East Dorset, Vermont — Heavy overnight rains might have dampened the spirits of some, but it had no effect on the competitive spirit of the junior riders who showed up ready to win on Thursday, July 30, at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
Amber Henter was victorious in the Platinum Performance USEF Talent Search equitation class for the second time this year at the Vermont Summer Festival, having also captured the win during week three. The 17-year-old from St. Petersburg, FL, rode Triumph, a bay gelding owned by Redfield Farm, to win the class in perfect form.
“He is the perfect mount for me,” said Henter in praise of Triumph. “I don’t know what I’d do without him. On most horses the sloppy footing would make me nervous, but I know him so well and I trust him so much that it really wasn’t a concern. If anything, he jumps bigger and better when it is a little sloggy.”
When at home, Henter regularly makes the two-hour commute from St. Petersburg to train with Bob Braswell and Christina Schlusemeyer at Quiet Hill Farm in Ocala, FL.
Prior to her win in the USEF Talent Search, Henter had a hectic few days, only returning to Vermont the night before the competition. She had been in New York, contesting the National Junior Hunter Championships where she finished fourth overall. Luckily for Henter, she had a rare opportunity to sleep in when, in order to prepare the rings for competition after the heavy rainfall, the show’s start time was delayed until 10 a.m.
“I was so tired – having an extra couple of hours to sleep really did the trick,” she smiled.
Although Henter is looking forward to competing in the USET Talent Search Final to be held in October in Gladstone, NJ, she regrets that her time at the Vermont Summer Festival is drawing to a close.
“It’s kind of sad,” said Henter. “This is my last week of showing for the summer. I have to go home and get ready for school. But it’s been really great here. I love it.”
Henter’s next competition will be the USET Talent Search Final, which challenges riders ages 21 and younger with horsemanship tests. At the end of extensive testing, the top four riders each jump a course on their own mounts, and then switch horses to ride the course three more times on each of the other three horses. Henter and Triumph have a wonderful partnership which will serve them well in the tough test of horsemanship.
The fifth week of competition at the Vermont Summer Festival, the Manchester & The Mountains Horse Show, will be highlighted by the $30,000 Manchester & The Mountains Grand Prix, on Sunday, August 2, 2009. Special guest, Vermont Governor Jim Douglas, will present the ribbons and prizes to the horse show’s smallest competitors, the leadline contestants, prior to the start of the $30,000 Manchester & The Mountains Grand Prix.
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.