East Dorset, Vermont — Hillary Dobbs of Sussex, NJ, won the $3,000 NAL Open Speed competition riding Marengo during the sixth and final week of competition at the Vermont Summer Festival Horse Show. The largest ‘AA’ rated hunter-jumper horse show held in New England, the Vermont Summer Festival is a six-week competition taking place from July 11 to August 19, 2007, in East Dorset, VT.
Run under a format where the fastest clear round wins, Thursday’s $3,000 NAL Open Speed was all about speed. Course designer Kenny Krome set a twisting track where tight turns were rewarded by seconds shaved off the clock, and a fallen rail resulted in a four second time penalty. The fastest of the 23 entries proved to be Dobbs and Marengo who stopped the clock in 56.10 seconds, bucking as he passed through the timers, which was considerably quicker than runner-up Christine McCrea of East Windsor, CT, whose time was 58.97 seconds riding Rioletto.
"I had gone earlier on Lotus and although he took the early lead, I knew that my time was beatable," noted Dobbs who, in addition to winning, also finished fourth with a time of 62.04 seconds riding VDL Lotus Excel. "I knew what I had to do on Marengo, who is a speed demon. He is quick to turn and quick across the ground. His specialty is speed classes."
In addition to winning prize money and NAL points for her victory, Dobbs also received a unique fine art equestrian portrait printed on a 40” x 60” canvas, generously donated by Raphael Photography of Manchester, VT.
Dobbs purchased Marengo, a nine-year-old bay gelding, from Norman Dello Joio earlier this year. The pair has quickly formed a partnership, and has competed throughout the duration of the six-week Vermont Summer Festival, with the exception of week four when Dobbs rested her horses. One of the advantages of competing at the Vermont Summer Festival for Dobbs is the close proximity to Warren, VT, where she has trained with Missy Clark and John Brennan for the past five years.
"I love this show, I have been coming here since I started riding with Missy and John," said the 19-year-old daughter of CNN television personality Lou Dobbs, who placed third riding Marengo in the $30,000 Manchester and the Mountains Grand Prix on August 12. "The competition is stiffer than ever this year, and I am getting Grand Prix experience."
On the final weekend of the Vermont Summer Festival, Dobbs will compete in Friday’s $10,000 BCBG Max Azria Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, as well as the grand finale, the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix, on Sunday, August 19.
The North American League (NAL) runs season-long series in six hunter-jumper divisions – Adult Hunter presented by Practical Horseman, Children’s Hunter, Children’s Jumper, Adult Jumper, Pony Jumper and Open Jumper Speed. Each series culminates with a championship final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA, in October. Riders need not be members of the NAL to compete in any qualifying classes, but only current members earn points toward year-end finals. For more information, including a list of qualifying competitions and results, please see the Ryegate Show Services website at www.Ryegate.com.
For the first time, the Vermont Summer Festival is pleased to offer live video streaming of all five competition rings for those who cannot attend the horse show in person. Visit www.livebroadcast.tv or www.vt-summerfestival.com for more information.
Now in its 14th year at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT, the Vermont Summer Festival offers a total of $750,000 in prize money throughout the six weeks of competition, making it the richest sporting event in the state. Each week features a $10,000 Friday Open Welcome Stake, sponsored by Manchester Designer Outlets, and a $30,000 Sunday Grand Prix. The grand finale of the six-week Vermont Summer Festival is the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix on Sunday, August 19 at 2 p.m. Visit the Vermont Summer Festival website for more information.
$3,000 NAL Open Speed – Final Result
|1||Hillary Dobbs||Sussex, NJ||Marengo||56:10|
|2||Christine McCrea||East Windsor, CT||Rioletto||58:97|
|3||Tracy Magness||Baltimore, MD||Kilpatrick||60:87|
|4||Hillary Dobbs||Sussex, NJ||VDL Lotus Excel||62:04|
|5||Julie Welles||West Simsbury. CT||Pandoer||62:13|
|6||Norman Dello Joio||Wellington, FL||Lady In Blue||62:98|
|7||Ian Silitch||Keswick, VA||Cable||63:06|
|8||Ian Silitch||Keswick, VA||Set in Silver||63:97|