Saugerties, N.Y., June 13, 2005 -- With only one time fault to speak of in the second round of Sunday's competition, Jimmy Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Marcel out-jumped 14 competitors to win the $150,000 Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship at HITS-on-the-Hudson June 12.
Jeffrey Welles and Armani finished second with a total of six faults for the three legs of competition, which started June 8. Amy Momrow and Summer Storm took third.
Although thunder rolled throughout the Hudson Valley, and heavy rain threatened in unseasonably hot and humid weather, Marcel never wavered. Torano and the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding completed the first round in 81.9 seconds and had one time fault in round two.
"I just really tried to save my horse," said Torano. "In the schooling area [on Sunday], I jumped very little...He's new from Europe and he's not totally acclimated, especially to this weather because it's really hot over here now. I tried to do as little as possible and save him for the competition."
Torano cited the tall verticals on the Steve Stephens-designed course as the toughest challenge.
"Steve set some very tall verticals today," he said. "I thought 'I've really got to place him just right at these tall verticals' because I didn't want him to get there and die out off the ground, especially in the second round. There was a line on the far side of the ring, four to five, and fence five was a really, really tall vertical...A couple of people were worried about the combinations, but he actually jumps combinations really well."
It was family day for the Toranos as Jimmy's wife, Danielle, won the $10,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic just before finishing fourth in the Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship. Check out the final scores from the Championship.