East Dorset, Vermont — Janice Syphers had a lot to thank her mother for on Sunday morning as she exited the Grand Prix ring with a blue ribbon, a trophy and $1,500 in prize money for her win in the $5,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic at the Vermont Summer Festival.
The 18-year-old won the $5,000 NAL Classic on Sunday, July 19, riding Star 32, a horse that is owned and usually shown by her mother, Saly Glassman. The timing had been right for a switch in riders, as Janice found herself in need of a horse when hers got hurt, and Saly was in need of a rider for Star 32 due to being sidelined by a surgery. Although Saly has since returned to the saddle, she did not take back the ride on Star 32 as Janice’s horse is still out of commission.
“She took my horse and made it better,” explained Saly. “We work together and are very supportive of each other. Not only do we ride together, but to keep up the level of fitness needed for the sport, we run, cycle, swim and do yoga together. It is so nice to have a child who can catch ride after you’ve been hurt, and what a bonus it is when they make the horse better.”
A short while after Janice had exited the ring with her many prizes, Saly did the same by winning the $10,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic with Lorado 28.
Hailing from Gwynedd Valley, PA, mother and daughter were both beaming as they shared congratulations over their wins. Both are avid foxhunters as well as competitors in the show jumping ring, and Saly is vocal when it comes to the benefits of riding.
“It builds personal character, perseverance, and discipline, as well as all the skills that go with caring for the horses from the ground up,” said Saly. “It helps them to get to a more mature place, which will benefit them in the future; something we all want for our children. Horses have been great for us, and these wins were just plain fun.”
On Saturday at the Vermont Summer Festival, the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Jumper Classic was won by Alissa Kinsey of Ft Myers, FL, an inspiration to ‘grass roots’ riders who do it all by themselves in pursuit of their sport. Not only is Alissa solo in the barn with her horse Grisset, a 12 year-old Hanoverian mare, she is also alone at the ring, serving as her own trainer and groom.
Partnered with Grisset, who is affectionately known as ‘Big Momma’, Alissa began showing in the Adult Jumper division last season and had some sizeable victories, including winning several classes at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, and the $25,000 Barry Lane Memorial Children’s-Adult Jumper Prix at the Atlanta Fall Classic in Conyers, GA.
“I am proud of my accomplishments as a result of doing the work myself,” said Alissa. “Every victory is a little sweeter.”
Alexa Adelson galloped away with the win in Saturday’s $1,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Jumper Classic aboard Starbit Partners’ Vorst. The 16-year-old from Scarborough, NY, returned to the ring the next day to win the $1,500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic with Nesbit and place second with Vorst. Alexa had a great week in Vermont, having also won the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 Championship on Clockwork.
Amber Henter beamed as she exited the ring with the blue ribbon in the Platinum Performance USEF Talent Search equitation class. The 17-year-old from St. Petersburg, FL, riding Triumph, a bay gelding owned by Redfield Farm, bested a field of 42 entries to win the class. Amber kept her winning streak alive by also coming out on top in the WIHS Equitation – Hunter Phase and the Jumper Phase aboard Triumph. These wins clinched the Best Child Rider – Horse title for Amber.
The Best Child Rider – Pony was awarded to Ashley Hartman of Doylestown, PA, who guided Flyer Miles around the small pony hunter courses with great success to claim the Championship title. The pair then took second place in the Pony Hunter Classic and placed fifth in the USEF Pony Medal.
The most prolific rider of the week also currently holds the lead in the standings for the $10,000 Sir Ruly Open Jumper High Score Award, which is given to the High Point Open Jumper rider at the end of the six-week Vermont Summer Festival. Darragh Kenny, a 21-year-old rider hailing from County Offaly in Ireland, has had a stellar few weeks in Vermont, completing week three by winning the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix, Presented by the Equinox Resort, with Obelix. During weeks two and three, Kenny claimed victories in both major classes offered in the Open Jumper division.
With four mounts entered in the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix, Kenny piloted all of them to a clear round to advance to the jump-off. Kenny geared up early for what promised to be a blazing round aboard Obelix, owned by Trade Winds Farm. Clear over the fences in a time of 43.44 seconds, they bested second place finisher, Kirk Webby of New Zealand, by more than three full seconds.
“He is so brave and has such a big stride that you can push him,” said Kenny who represented Ireland at the 2007 European Young Riders’ Championship. “What can I say, my horses make it easy.”
Kenny was also the winner of the $10,000 Hickey Freeman & Bobby Jones Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, with Palona, who had served as his mount for victory in the $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix, Presented by Devoucoux, on Sunday, July 12.
Kenny and Palona, a 12-year-old grey Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Alexa Arute and Olympic Dreams LLC, needed a fast ride in order to catch Hillary Dobbs of Sussex, NJ, who had turned in a clear jump-off time of 37.85 seconds with Marengo. Dobbs and Marengo, owned by The Dobbs Group, had been the winners of Thursday’s $3,000 NAL Open Jumper Speed class. Dobbs would have to settle for second place on this occasion however, as Kenny was precise and efficient to cross the timers in 37.31 seconds and take home back-to-back victories in Friday’s featured class.
The Vermont Summer Festival continues with the fourth week of competition, the Valley Classic Horse Show, held July 22-26 and highlighted by the $30,000 Mount Equinox Grand Prix, Presented by Hand Motors, on Sunday, July 26.
Running through to August 9, 2009, 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.