The Vermont Summer Festival Returns for 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012
Posted by Jennifer Ward, Starting Gate Communications


East Dorset, Vermont — The Vermont Summer Festival will return to East Dorset, Vermont, for six consecutive weeks of competition running July 4 through August 12, 2012.  New England’s largest hunter/jumper competition, the 2012 Vermont Summer Festival will offer more than $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont. 
New for 2012, the first five Saturdays of the Vermont Summer Festival will feature a $30,000 Grand Prix.  During week six, the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix will be held on Saturday, August 11.  The weekly $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, will now be held each Thursday.

For junior and amateur show jumping competitors, a $10,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic will be the highlight each week, while week six will feature a $15,000 Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic.

Hunter competitors will enjoy more time in the spotlight in 2012.  The hugely popular $5,000 3'3" Hunter Derby will be held each Thursday for the first five weeks, and week three is a World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) member event.  Based on the tremendous success of the hunter derbies during their inaugural year in 2011, Vermont Summer Festival show organizers have added a $15,000 Hunter Derby for week six, sponsored by Vermont-based equestrian luggage manufacturer, Oughton Lmited.  In order to qualify for the $15,000 Hunter Derby, the rider or owner must compete in one of the $5,000 3'3" Hunter Derbies during the first five weeks of competition.

The Vermont Summer Festival prides itself on using the best course designers in the business to set the tracks in the all-weather grand prix ring.  Popular Canadian course designers Chris Brandt and Olympic Individual Silver Medalist Michel Vaillancourt will return in 2012, as will Alan Wade of Ireland.  American course designers Eric Hasbrouck, Ken Krome and Steve Stephens will each have a week in the grand prix ring.

For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont.  Known for its wide variety of area amenities including a large range of lodging options, restaurants to suit every taste, outdoor activities, and lots and lots of shopping, Manchester-area businesses warmly welcome horse show competitors to the area each summer.

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: or visit

Photo: Darragh Kenny of Ireland, pictured riding Wannahave, is a frequent grand prix competitor at the Vermont Summer Festival. Photo credit - David Mullinix Photography