East Dorset, Vermont — Keri Kampsen riding Two Goals Farm’s On Top treated the crowd to a repeat performance as they took the top prize in the popular $5,000 Hunter Derby held Thursday, August 11, during the final week of the six-week Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, Vermont.
Twenty horses hunted around the Derby course designed by William Glass. The early part of the course was set with traditional hunter ring fences while the second half was comprised of log piles, skinny birch rails, and an enormous log. The course took its toll on a few, with rails coming down and some spooks and stops, but for the top 12 horses of the day, the scores were reflective of their efforts, with a cut-off score of 72. The top rounds flowed around the course, showcasing hunter sport at its best.
Kampsen and On Top showed that their previous win at this year’s Vermont Summer Festival was no fluke as they took the class with the best score in the first round, an 89, and the second best score in the second round, an 85. These types of impressive results have become second nature to Kampsen who won the ASPCA Maclay in 1997 at Madison Square Garden to top off a stellar junior career. She boasts grand prix wins as well as top tri-color ribbons at Washington, Harrisburg, Capital Challenge, and Syracuse in the hunters and jumpers. Over the last five years, she has trained students to top equitation and hunter honors as well, including several ‘Horse of the Year’ division titles.
Having only just returned to the show ring a few weeks earlier, Kampsen had capable hands showing On Top for her; Molly Braswell showed the horse in Ocala over the winter while fiancé William Meierfeld has been showing him in the Amateur Adult division. Kampsen has only stepped into the stirrup for the Derby classes. “I love and trust this horse so much,” said Kampsen of On Top. “We have been together for so long and I know him so well. He is the best.”
Riding talent runs in the Kampsen family; she is the sister of Kris Kampsen, a six goal polo player. Kris turned professional at the young age of 15 and has competed in the United States, South America, Europe, and Canada.
The $5,000 Hunter Derby series is new for 2011 and is offered each week of the Vermont Summer Festival (with the exception of week three). The competitions act as qualifying events for the New England Hunter Derby Finals to be held from August 23 to 28 at the Fieldstone Summer Showcase in Halifax, Massachusetts.
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, 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.
$5,000 NEHJA Hunter Derby – August 11, 2011
Rider - Horse - First Round - Second Round
1 Keri Kampsen On Top 89 85
2 Amanda Steege Majestic 82 89
3 Amanda Steege Duval 80 85
4 Marylisa Leffler Zivago 81 82
5 Amanda Steege Aiden 87 75
6 Patrick McGinnis Corazon 74 76
7 Lisa Rex Limone 76 73
8 Katie Cronin Sailaway 77 71
Photo: Keri Kampsen and Two Goals Farm’s On Top won the $5,000 Hunter Derby on Thursday, August 11, at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, Vermont. Photo credit - David Mullinix Photography