East Dorset, Vermont — Alice Howland, 22, of Boston, MA, and Bucourlos won the $5,000 North American League (NAL) Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic on Sunday, July 20, at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
Howland posted one of five first round clear performances over the course designed by Ken Krome of Westminster, MD. Howland and Bucourlos, her seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Casco, returned first in the jump-off, stopping the timers in 40.79 seconds. Their time proved good enough to hold off second place finisher Saly Glassman riding KEC Pineapple Swirl, the only other pair to jump double-clear, by almost five full seconds, after they stopped the clock in 45.65 seconds.
The 2013 Vermont Summer Festival is where Howland originally spotted Bucourlos. After purchasing the striking grey gelding, the two began competing in the Low Adult Amateur division before moving up to the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner level at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, earlier this year. The step up has gone well for the pair, which Howland credits to Bucourlos’s competitive personality.
“He’s just awesome,” said Howland, who trains with Katie Cooper and Sissy Wickes at Caves Farm in Owings Mill, MD. “He tries really hard and he’s really careful. He tries his heart out. He’ll jump anything from anywhere. From the beginning, he was just super game and wanted to be clear and get around.”
Howland was pleased with how the courses played out for her on Sunday afternoon.
“All of the lines rode really well for him,” said Howland. “He has a bit of a smaller stride, and some of the bending lines were a little tight, but you can shape him really well (through the turns). My rounds went really well and the bigger ring is always helpful!”
Going into the jump-off round, Howland said her plan was to be as efficient as possible, focusing on making tight turns rather than relying on pure speed to get around the course. She set the time to beat as the first rider to go in the jump-off, and admitted she didn’t think her time would hold up.
Four other riders attempted to beat Howland and Bucourlos’s time, and while some riders were successful in bettering her time, the rails fell to keep them out of the winner’s circle. Katie Tyler and Seattle 6 sped around the course in 35.10 seconds, but a late rail saw them settle for third place.
Describing their win as a “pleasant surprise”, Howland looks forward to returning to the jumper ring during week four of the Vermont Summer Festival, which begins on Tuesday, July 22. After that, Bucourlos will enjoy a well-deserved vacation before Howland heads back to school for her senior year at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD.
The Vermont Summer Festival offers a full schedule of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition Wednesday through Sunday at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT. The $10,000 Open Welcome Stake Series, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, is held each Thursday while the week’s feature event, the $30,000 Grand Prix, takes place each Saturday at 1 p.m. The $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix will be held during the sixth and final week on Saturday, August 9.
Spotlighting the hunter competitors, the popular $5,000 3’3” NEHJA Hunter Derby series is held each Thursday, culminating in the $15,000 3’3” NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Land Rover Experience.
Competition runs weekly from Wednesday through Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m. Admission prices are $5 for adults, $3 for children from Wednesday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children. 100% of the gate proceeds benefit area libraries, including Manchester Community Library.
The Vermont Summer Festival is a proud member event of the Show Jumping Hall Of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL). Please e-mail us or visit our website for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival.
$5,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
- Alice Howland, Bucourlos
- Saly Glassman, KEC Pineapple Swirl
- Katie Tyler, Seattle 6
- Sarah Flink, Aracona Z
- Kate Ross, Que Pasa 4
- Andrea Smith, Batik
- Kate Ross, Azzaro van de Heffinck
- Heather Hooker, Perle