East Dorset, VT - Casey Green of Westport, CT, was named Best Child Rider on a Horse during the third week of competition at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
Green and her mount Savannah, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare, were victorious in every class in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division to earn the championship as well as the high praise of Best Child Rider. Green and Savannah are no strangers to the winner’s circle; the pair currently stands sixth in the nation for points earned in the highly competitive Junior Hunter division.
“I’ve had Savannah for five years now,” said Green. “She is my baby. She was very good in all the junior classes. She was my first and only hunter. I’ve ridden with Lainie Wimberley for eight years and she found Savannah for me when she was five. She is the best horse I could have asked for. She is really sweet in the barn and comes out the same every day, she jumps great and moves great. She is one of those once in a lifetime horses. It seems like it has been such a long time with her, but we are such a good team.
“I was very happy about the Best Child Rider Award,” continued Green. “It is nice to be recognized by the judges. There are so many great riders out there. It was a big honor. We have had great judging here, a lot of the big name judges have been here as well as great course designers, and we have great footing. I really like these Vermont shows, they are amazing. It is like a big family – everyone comes up and it is so relaxed and stress free.”
Julia Imperatore, 16, from Basking Ridge, NJ, bested a field of 20 to win the NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic. Seven young riders and their mounts completed the first round of competition fault-free to advance to the jump-off round against the clock. Imperatore turned in another clear round in the fastest time of the day, 36.870 seconds, on her big chestnut mare, K.E.C. Bombay. Imperatore and K.E.C. Bombay are trained by New Zealand Olympic rider Kirk Webby.
“I just got her last year and it took me a little bit to get used to her, but ever since then we’ve really clicked together,” said Imperatore. “She knows when we step into the ring for a big class and she is really on her game. I have been trying to qualify for both the Marshall & Sterling and the NAL Finals. I’ve been at this level for a couple of years and I think after the Finals I will move up. It would be really cool to show indoors, but then I really want to move up to the lows.”
Joan Jacobs of East Aurora, NY, and Nigel S settled had to settle for second place in the High Adult Amateur Jumpers on Friday, but the pair stepped up their game on Saturday to win the NAL/WIHS Adult Jumper Classic. From a starting field of 22, only six managed to complete the first round penalty free to advance to the final round. Four horse and rider combinations tested the course before anyone turned in a fault-free performance. Jacobs was the last rider on course and had her entire family loudly coaching from the sidelines as she sped around the track with no rails down in a time of 40.480 seconds to take the win.
“That was more exciting than the Grand Prix”, said Jacobs’ husband, Louis, who one day earlier had won the $10,000 Hickey Freeman/Bobby Jones Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets.
Jacobs and Nigel S, owned by Missy Clark and North Run, joined her husband and daughter, Charlotte, in enjoying big victories during the third week of the Vermont Summer Festival. Jacobs’ winning effort automatically qualifies her for a starting spot in the $15,000 Vermont Celebration Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic, to be held Sunday, August 15, on the final day of the six week Vermont Summer Festival.
The NAL offers a year-long Series in six divisions – Children’s Hunter, Adult Hunter presented by Cavalor, Children’s Jumper, Adult Jumper, Pony Jumper, and Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper. The Series includes classes held at hundreds of horse shows across the United States and Canada. Finals for all divisions are held at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA, in October. Riders need not be members of the NAL to compete in the qualifying classes, but only members earn points toward the year-end finals. With the annual membership fee only $35, most riders join in hopes of earning points that may qualify them for a trip to Harrisburg. For more information regarding the NAL series, including series specifications, current standings and a list of upcoming events, please call (717) 867-5643, email to NAL@Ryegate.com or visit www.ryegate.com.
The third of six weeks of competition concludes with the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix, Presented by Devoucoux, on Sunday, July 25, at 1 p.m. Located at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children Wednesday through Saturday. On Grand Prix Sunday, admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children. All gate proceeds benefit Manchester Elementary-Middle School (MEMS).
Running July 7 through August 15, 2010, the Vermont Summer Festival offers more than $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest sporting event based on purse in the state. The six-week Vermont Summer Festival culminates with the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix on Sunday, August 15. The Vermont Summer Festival is a proud member event of the Show Jumping Hall Of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL). For more information about the Vermont Summer Festival, please e-mail: email@example.com or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.
Photo: Casey Green and her horse Savannah won every class to earn the Small Junior Hunter Championship at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT. Photo credit - David Mullinix Photography