East Dorset, Vermont — Six weeks of show jumping action are now underway as the 2008 Vermont Summer Festival opened on Wednesday, July 9, at the Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, Vermont. The largest hunter/jumper equestrian competition in New England runs until August 17 and features the world’s top equestrian athletes competing amid the picturesque Green Mountains.
The first week of competition, the ‘Vermont Summer Special’ held July 9-13, opened with hunter and jumper competition. Thursday’s feature class is the Open Jumper competition, which kicks off the Open Jumper Welcome Stake Series presented by Manchester Designer Outlets. A different Manchester Designer Outlet sponsoring brand will be featured throughout the six-week Series. Thursday’s sponsoring brand, The Vermont Bird Place, presents the winner with a gift valued at $1,000.
Highlights during opening week include the $10,000 Polo Ralph Lauren, Lilly Pulitzer Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, on Friday and the $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 13. Renowned course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil will set the challenging tracks during the ‘Vermont Summer Special’ in the all-weather Grand Prix Ring.
Top competitors from the United States and around the world are competing at the Vermont Summer Festival including Olympic, World Championship, Pan American Games and World Cup veterans. Each Sunday, the top competitors in the sport will contest the Grand Prix, featuring $30,000 in prize money during the first five weeks while, during week six, a $50,000 purse is offered to close out the Vermont Summer Festival on Sunday, August 17.
Competition is held daily from 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. For more information on the 2008 Vermont Summer Festival, visit the Vermont Summer Festival website.