East Dorset, Vermont — Jordan Santi made her first trip to the Vermont Summer Festival worthwhile by winning the Children’s Medal on Saturday morning, July 19. The 2008 Vermont Summer Festival Horse Show takes place July 9 to August 17 at the Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
The 16-year-old from Alpharetta, GA, was the first rider into ring from a large starting field of 58 entries. She and her mount, Matrix, negotiated the course featuring fences set at three-foot while being judged on their style. Despite being the first competitor of the day, Santi made a strong impression on the judges and, when the top four riders were called back for additional testing, Santi was on top.
“I wasn’t expecting to be number one, but I was happy to get it,” said Santi, who will be entering her sophomore year at Mount Pisgah Christian School this fall. “Before I went in the ring, my trainers said to concentrate on what I am doing, but to just let it happen.”
The top four underwent additional testing by the judges, being asked to canter directly to one fence, halt, and then counter-canter an oxer. Santi and her horse, Matrix, a nine-year-old Warmblood gelding, performed the test beautifully to maintain their first-place ranking and win the Children’s Medal. Approximately 40 riders from across the United States and Canada will then be invited to contest the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) Children’s Medal Final held September 28 during the 2008 Capital Challenge Horse Show in Maryland.
Joining Santi in the top four of the THIS Children’s Medal, open to riders 18 and under, were Katherine Dubrowski who finished as the runner-up riding Diamond Elegance, Jessica Donatelli who placed third with Crusader, and Corinne Milbury who was fourth riding Sentimental Reasons.
Santi has been riding since she was a three-year-old, and has been showing competitively for the past five years. She and her younger sister, Jenna, 12, recently began training with Bob Braswell and Christina Schlusemeyer of Quiet Hill Farm of Ocala, FL. The clients of Quiet Hill will be competing during four of the six weeks of the Vermont Summer Festival, and Santi is enjoying her time in southern Vermont.
“I think it is very pretty,” she says of the area. “I have been doing a lot of shopping! It is a very cute town.”
Sunday’s featured event will be the $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix, Presented by Devoucoux, beginning at 2 p.m. Competition at the Vermont Summer Festival is held daily Wednesday through Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m. and running until approximately 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children Wednesday through Saturday. On ‘Grand Prix Sunday’, admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children. All gate proceeds are donated to the Friends Foundation for MEMS, benefiting programs in the local Elementary & Middle School.
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. Visit the Vermont Summer Festival website for more information, including full results.