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Press Release


Jimmy Torano and Lord Franco, winners in the 1.30m Jumpers at the Touranment of Champions at the Tampa Equestrian Festival.

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Jimmy Torano Wins on Opening Day of Tournament of Champions at Tampa Equestrian Festival

Written by: Jennifer Wood
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG)
Release Date: 2008-04-01

Tampa, FL - April 1, 2008 - On a sunny Tuesday at the Tampa Equestrian Festival on the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center show grounds, rider Jimmy Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, took the top two places in the 1.30m Jumpers. This week of competition, the Tournament of Champions, runs from April 1-5 and is the last of three weeks in the Tampa Equestrian Festival. The highlight event of the festival is the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, presented by The Tampa Tribune and Sweetbay Supermarket, at the Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, April 5, at 7 p.m.

Torano received first and second places in today’s 1.30m Jumpers. He rode Lord Franco for Gigi Stetler of RV Sales of Broward to the win, and he rode SCNC Investments’ Magic Cruise to second place. The course today was designed by Philip DeVita of Apopka, FL, and was a Time First Jump-off format. Six riders made it clear through the first round to continue to the jump-off. Torano and Lord Franco went fifth in the class and held on to the lead throughout the class.

Torano has only ridden Lord Franco for a week. The horse had been showing at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. Torano showed the chestnut gelding for the first time last week, where they received first and second place ribbons. “I don’t really know the horse, but he’s been really good,” Torano acknowledged. “He feels really confident and solid.”

“When they bought him, he was doing the 1.50m. When he gets more fit and I get used to him, little by little I hope to have him back up to the 1.50m this summer,” he added.

Torano has ridden Magic Cruise, a Belgian mare by Cruising, for a year. They received two second places last week at the Tampa Equestrian Festival. “She’s a horse we have to sell; a really nice mare.”

Of the course, Torano commented, “You had to be a little careful. I thought Phil did a really nice job with the course. It was a different flavor, which was nice.”

The jumpers continue their competition tomorrow at the Tournament of Champions. The feature event is the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup, which is the final qualifying event for the Budweiser American Invitational.

Tickets for the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational are still available. Advance ticket prices are $25 in the white section, $35 in the blue section, and $40 in the red section. An Advance Family 4-pack is available for $70 in the white section and $125 in the blue section (Prices higher day of show: $30, $40, $45, $85, $140). Group prices for 20 or more people are available with advance purchase only. They are $17 each in the white section and $30 each in the blue section. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster 813-287-8844, 727-898-2100 or

For more information on the Tampa Equestrian Festival and the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, please visit

Final Results: 1.30m Jumpers
1. Lord Franco, Jimmy Torano, RV Sales of Broward: 0/0/35.321
2. World Cruise, Jimmy Torano, SCNC Investments: 0/0/35.894
3. Go Play, Holly Shepherd, Dr. Ken and Selma Garber: 0/0/36.831
4. El Campeon’s Tosca, Will Simpson, El Campeon Farms: 0/0/37.239
5. Quilmes, Holly Shepherd, Sarah Patterson: 0/4/38.175
6. Narina, Will Simpson, Linda Starkman: 0/4/41.031
7. Alina, Mary Lisa Leffler, Alina Group: 4/69.418
8. Crabamboli, Michael Morrissey: 4/70.045

Photo Credit: Jimmy Torano and Lord Franco, winners in the 1.30m Jumpers at the Touranment of Champions at the Tampa Equestrian Festival. Photo © 2008 Jennifer Wood/PMG. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.


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