East Dorset, Vermont — Nina Montross of Bedford, New York, won the $1,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Jumper Classic held Saturday, August 13, at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, Vermont. Despite her young age, 12-year-old Montross is a seasoned competitor, garnering many awards in the pony hunter and pony jumper divisions. The Montross family is well-known on the horse show circuit, as all of its members compete with success.
Montross rode Voigtsdorfs Ohio, an eight-year-old Holsteiner mare, to double clear rounds to take the blue ribbon. Incredibly, Montross and her mounts have won the $1,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Jumper Classic every week of the five weeks that they have competed at the Vermont Summer Festival. “Last year she was riding ponies here, and now she is winning something every week in the big ring,” said proud mother, Laura Lee. “She showed my husband’s horse in the hunters last weekend and told me, “Mom, I don’t want to do the hunters anymore.” That is fine because this mare is so perfect, and Nina is so happy with Jimmy (Torano) as her trainer.”
Saturday’s $1,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Jumper Classic acted as the final qualifying event for children hoping to earn a starting position in Sunday’s $15,000 Vermont Celebration Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic, Presented by Parlanti.
Meanwhile, the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Jumper Classic, also held on Saturday, was the final opportunity for adult riders hoping to qualify for the $15,000 Vermont Celebration Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic, Presented by Parlanti.
On this occasion, Kaley Pratt of Gainesville, Florida, emerged victorious riding Shane. The small Dutch Warmblood gelding, owned by Hillary Simpson of Southern Pines, North Carolina, resembled a barrel racing horse as he turned on a dime and sped around the course in a time of 30.70, a full five seconds faster than the second place finisher. “He was great, but it has taken us a while to get to this point,” said Pratt of the speed and agility displayed by her mount.
Surprisingly, Alyssa Kinsey and Grisset dropped a rail to finish fourth in Saturday’s competition. However, given their domination of the High Adult Jumper division throughout the six-week Vermont Summer Festival, Kinsey and Grisset were awarded the title of circuit champion, as well as the accompanying prize, a custom-designed travel bag from Oughton Limited. “I saw this bag on the website,” said Kinsey, examining her new Oughton bag. “I really wanted this. Vermont always gives great circuit prizes. This bag is wonderful, I am so glad that I can take one home. “In fact, I am going to put it to use right now!” Kinsey laughed as she placed her hunt coat in the bag.
The six-week Vermont Summer Festival comes to a close on Sunday, August 14. In addition to the $15,000 Vermont Celebration Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic, Presented by Parlanti, the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix, sponsored by Purina Feeds, will begin at 1 p.m.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin will be in attendance for the excitement of the grand finale. 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.
Competition begins at 8 a.m. on Sunday, August 14. 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: Kaley Pratt rode Shane to victory in the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Jumper Classic on Saturday, August 13, at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, Vermont. Photo credit - David Mullinix Photography