East Dorset, Vermont — Jordan Stiller of Needham, Massachusetts, was crowned the winner of the Adirondack-Green Mountain Challenge at the conclusion of week two of the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT. The six-week equestrian competition is taking place at Harold Beebe Farm from July 6 through August 14, 2011.
The Adirondack-Green Mountain Challenge counts points for horse-rider combinations competing during the two-week Skidmore College Saratoga Classic Horse Shows in June and the first two weeks of the Vermont Summer Festival. The overall high point winner is awarded the Adirondack-Green Mountain Challenge Perpetual Trophy. In the end, Stiller and her pony, Bucceal Eire, topped the point standings based on her results in the Large Children’s Pony Hunter division.
Stiller, 12, competed the first week of the Skidmore College Saratoga Classic Horse Show, winning the Marshall and Sterling Children’s Hunter Classic and the Large Children’s Pony division. As a result, she was named the Grand Champion of the Children’s Hunter division for both horses and ponies.
During week one of the Vermont Summer Festival, Stiller again won the Marshall and Sterling Children’s Hunter Classic and was named the Large Children’s Pony Hunter Champion. During week two, Stiller and Bucceal Eire won all four over fences classes to once again claim the Large Children’s Pony Hunter Championship title.
In spite of her impressive results, Stiller was surprised to win the Adirondack-Green Mountain Challenge. “I always thought it was out of my reach,” said Stiller, who will be entering grade seven at Pollard Middle School in Needham, Massachusetts, this fall. “At Saratoga, I didn’t think I would do well. Then after the first week in Vermont, I felt even more pressure because I had done really well. When (Awards Coordinator) Jennifer Glass told me that I was leading after the first week in Vermont, I was worried that I was going to blow it because I was in the lead. But when my mom called me to tell me that I had won, I couldn’t believe that I had got it and had pulled it all together. It was my three most consistent shows!”
Stiller’s partner is Bucceal Eire, a 13-year-old grey Connemara gelding that she began riding last August. “He is sweet, but he can also be temperamental,” said Stiller, who treats her pony to a Quaker Oats and Honey granola bar every time he competes. “He thinks highly of himself.”
Stiller trains with Cookie DeSimone, Greg Prince, and Sarah Summers, who are based at Woodridge Farm and Dana Hall School. Bucceal Eire is stabled at Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts, which is where Stiller has trained since she was four and a half years old.
“My mom started to ride when she was 14, and she rode with Cookie,” explained Stiller, who was cheered on in Vermont by her parents, Jennifer and Marc Stiller. “When I was born, she would always take me to have pony rides on a pony named Star. Then I got my first pony, Rags. I started competing when I was five in the leadline.”
From leadline to winner of the Adirondack-Green Mountain Challenge, 12-year-old Stiller has already made great strides in her riding career.
Stiller is the second recipient of the Adirondack-Green Mountain Challenge Perpetual Trophy. In its inaugural year, the trophy was awarded to Robin Swinderman of Morriston, FL, and INXS who earned their points in the Amateur Owner Hunter 36+ division.
“We recognize that there are a lot of shared customers between our two shows, and we developed the Adirondack-Green Mountain Challenge Award to recognize excellent and consistency at both competitions,” said Ruth Lacey, Marketing Director of the Vermont Summer Festival.
Offering more than $750,000 in prize money, the Vermont Summer Festival is the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont. The first five Sundays of the Vermont Summer Festival feature a $30,000 Grand Prix at 1 p.m., culminating with the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix on Sunday, August 14. In addition to the $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, held each Friday, the weekly $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur-Owner Classics are hotly contested. New for 2011, the Vermont Summer Festival will host a $5,000 Hunter Derby each Thursday five of the six weeks.
Competition begins at 8 a.m. daily, Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children, Wednesday through Saturday. On Grand Prix Sunday, admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children. As always, 100 percent of the gate proceeds benefit the Friends Foundation for MEMS, (Manchester Elementary and Middle School).
For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region each summer. For more information about the Vermont Summer Festival, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.
Photo: Jordan Stiller, 12, of Needham, Massachusetts, and her pony, Bucceal Eire, are presented with the Adirondack-Green Mountain Challenge Perpetual Trophy by Adele Einhorn, Executive Director of the Saratoga Classic Horse Show, at the conclusion of week two of the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT. Photo credit - David Mullinix Photography