East Dorset, Vermont — Week five of the 2012 Vermont Summer Festival concluded on Sunday, August 5, with two exciting Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classics featured in the grand prix ring at Harold Beebe Farm. Diederique Van Der Knaap, of New York, NY, rode Clive to victory in the $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic while Joy Slater, of Unionville, PA, topped the $5,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic riding Fat Chance Farm’s Silvester. The six-week Vermont Summer Festival continues in East Dorset, VT, through August 12.
Michel Vaillancourt, of Aiken, SC, was the course designer for Sunday’s classes. In the $10,000 SJHOF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, 11 entries showed in round one and four advanced to the jump-off. Fifteen-year-old Diederique Van Der Knaap, showing in the high division for her first time ever, qualified both of her two mounts for the jump-off and took home the first and fourth place honors.
Van Der Knaap was first to jump off aboard Missy Clark/North Run’s Con Air and finished the short course with eight faults in 46.27 seconds to place fourth. Lydia Ulrich, of Rochester, NY, went next aboard Up The Creek Farm’s Santos Utopia, and had four faults in 42.34 seconds, which finished second. Brazil’s Isabella Salles also attempted to clear the short course riding Princess Emily, owned by Paulo Salles, but had eight faults in 44.55 seconds and placed third. Last to go riding Clive, Diederique Van Der Knaap had one rail to incur four faults, but finished with a fast, smooth round to win the class in 41.12 seconds.
Van Der Knaap, who trains with Missy Clark and John Brennan at North Run, bought Clive this January. She has trained with North Run for two years and explained that she purchased Clive this year after Clark got the horse from McLain Ward.
“I have had him since January,” Van Der Knaap stated. “We started out in the Children’s Jumpers together. He is my first real jumper, so he is like my best friend.”
“This is my first time doing the highs,” the rider detailed. “Con Air is a new horse; this is just the second week that I am riding him, so I went first with him to just kind of feel the course out. Then with Clive, I obviously know him better, but it is his first time doing the highs as well, so we were both just trying to go clear and do our best.”
Van Der Knaap wanted to finish with a clear round in the jump-off on Clive, but knocked down a skinny vertical on course. Even with the four fault score, her time was fast enough to win. Van Der Knaap detailed the advice from trainer John Brennan before heading into the ring for the short course. She stated, “John just told me to go clear and I am just not very good at the skinny, so when that came off I was like ‘We have to go get this, I can’t mess this up for myself’. I’m pretty competitive, but it still went well.”
“Skinnies are tough; I don’t why I have a problem with those,” Van Der Knaap mused while discussing the difficulty of the course. “Also, this is the first time that I have jumped clear in a triple in the lows or the highs, so I was worried about that. There were just a lot of short turns, especially in the jump-off. You had a lot of options of whether to take the inside or the outside turns, so you just had to make a decision and stick to it.”
Living in New York City, Van Der Knaap often meets Brennan and Clark at horse shows, but comes to Vermont to train with them in the spring and fall. Showing in Vermont also provides a great opportunity to practice throughout the summer.
“I am here three weeks every summer and I have been coming here for three summers now,” Van Der Knaap noted. “It is just such a relaxed show. If you go down to Kentucky everyone is really stressed out and here, even though there is a lot of competition, it is just mellower. I just love Vermont because I live in the city, so it is nice to be in the green mountains.”
Prior to the high division, twenty-one entries showed in the $5,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic with five advancing to the jump-off. Joy Slater was the only double clear, riding to the win aboard Fat Chance Farm’s Silvester in a time of 40.88 seconds. Bryn Sadler, of Santa Fe, NM, rode Showcase 81 LLC’s Cancun Z to second place with four faults in the jump-off in 40.54 seconds. Isabella Salles rode Carlos H, owned by Paulo Salles, to the fastest time of 40.11 seconds but incurred eight faults to place third. Gabrielle Hero, of New York, NY, also finished with eight faults riding Pugnax, owned by Scott Hakim, and their time of 40.15 seconds placed fourth. Danielle Stacey, of Ipswich, MA, made it to the jump-off with her horse Tiffani, but retired after a stop on course and finished in fifth place.
Joy Slater has owned her winning mount, Silvester, for three years. She purchased the 13-year-old KWPN gelding from McLain Ward and explained that he has a lot of experience.
“He has jumped around the world,” Slater declared. “He has been to Poland, Russia, Estonia. He has all kinds of amazing places on his passport. He was a sale horse and then I got a hold of him three years ago and I am finally learning how to ride him a bit. He is a really cool, careful horse. He is a star.”
“I made a couple of mistakes in the first round today, but he saved me,” Slater acknowledged. “He puts up with almost anything; he is just a good man. He is so careful and wonderful.”
Slater lives in Pennsylvania, but grew up in New Jersey and even spent some time riding in Ireland when she was younger. After coming up to Vermont eleven years ago, Slater first began showing here in 2002 and comes every year for at least two weeks.
“I love this horse show and I really love the town here,” she said. “It is a really nice place; it is a fun place. It is pretty countryside, it is quiet and pleasant and the people who run the horse show do a really good job. They try to do it right and if there are any complaints, they make it better. It is just really fun.”
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 Saturdays of the Vermont Summer Festival feature a $30,000 Grand Prix. The $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix will be held during the sixth and final week on Saturday, August 11. The weekly $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, are held each Thursday.
Competition begins at 8 a.m. daily, Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children. All of the gate receipts benefit the a number of Manchester area non-profit organizations, including the Mark Skinner Library, Friends Foundation for MEMS, Community Food Cupboard, and Second Chance Animal Center.
For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont. The Vermont Summer Festival is a proud member event of the Show Jumping Hall Of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL). Please e-mail us or visit our website for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival.
$10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
|1||Diederique Van Der Knaap||Cilve||0:4||41.12|
|2||Lydia Ulrich||Santos Utopia||0:4||42.34|
|3||Isabella Salles||Princess Emily||0:8||44.55|
|4||Diederique Van Der Knaap||Con Air||0:8||46.27|
$5,000 North American League Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
|2||Bryn Sadler||Cancun Z||0:4||40.54|
|3||Isabella Salles||Carlos H||0:8||40.11|
|7||Tim Hooker||Sovereign Mystery||4||75.62|