East Dorset, Vermont — Sylvia de Toledo of New York, New York, has encountered some major changes in her equestrian life over the past year, but the results have remained constant. Last year de Toledo dominated the equitation ring at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, Vermont, and in 2011 she has continued that trend.
In two weeks of showing, de Toledo has consistently placed at the head of the class with her new equitation mount, Micah, earning ribbons in every class they have entered. In her first week competing at the Vermont Summer Festival, de Toledo was third in the USEF/Pessoa Medal class and won the WIHS Equitation Overall. In her second week, she won the USEF/Pessoa Medal class and was first in the WIHS Equitation Jumper phase.
This is quite an accomplishment for de Toledo, 16, who had formerly been trained by Jimmy Toon while riding Spock. When she lost the ride on Spock, de Toledo had to look for a new mount. Although it took a while, she finally found a match in Micah, a Danish Warmblood owned by North Run and Missy Clark. Losing her longtime mount, not riding for almost six months, and transferring to another trainer saddened the young rider.
“I loved Spock and I love Jimmy, but I had to have something to ride and that meant moving on,” said de Toledo. “I still have stuff at Jimmy’s, hoping he will get something for me.”
The change has brought new experiences for de Toledo.
“North Run is very different,” she went on to say. “There is so much activity and so many people that it is fun. They have a program and it is really hard work, but I have learned so much.”
In another example of making your own way, Louise Petz of New York, New York, piloted her five-year-old homebred mare, Follow Me Home, to the Modified Adult Hunter championship title. Follow Me Home’s granddam had never gotten an opportunity to prove her potential in the show ring due to an injury, so Petz bred the mare. Two generations later, the result is Follow Me Home, a flashy looking yet quiet and sensible hunter.
“I am so lucky,” said Petz. “I got just what I wished for. She shows in the Baby Green Hunters with a professional, and then comes out with me and, even at her young age, is just so lovely. She really wants to be a show hunter. She is fulfilling the hopes that I had for her grandmother. It doesn’t get much better than this.”
Week five of the six-week Vermont Summer Festival concludes on Sunday, August 7. Due to a scheduling change, the $30,000 Manchester and the Mountain Grand Prix, Presented by Hand Motors, will be held at 8 a.m.
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.