East Dorset, Vermont — For the fourth year, the Vermont Summer Festival proudly offered $10,000 in bonus prize money to its neighbors from the north through the $10,000 Canadian Circuit Awards, presented by Ariat International, Inc. The six-week Vermont Summer Festival was held from July 1 to August 9, 2009, at the Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
The $10,000 Canadian Circuit Awards, sponsored by Ariat International, Inc., are presented to the top-ranked Canadian jumper and hunter competitors throughout the circuit. This year, Christi McQuaker moved into the lead in the Hunter Award standings during the second week of competition and never let go. Last year, McQuaker settled for second place in the Hunter Award standings behind Angela Covert-Lawrence. This year, the placings were reversed with McQuaker taking the $3,000 bonus and Covert-Lawrence earning $2,000.
To claim the Canadian Circuit Hunter Award, McQuaker of Schomberg, ON, rode Westmalle, owned by her Gryphon Farms, to numerous victories in the Schooling and Baby Green Hunter divisions while Allura, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Lily Russell, earned several wins in the Regular Working Hunter division. McQuaker earned a total of 132 points.
“The Canadian Circuit Awards are one of the main reasons we choose the Vermont Summer Festival when we are planning our show schedule,” said McQuaker. “It is so wonderful that Ariat made this kind of award possible, and we plan to be back next year.”
The Reserve Canadian Circuit Hunter Award went Angela Covert-Lawrence of St. Lazare, QC, who earned 42.5 points. Covert-Lawrence showed Poker Face in the First Year Green division, Silhouette in the Pre-Green Hunter division, and Oxford, who claimed the reserve Regular Working Hunter championship.
“The Canadian Circuit Awards are definitely an incentive,” said Covert-Lawrence, who has competed at the Vermont Summer Festival for the past 12 consecutive years. “We own a lot of our horses, so an extra opportunity to win prize money helps a lot. In addition, we like the management; everyone is so nice. The atmosphere at the show is great, and Manchester has so much to offer outside of the horse show.
“Every year since its inception we’ve been fortunate enough to earn a portion of the bonus money in the Canadian Circuit Awards,” continued Covert-Lawrence. “I think it is great that the show organizers, John and Dotty Ammerman, recognize the effort that Canadians make to come to their show.”
In the Canadian Circuit Jumper Awards, a battle between coach and student ensued. In the end, it was Katherine Locker, 17, of Shanty Bay, ON, who came out on top with 42 points over her coach, Christi McQuaker, who earned 30 points.
Riding Paddington, a horse owned by Iron Horse Farm, Locker competed in the Children’s Jumper and 1.00m Jumper divisions. The $3,000 bonus was a welcome addition to the prize money that Locker won, while McQuaker added another $2,000 to her bank account.
“I am so thrilled with this prize!” said McQuaker, who earned her points riding Jackson Park and Paddington. “What makes the awards so special is that it is not only for the professional riders, but it is for the adults and juniors as well. It was great to win, but it was equally great that our clients were big winners. It made the trip very special. I am very happy with our results.”
Riders earned points throughout the circuit ranging from 10 to 0.5 for first through sixth-place finishes in hunter and jumper classes. Points were based on rider performance only, not horse and rider combination.
“This is the fourth year we’ve offered the Canadian Circuit Award,” said Ruth Lacey, Director of Marketing for the Vermont Summer Festival. “It’s been very gratifying to see our Canadian competitors returning year after year. We’re very happy to see the award gaining popularity as Ariat has generously made a three-year commitment to sponsoring the award.”
The 2009 Vermont Summer Festival, held for its 17th year at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, offered over $750,000 in prize money throughout the six weeks of competition, making it the richest sporting event in the state. In 2010, the Vermont Summer Festival will again offer six weeks of competition from July 7 to August 15. For more information, including full results, please visit the Vermont Summer Festival website.
$10,000 Canadian Circuit Awards, Sponsored by Ariat Int’l, Inc.
|1||Christi McQuaker||Schomberg, Ontario||$3,000|
|2||Angela Covert-Lawrence||Lazare, Quebec||$2,000|
|1||Katherine Locker||Shanty Bay, Ontario||$3,000|
|2||Christ McQuaker||Schomberg, Ontario||$2,000|