East Dorset, Vermont — With one more week of competition left to go at the Vermont Summer Festival, Christi McQuaker’s lead in the $10,000 Canadian Circuit Awards, Presented by Ariat International, Inc., cannot be caught. The six-week Vermont Summer Festival runs from July 1 to August 9 at the Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Vermont Summer Festival offers $10,000 in bonus prize money to Canadian riders who travel south of the border. The $10,000 Canadian Circuit Awards are presented to the top-ranked Canadian jumper and hunter competitors following the six-week circuit. A total of $10,000 in cash bonuses are awarded to the top two Canadian hunter competitors and the top two Canadian jumper riders based on points tabulated throughout the six-week horse show. Introduced in 2006, the Canadian Circuit Championship was designed to thank Canadian competitors for choosing to spend their summer show season at the Vermont Summer Festival.
With one week of competition still to go, McQuaker of Schomberg, ON, has already captured the Canadian Circuit Award in the Hunter division. With 132 points, McQuaker’s lead cannot be caught, assuring her of the $3,000 cash bonus.
At the Vermont Summer Festival, McQuaker garnered her points in the Canadian Circuit Awards in several divisions riding several horses. Westmalle, owned by Gryphon Farms, won numerous classes in the Schooling and Baby Green Hunter divisions while Allura was spectacular in the Regular Working Hunter division. McQuaker and her husband, Mac, who is also a competitor, operate Gryphon Farms, a top hunter/jumper barn in King, ON.
Ireland’s Darragh Kenny, 21, is dominating the race for the $10,000 Open Jumper High Score Awards, sponsored by Sir Ruly, Inc. With an impressive 259 points already amassed, Kenny is on track to claim the $5,000 cash bonus awarded to the overall point leader at the end of the six-week competition.
The winner since its 2007 inception, Jimmy Torano of Fort Lauderdale, FL, is currently second in the standings with 209 points while Hillary Dobbs of Sussex, NJ, is third with 147 points.
Riders earn points by placing in the top eight of Level 7 Open Speed classes, Level 8 Open Jumper classes, and the Open Jumper Welcome Stake classes. Points are awarded to the top 12 finishers in Sunday Grand Prix classes. Each of these classes is held weekly with 20 points going to the winner.
The Vermont Summer Festival Leading Open Jumper High Score Award winner will take home a bonus of $5,000. Second place earns $3,000 and third place receives $2,000.
“It’s always nice to have the bonus,” said Torano. “Since the owners usually get the day-to-day prize money, it’s nice to have that extra incentive for the riders.”
The Vermont Summer Festival continues with the final week of competition, the Vermont Summer Celebration, culminating in the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix on Sunday, August 9, 2009, the final day of competition.
The six-week Vermont Summer Festival is the largest “AA” rated hunter/jumper horse show in New England, as well as the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont, offering more than $750,000 in prize money. Visit our website for more information on the 2009 Vermont Summer Festival, e-mail or call (802) 362-9023.