East Dorset, Vermont – The next generation of grand prix horses took center stage during the first three weeks of the 2012 Vermont Summer Festival horse show, running July 4 through August 12 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Five-Year-Old, Six-Year-Old and Seven and Eight-Year-Old horses competed head-to-head against horses the same age in the grand prix ring each Thursday for the first half of the Vermont Summer Festival. The Young Jumper classes provided riders with an opportunity to expose their horses to a higher level of competition, helping to gauge each horse’s potential to move further up the ranks.
Caitlyn Shiels of Sheffield, MA, used the thee-week Young Jumper series at the Vermont Summer Festival to do just that. She won the Six, Seven and Eight-Year-Old class during the opening week of competition with S & L Downtown, a seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Indoctro, owned by True North Stables.
“I purchased him as a five-year-old,” explained Shiels. “I’ve been bringing him along slowly since then, so classes like these really help. I’m hoping to jump him higher by the end of the season and, eventually, I’d love to make him my grand prix horse.”
Ali Wolff of New Albany, OH, won the Six, Seven and Eight-Year-Old class during weeks two and three aboard Casall IV, a seven-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Blacklick Bend Farm. She also placed third both weeks riding another Blacklick Bend Farm horse, Chambo, an eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding.
Amanda Flint of Lebanon, NJ, won the Five-Year-Old class during week one riding VDL Coverboy, a bay Dutch Warmblood gelding sired by Veron and owned by the Coverboy Group. “We purchased him last year at an auction in Ocala, FL,” explained Flint. “He’s still a little fresh some days but overall, he’s been performing very well and winning a lot. We’re very pleased with him so far.”
Flint and VDL Coverboy finished second during week two in the Five-Year-Old class. One of Flint’s students, Maria van Buskirk of Chester, NJ, claimed victory that week aboard her horse Ra, a bay Oldenburg gelding by Clay.
Devin Ryan of Long Valley, NJ, took the win during week three riding Tailwind, a selle francais gelding he owns in partnership with Barbara Rowland. Germaine Edelmann of Rexford, NY, captured second aboard Hey Joe, a Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by her Blue River Farm.
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 largest “AA” rated hunter/jumper horse show in New England, the six-week competition attracts the best athletes, including Olympic medalists, from across the country and around the globe.
Competition begins at 8 a.m. daily, Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children. All of the gate receipts benefit the a number of Manchester area non-profit organizations, including the Mark Skinner Library, Friends Foundation for MEMS, Community Food Cupboard, and Second Chance Animal Center.
For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont. 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).
Photos: Caitlyn Shiels and S&L Downtown finished first in the Six, Seven and Eight-Year-Old Young Jumper class during the opening week of the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT; Amanda Flint and VDL Coverboy won the Five-Year-Old Young Jumper class during week one of the Vermont Summer Festival, and placed second during week two. Photo by David Mullinix Photography