December 21, 2001 - Jericho, VT - ACORD (American Competition Opportunities for Riders with Disabilities) announced they will manage the inaugural New England Equestrian Festival on July 13, 2002. The horse show will be held at Freedom Farm in Jericho, VT, a full-service equestrian facility just outside of Burlington, VT. Classes will be offered to able-bodied riders AND riders with any disability.
The concept for the New England Equestrian Festival (NEEF) is to bring together able-bodied and disabled riders for individual and team competitions, and to foster an environment of camaraderie and education. This focus has never before been tried on such a large scale.
"We are hoping that this idea takes off in Vermont and can then be brought successfully to other regions of the country," said Judy Serie Nagy, ACORD Executive Director. "There has been a lot of positive feedback in New England to this show concept."
"Freedom Farm is pleased to be the host stable for the first-ever New England Equestrian Festival," stated Freedom Farm owner Sandy Nunn. "We are looking forward to hosting riders of any ability from throughout the U.S."
Riders will be able to compete in Equitation, Pleasure, Trail, Obstacle, Costume, and other classes. In addition, the New England Equestrian Festival is including many more classes for able-bodied riders, and classes that are open to all riders.
The show will also feature breed classes for Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Arabians, Draft-Crosses, Warmbloods, Gaited Horses, Color Breeds, Miniature Horses, Mules, Donkeys, and, of course, the Vermont State Horse, the Morgan. As three special features, the show will host the $400 NEEF Open Pleasure Stake, the $100 Walk, Trot/Jog Pleasure Stake, and the Bill Bennett Memorial Pleasure Class. Additionally, points from the show can count towards year-end awards for both the Vermont English Horse Association (VEHA) and the Vermont Stockhorse Association (VSA). Championship prizes in each division will be awarded.
ACORD was the equestrian organizer at the 1996 Atlanta (Georgia) Paralympic Games, and has run the Bradshaw Challenge of Champions at the U.S. Equestrian Team's Festival of Champions in Gladstone, New Jersey. For the past three years, ACORD has managed the Team Challenge at the North American Young Riders' Championships (in 1999 and 2001 in Wadsworth, Illinois, and in 2000 in Parker, Colorado). Additionally, ACORD has organized many shows exclusively for riders with any disability throughout the country.
Riders with disabilities who need to borrow horses will have Thursday and Friday (July 11 and 12) to school. An Organizational Meeting with supper will be held on Friday evening, and the show will run on Saturday, July 13. Saturday evening will feature an awards dinner and dance right on the show grounds.
Marj Kittredge of Boxford, MA has been named Horse Master for the event, while Sandy Dota of Bangor, PA will serve as Technical Delegate. Horse show photographers will be Catherine and Tom Knight of Centerport, NY. Clifton Sudberry of Victorville, CA will judge the main ring. Hallie McEvoy of Bolton Valley, VT is the local manager, and will be recruiting horses for riders who need to borrow a mount.
The show site is an easy drive from several states, and the Burlington International Airport is convenient and accessible. Hotels are available in several price ranges.