli were the third combination on course and the first pair
to go clear, setting the pace at 41.011 seconds. Grave once again
benefited from 'Lady Luck'. "After fence number two, Oselli stumbled in
the landing and I lost my rein," he pointed out. "For the rest of the
course, I didn't want to go and take all the risks because of what
happened in the first round. I just had a clear round with a lot of
pace. After she jumped clear, I didn't expect to win. I was happy with
the way she jumped in the jump-off. It was my lucky day."
John Brennan aboard San Remo went next for owner North Run and Missy
Clark, but ran into trouble at the double and was eliminated, placing
seventh. Jimmy Torano, who rode four horses in the class, qualified only
one for the jump-off, Ralvesther owned by SCNC Investments, Inc., but
tumbled lumber twice for eight faults in 41.375 seconds to finish fifth.
The last two riders gave the leader a run for his money. Evan Coluccio
riding Champigny for owner Alex Carl beat the leader's time, clocking in
at 40.842, but had the heartbreaking last rail down and finished in
fourth place. McCrea, back in the ring on her second mount, Costa, for
Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables, posted the only other clear
round in the jump-off, but was not quite fast enough, stopping the
timers at 41.60 seconds, which was good enough for second place.
For his victory, Grave was awarded $9,000 in prize money, a custom oil
painting of his dog or horse to be painted by artist Terry Lindsey, and
a crystal etched trophy. Patrick Legros, representing Devoucoux,
participated in the presentations. Legros was especially pleased to
award McCrea her red ribbon for second place as she was riding in the
saddle she had purchased from him one day earlier!
Grave, who met the Toranos while he was working for Hank Nooren, chef
d'equipe of the Swedish Team, has been doing business with them for two
years, and in addition to Oselli, sold them Ralvesther and Marlo, two
spectacular mares that also contested the Grand Prix. Grave said that
the Toranos invited him to Vermont, and he arrived not expecting to
ride. "I wanted to meet new people, see how the horses are doing that I
sold, and have a good time for a few days with Jimmy and Danielle. I did
not have at all the idea to ride here in the Grand Prix or to win, not
even for one second, in my mind!" As proof, Grave noted that all his
riding attire belonged to Jimmy, except for his white breeches.
Following his first trip to Vermont, Grave is getting back on the plane
for Holland on Monday quite pleased. "I'm glad that it happened and I
won it," he beamed. "It's fun!"
Featuring more than $650,000 in prize money, the Vermont Summer Festival
includes a $10,000 Mini Prix each Friday and, for the first four weeks
of competition, a $30,000 Sunday Grand Prix. The 2006 Vermont Summer
Festival closes with the grand finale, the $50,000 Vermont Summer
Celebration Grand Prix on Sunday, August 13. The Vermont Summer Festival
is also a proud member event of the Show Jumping Hall Of Fame, the
Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL).
For more information about the 2006 Vermont Summer Festival, please
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com
. For full show results, visit=20