East Dorset, Vermont — Amber Henter of St. Petersburg, FL, claimed the $1,500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic for the second week in a row on Saturday, August 4, at the Vermont Summer Festival. 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.
From a starting field of 24 entries, 11 passed the first round test to advance to the jump-off over the track set by course designer Jamie Alder. Just when it appeared that the times could not get any faster, Henter and Tigre Royale stopped the clock in 30.58 seconds, a full three seconds faster than the previous leader, Ariel Cohen of Boston, MA, who settled for second riding Prego. Cohen also placed fourth riding Cortend while Violet Fludzinski of Garrison, NY, took third with Free Fallin’.
"I thought the course was pretty simple. There were a few technical spots and they didn’t set it very big today, but I was just happy to make it around clear and into the jump-off," said Henter, 15. "In the jump-off, there were a lot of verticals and since my horse just skims the jumps, if he is going to have a rail, it is going to be at a vertical. I just try to be straight to the jumps and get around clean, and then he is always fast."
Tigre Royale’s speed helped Henter claim the $1,500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic for the second Saturday in a row. During week three, she also won Sunday’s Marshall and Sterling Children’s Jumper Classic.
"He looks really mean, he always pins his ears, but he is not going to do anything," she said of her mount, a bay gelding she purchased one year ago. "He is happiest when he goes in the ring. He is amazing, he is the best children’s jumper you could ever have."
Henter brought four of her horses to the Vermont Summer Festival and has been showing in the small and large, 15 and under, hunter divisions, the WIHS Medal classes and the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search in addition to the Children’s Jumper divisions. For the past year and a half, Henter has trained with Bob Braswell and Christina Schlusemeyer at their Quiet Hill Farm in Ocala, FL, a two-hour commute from her St. Petersburg home.
Having competed at the Vermont Summer Festival the past four weeks, Henter has placed in the top four in the $1,500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic every week, an impressive record considering that it was her first time showing at the Vermont Summer Festival.
"I think it is very pretty, and I like the competition. When I win, I know I did really well," said Henter, referring to the large number of riders that she is competing against. "I don’t really want to leave this week, but I have been up north for six weeks because we also showed at Saratoga, so I am ready to go home and my horses are tired."
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.
Competition continues at the Vermont Summer Festival with Sunday’s featured event being the $30,000 Mt. Equinox Grand Prix, presented by The Equinox Resort & Spa, beginning at 2 p.m.
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.
The Vermont Summer Festival, now in its 14th year at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, Vermont, offers more than $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. For more information on the Vermont Summer Festival, please visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.
$1,500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Classic – Final Results
|1||Amber Henter||St. Petersburg, FL||Tigre Royale||0:0||30.58|
|2||Ariel Cohen||Boston, MA||Prego||0:0||33.57|
|3||Violet Fludzinski||Garrison, NY||Free Fallin’||0:0||34.70|
|4||Ariel Cohen||Boston, MA||Prego||0:0||35.32|
|5||Kori Pickett||Mt. Airy, MD||Prima||0:0||37.41|
|6||Kori Pickett||Mt. Airy, MD||Azucar||0:0||39.03|
|7||Virginia Clemens||Potomac, MD||Koen||0:0||39.69|
|8||Claudia Billups||Gulfport, MS||Gustav||0:4||33.03|