East Dorset, Vermont — The Vermont Summer Festival, the largest ‘AA’ rated hunter-jumper horse show held in New England, has a huge economic impact on the state of Vermont with approximately $20 million spent locally on goods and services throughout the duration of the six-week competition.
With approximately 1,200 horses competing each week at the Vermont Summer Festival running July 11 to August 19 in East Dorset, VT, and approximately 3,000 people related to the horse show visiting the area on a daily basis, the impact on the local hotel and restaurant industry is considerable. Shopping at the many outlets offered in the Manchester area has become a second sport for the horse show enthusiasts and, combined with the other leisure pursuits offered in the Manchester area including theater, sporting activities, and antique hunting, it is conservatively estimated that each person spends approximately $150 per day, pumping a significant number of dollars into the Vermont economy.
At the mid-way point in this year’s Vermont Summer Festival, approximately 600 horses finished competing and were immediately replaced by another group of competitors anxious to attend the sold-out event. With the turnover comes approximately 2,000 new visitors looking to shop, sample the numerous restaurants and enjoy the myriad of amenities available in the Manchester area.
For the past six years, The Equinox Resort & Spa has partnered with the Vermont Summer Festival to present the $30,000 Mt. Equinox Grand Prix, to be held this year on Sunday, August 5. In addition, The Equinox Resort & Spa hosts one of the Vermont Summer Festival’s weekly exhibitor parties.
"Each year we are proud to welcome many returning guests back to The Equinox as well as introduce new visitors to our amenities and those of the surrounding area," said Susan Wheeler, Spa Director of The Equinox Resort & Spa, as well as a long-time competitor at the Vermont Summer Festival. "We’re viewing the large mid-series turnover as a great opportunity to offer our first-class, personal service to a fresh group of equestrians who are arriving into town for the second half of the horse show."
The Vermont Summer Festival, held at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, Vermont, 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 Mini Prix, sponsored by Manchester Designer Outlets, and a $30,000 Sunday Grand Prix, several of which are sponsored by local businesses that recognize and appreciate the important impact that the horse show competitors have on the local area.
“The immense economic impact that the Vermont Summer Festival has on the Manchester and surrounding areas of Vermont cannot be overlooked,” noted John D. Ammerman, Manager of the Vermont Summer Festival. “In addition to a first-rate horse show, many competitors choose to come to Vermont due to the wide variety of amenities offered in the area. Shopping, great restaurants, and a wide selection of bed and breakfasts and country inns attract those looking for a more complete horse show experience. And it is largely because of these local businesses that offer high quality products and services that the Vermont Summer Festival patrons keep coming back year after year.”
Now in its 14th year at the Harold Bebee Farm location, the Vermont Summer Festival broke attendance records for the number of horses competing during the first two weeks of competition. More horses competing directly translates into more dollars spent in the local economy.
The grand finale of the six-week Vermont Summer Festival is the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix on Sunday, August 19. For more information on the Vermont Summer Festival, please visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.