Katherine “Kate” Venmar, daughter of Rick and Marianne Venmar of Barre, Vermont, continues to earn national and regional recognition in the competitive equestrian discipline of dressage. Venmar, a 17-year-old student at Spaulding High School, has returned home from back-to-back successes in competitions in Darien, Connecticut. With her horse, Firaz Boland, an 11-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, she has picked up Regional Championship titles every year since 1999.
Her successes this year included winning the Dressage in the Fourth Level Division at the North Eastern Junior Championship with Firaz Boland. Fourth Level is the highest level class offered at this national competition. Her winning score of 67% was the the highest at 4th Level. And Venmar doesn’t forget the details, either. She also won the “best braids” award for her spotless grooming job.
Her second weekend of competition at the Darien, Connecticut, facility was the United States Dressage Federation Region 8 Championships. One of only seven Vermonters who qualified and competed at this regional competition, Venmar brought home a Reserve Champion ribbon for Fourth Level competition against all junior riders in the New England region. She won the USA Eq Dressage Seat Medal Semi Finals for riders 14-18 over 7 other competitors, an achievement which now puts her in the running to compete for the National Championship. In direct competition with both adult and professional riders, Venmar also placed fourth overall in the East Coast Riders Cup.
In her first year of competition with a new horse, The White Knight, Venmar earned the East Coast Riders Cup award for all Training Level Young Riders. The White Knight, owned by Barbara Curcio of Charlotte, Vermont, is a 7-year-old grey Connemara gelding.
Venmar actively participates in the full-time training programs of each horse. In order to continue this intense level of training during the Vermont winter, she follows the show circuit in southern Florida from January through May. Continuing her high school classes while in Florida through the use of the internet and local tutors, Venmar keeps up with her classmates and course of study.
Venmar is a long-time student of Ruth Hogan-Poulsen, a Plainfield, Vermont-based FEI dressage rider, trainer and instructor. Hogan-Poulsen, long-listed for the 1998 Pan American Games, has earned numerous year-end awards from Training Level through FEI. Venmar also joins Hogan-Poulsen, daughter of Independent gubernatorial candidate Con Hogan, in organizing and attending campaign events during the current election cycle.