Ava Lindsay had plenty to celebrate on Sunday, July 14, after winning the $2,500 Marshall and Sterling Adult Amateur Jumper Classic with Commander Tom at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
In addition to claiming the win, Lindsay, who trains with Lisa Rex of Somerset Farm, also finished third with All In One. Somerset Farm secured a top three sweep of the class with Christina Cohan taking second with Sascha, owned by Darren Graziano. The class marked the end of the second week of competition at the Vermont Summer Festival, which kicks off week three on July 16 and will run through August 11 at Harold Beebe Farm.
Lindsay of New York City, NY, was thrilled to finish alongside barnmate Cohan. Competition with her fellow Somerset Farm riders is always kept friendly.
“It was really fun! Yesterday, we were joking that we wanted to finish first, second, third and then it actually happened! We all love and support each other. When one of us beats the other, it doesn’t matter, were still so happy for each other,” Lindsay explained.
Lindsay was equally excited for Commander Tom, the 13-year-old warmblood gelding she has owned for the past three years.
“We’ve only won once before, so this is a big deal for him. He’s so proud of himself. It feels really good to win this class, but I’m happier for him,” Lindsay admitted.
Lindsay described her beloved bay gelding as a horse with plenty of heart who gives his all in the show ring.
“He’s really fun. He’s always up in front of me and wants to win all the time. You can tell when he gets mad if he hits a rail and when he really wants to go clear,” Lindsay described.
Lindsay has competed in the Marshall and Sterling Adult Amateur Classic for the past year and is pleased to see the pieces falling into place for her and Commander Tom.
“I can see my progress over the last year. In the beginning, I used to be kind of messy and now I feel a lot more together,” she said.
Lindsay first attempted the jump-off with her other mount, All In One, before returning to the ring for what would be her winning round aboard Commander Tom.
“My plan was to win!” Lindsay joked. “I wanted to go fast but play it safe. I made a couple of mistakes with my first horse that I wanted to correct. I probably made the time on the way to the in-and-out. To stay on that inside turn, it was really important to keep him in front of me so I didn’t do a two in the one stride like I did in my first round.”
Commander Tom and the rest of the Somerset horses will have two weeks off before returning to East Dorset for the final two weeks of the six-week Vermont Summer Festival. Lindsay always looks forward to the trip, thanks to the picturesque showgrounds and friendly competitors and management.