East Dorset, Vermont — The fifth week of competition at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT, opened with quite a few new faces and saw the triumphant return to the ring of Hillary Dobbs and her longtime partner, Marengo. The six-week equestrian competition is running at Harold Beebe Farm from July 6 through August 14, 2011.
Dobbs, Sussex, NJ, has returned to competition in Vermont, her first show in five months, after a knee injury in Florida and subsequent surgery. Always a serious competitor, internationally as well as nationally, Dobbs proved that she was fit and ready to step right back into the winner’s circle.
Marengo and Dobbs picked up right where they left off, and the pair posted double clear rounds in an amazing time of 29.684 to take top honors in the 1.30 Meter Jumper class. Marylisa Leffler and Carlot placed second, but their time of 31.491 was no match for Dobbs.
The pair had one little glitch on course, as Dobbs asked the bay gelding for a sharp right turn and he accomplished most of the turn in the air, bringing the standard a little too close to her rehabbed knee for comfort.
Dobbs plans on competing both her mounts in the $10,000 Kenneth Cole Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets on Thursday as well as the $30,000 Manchester and The Mountains Grand Prix, which the pair has won twice, on Sunday, August 7th at 8:00 am.
"I’ve been working very hard to get back into the ring,” said Dobbs. “I feel great and I am so happy to be back showing."
Riders and their mounts are gearing up for major action in both the hunter and jumper rings during week five of the Vermont Summer Festival. Hunter competitors are preparing for the $5,000 NEHJA 3’3” Hunter Derby, which will be contested on Thursday, while the jumpers are focused on the $10,000 Kenneth Cole Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets.
Offering more than $750,000 in prize money, the Vermont Summer Festival is the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont. The first five Sundays of the Vermont Summer Festival feature a $30,000 Grand Prix, culminating with the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix on Sunday, August 14. In addition to the $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, held each Friday, the weekly $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur-Owner Classics are hotly contested. New for 2011, the Vermont Summer Festival will host a $5,000 Hunter Derby each Thursday five of the six weeks.
Competition begins at 8 a.m. daily, Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children, Wednesday through Saturday. On Grand Prix Sunday, admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children. As always, 100 percent of the gate proceeds benefit the Friends Foundation for MEMS, (Manchester Elementary and Middle School).
For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region each summer. Please e-mail us or visit our website for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival.