East Dorset, Vermont — Sara Green seems to be taking over many of the big junior classes at the Vermont Summer Festival, held at the Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT. After becoming the overall winner of week two’s WIHS divisions, she added another victory after today’s USEF Show Jumping Talent Search.
Despite today’s wet weather, 40 entries took their turn around the course before Green ultimately emerged victorious. She rode her own 16-year-old Warmblood, Why Not Jack, through two beautiful rounds.
Green, 17, is no stranger to competing in large classes, having competed successfully at the prestigious Pennsylvania National (Penn.), Washington International (D.C.), and the National Horse Show (N.Y.), on numerous occasions. The real hurdle today was the wet weather.
“It’s been raining for 24 hours straight,” she said with a laugh, “but the footing was still pretty good. And I like the USEF class because it’s bigger and has the two parts; the jumping and the flat.”
Green has trained with Bobby Braswell for three years at Quite Hill and said she owes part of her success to his coaching style. “Bobby is really relaxed,” she said, “which makes it easier and more fun. He can also be really competitive which is fun too.”
“Sara is a very natural and talented rider,” Braswell said. “It’s something you can’t just teach.”
She started riding “Jack” two years ago. One of her barnmates, Katie McDaniel, rode him before her. But Green and McDaniel discovered that each of their respective mounts at the time was actually a better fit for the other rider, so they switched.
“Jack has really come into his own in the past three years,” said Braswell. “It seems like he’s just taken a deep breath. He used to be so high energy but he just likes Sara and is happy with her ride. When you have a good match like that, it makes my job easy.”
Green’s family owns a farm in Boston, Mass., and plans to stay at the Vermont Summer Festival through week four to round out her annual month-long stint at the series.
Aside from enjoying the relaxed atmosphere and spirited competition at the show, Green’s favorite way to cool off after a long day of riding is at a nearby Marbel Quarry in the town of Dorset that has become a local favorite swimming hole.
Week three of the Vermont Summer Festival runs from July 23 through July 27, while the Festival’s finale is August 17. Competition 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.