East Dorset, Vermont — In a unique marketing initiative, the 2007 Vermont Summer Festival offered three circuit championship awards worth a total of $30,000 to reward consistent competitors at this year’s horse show. The largest ‘AA’ rated hunter-jumper horse show held in New England, the six-week Vermont Summer Festival was held from July 11 to August 19, 2007, in East Dorset, VT.
The $10,000 Ariat Green and Working Hunter High Score Award, the $10,000 Open Jumper High Score Award, presented by Sir Ruly, Inc., and the $10,000 Canadian Circuit Championship all offered cash bonuses to the loyal competitors who choose to spend their summers in Vermont.
Elizabeth Pandich of North Salem, NY, was the clear winner in the newly introduced $10,000 Ariat Green and Working Hunter High Score Award. In recognition of her strong performances in the hunter divisions, Pandich received a cash bonus of $5,000 while the runner-up in the point standings, Shachine Belle of Farmington, CT, was awarded $3,000. Finishing third in the standings for a bonus of $2,000 was Mary Lisa Leffler, who has long made the Vermont Summer Festival a regular stop on her competition calendar. Ariat International distributor, Oak Manor Saddlery of Aiken, SC, was on-site throughout the Vermont Summer Festival.
The final standings for the $10,000 Ariat Green and Working Hunter High Score Award were:
|Elizabeth Pandich||North Salem, NY||$5,000|
|Shachine Belle||Farmington, CT||$3,000|
|Mary Lisa Leffler||Brookeville, MD||$2,000|
Jimmy Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, was the winner of the $10,000 Open Jumper High Score Award, presented by Sir Ruly, Inc. Manchester resident and long-time Vermont Summer Festival supporter, Raul Torano of Sir Ruly, Inc., wished to reward the most consistent open jumper competitors through the establishment of this award, so having his nephew win the inaugural Open Jumper High Score Award was a fitting conclusion. With several mounts successfully contesting the highest level of competition offered at the Vermont Summer Festival, Jimmy Torano collected a $5,000 cash bonus at the end of the six-week circuit. He was, however, given a run for his money by 19-year-old Hillary Dobbs who collected $3,000 while New Zealand native Sharn Wordley pocketed a bonus of $2,000.
The final standings for the $10,000 Open Jumper High Score Award, presented by Sir Ruly, Inc., were:
|Jimmy Torano||Ft. Lauderdale||$5,000|
|Hillary Dobbs||Sussex, NJ||$3,000|
|Sharn Wordley||New Zealand||$2,000|
Canadians have long been flocking south of the border for the Vermont Summer Festival and, with the establishment of the $10,000 Canadian Circuit Championship Award last year, the neighbors to the north have even more incentive to make an annual stop in Manchester. Open to Canadian citizens that are members of their national federation, more Canadians than ever arrived in Vermont in an attempt to gain points among an atmosphere of friendly rivalry.
In the Hunter Division, there was no catching Toronto’s Tatiana Dzavik who rode away the Champion for a cash bonus of $3,000. She relegated last year’s winner, Angela Covert-Lawrence of St. Lazare, QC, to second position for a reward of $2,000.
Paul Halpern of Russell, ON, made his first visit to the Vermont Summer Festival a memorable one by claiming the Canadian Jumper Championship and the $3,000 that came with the title. Dzavik, who competed all six weeks of the Vermont Summer Festival, fought hard but, in the end, settled for second in the Jumper category for an additional $2,000 in prize money.
The final standings for the $10,000 Canadian Circuit Championship Award were:
|Tatiana Dzavik||Toronto, ON||$3,000|
|Angela Covert-Lawrence||St. Lazare, QC||$2,000|
|Paul Halpern||Russell, ON||$3,000|
|Tatiana Dzavik||Toronto, ON||$2,000|
"Clearly, we were trying to create an incentive for the exhibitors to stay in Vermont for many weeks, but what we hadn’t expected was how much fun the competitors seemed to be having tracking their points as the weeks progressed," noted Ruth Lacey, Director of Marketing for the Vermont Summer Festival. "All of the new cash circuit awards were decided during the final week, and two of them were decided on the last day of competition. The exhibitors benefited from keen competition and our sponsors received six weeks of exposure."
The 2007 Vermont Summer Festival, held for its 14th year at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, offered a total of $750,000 in prize money throughout the six weeks of competition, making it the richest sporting event in the state. In 2008, the Vermont Summer Festival will again offer six weeks of competition from July 9 to August 17. Visit the Vermont Summer Festival website for more information.