Marylisa Leffler and Zaza Z Lock In $40,000 Kimpton Taconic Grand Prix Victory at Vermont Manchester Classic :: HITS


Marylisa Leffler and Zaza Z Lock In $40,000 Kimpton Taconic Grand Prix Victory at Vermont Manchester Classic

Manchester, VT. – July 23, 2023 – Marking the midway point of the Vermont Summer Festival, the Manchester Classic offered the $40,000 Kimpton Taconic Grand Prix on Sunday. Adding to their previous podium placings from the week, Marylisa Leffler and Zaza Z secured the win. Leffler was the fourth in the order of go with Rolling Acres’ entry, Zaza Z, and the pair produced the only clear round of the day to lead the lap of honor. 

  Marylisa Leffler and Zaza Z. Photo by Jess Windhurst.

“I've had Zaza Z for two years now, and she just gives me her heart every time she goes in,” Leffler said fondly after her win. 

The course, designed by Mark McGowan, started with a tall, wide oxer down the centerline of the ring. Riders then turned back to a diagonal line and traveled to the other side of the ring for a bending line where the middle obstacle was a vertical-oxer combination. The course concluded with a triple bar bending to a triple combination which featured an oxer-vertical-vertical challenge. The time allowed was a tight 79 seconds, making many pairs have to take inside turns to be under the time limit. 

Marylisa Leffler and Zaza Z. Photo by Jess Windhurst.

“I thought the jumps were big enough, and I thought it had some places that left you on a little bit of a half stride. I knew I could add in places if I needed, and I had enough power to get out of them. I think some of the forward lines got everybody a little bit today.”

This is not Leffler’s only podium finish for the week. She and Zaza Z were second in Wednesday's $10,000 HITS Open Prix, during which Leffler was also third with JSM Starboy, an entry of Mary Bernardo. “It's been great here. I love it.”  

David Tromp and Eldo Van De Helle. Photo by Jess Windhurst.

On Sunday, second place was secured by David Tromp and Eldo Van De Helle, owned by David Tromp Show Stables, who were the fastest 4-faulters and stopped the clock at 74.966 seconds.  Rounding out the podium places was Morgan Ward and Jiran R in a time of 77.747 seconds with 4 faults to claim the third-place honors. 

Morgan Ward and Jiran R. Photo by Jess Windhurst.

Feature events are scheduled to take place over the next two weeks. During week four, competitors can compete in the Ride & Drive, a class where a team of horse and golf cart race to the end through a series of obstacles. Week five will feature the second Vermont Team Jumper Relay, where teams of three complete a course together and have the option to participate in the costume contest. The Vermont Summer Festival is not slowing down on exciting events, and the next three weeks will be ones to remember.