East Dorset, Vermont — Thirty-three horses competed in Saturday’s NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic and 15-year-old Zazou Hoffman of Santa Monica, CA, was the fastest in the jump-off for victory at the Vermont Summer Festival. The six-week hunter/jumper competition runs until August 19 and features the world’s top equestrian athletes competing amid the picturesque Green Mountains.
The NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic for riders under the age of 18 is a qualifying event for finals held this fall in Harrisburg, PA, and Washington D.C. Michel Vaillancourt of Canada designed the course and, of the 33 who started, 19 were clean to move on to the jump-off.
Hoffman was the 17th of 19 jump-off challengers riding Obsession, owned by Missy Clark and North Run of Warren, VT. She was chasing the time of 28.438 seconds, which had been set by Catie Torcivia of Rumson, NJ, on Straight Up. Torcivia would end up in third place.
Hoffman got off to a great start by making the best inside turn of all the riders from the first to the second jump. She kept her quick pace throughout and crossed the timers clear in a time of 27.820 seconds.
The last challenge in the class came from 12-year-old Reed Kessler, who piloted Turbo to second place in 28.403 seconds.
Although Hoffman lives in California, she regularly travels to the East Coast to compete with her trainers, Missy Clark and John Brennan. She has only been riding Obsession for three weeks.
“She’s a little speed demon. She’s tiny, but she’s so fast,” said Hoffman of her mount. “I’ve been lucky to get to ride her.”
This is the third summer that Hoffman has shown at the Vermont Summer Festival and she cited it as one of her favorite horse shows. “I love how relaxed it is here, and it’s so comfortable,” she noted.
Final Results – $1,500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic
1. Obsession, Zazou Hoffman: 0/0/27.820
2. Turbo, Reed Kessler: 0/0/28.403
3. Straight Up, Catie Torcivia: 0/0/28.438
4. Chloe, Reed Kessler: 0/0/29.138
5. Ciara Diamond, Hannah Maloy: 0/0/29.190
6. Cash, Alexandra Duval: 0/0/29.809
7. Kardigan’s Money Maker, Anna Pavlov: 0/0/30.128
8. Tigre Royale, Amber Henter: 0/0/30.347
The highlight of the Vermont Summer Special week is Sunday’s $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix 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.
New England’s largest “AA” rated hunter/jumper horse show, the Vermont Summer Festival offers over $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest sporting event in the state of Vermont. For more information on the 2007 Vermont Summer Festival including complete results, please visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.