East Dorset, Vermont — The fourth time was the charm for Alexandra Arute who took the top prize riding Sander in the WIHS Equitation competition held Friday, July 31, at the Manchester & The Mountains Horse Show, part of the six-week Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
Despite the rain, there were the 41 contestants in the WIHS Equitation competition. Riders tested their skills in this qualifying competition for the Finals which are held each fall at the Washington International Horse Show in Washington, D.C., where such recent winners have included Brianne Goutal (2004), Julie Welles (2005) and last year’s winner, Katherine Newman (2008).
Alexandra Arute of Farmington, CT, has been sweeping the Medal classes since her arrival at the Vermont Summer Festival, but twice has had to settle for second place in the WIHS Equitation class. Of the four weeks that she has been competing in Vermont, Arute has amassed a plethora of ribbons and awards including two wins in the USEF Medal, a Championship title in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division, Best Child Rider on a Horse title, and ribbons in the Children’s and Junior Jumper classes.
The WIHS Equitation competition is a two-phase event with a hunter-style course and a jumper-style course that each horse and rider combination must complete. The numerical scoring from each phase is added together and the overall winner is decided. It is a true test of a rider’s skill and a horse’s versatility to be able to navigate both types of courses with skill and style.
Arute, who trains with Missy Clark and John Brennan at their North Run Stables in Warren, VT, qualified for the WIHS Final last year but did not place. She is hoping for better results this year, which is her final year of eligibility, and her win at the Vermont Summer Festival has her well on her way.
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.