East Dorset, Vermont — Ken Berkley of Flemington, NJ, is currently leading the standings for the $10,000 Open Jumper High Score Awards, Presented by Sir Ruly, Inc., at the halfway point of the 2012 Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT. Running July 4 through August 12 at Harold Beebe Farm, the show has completed its first three weeks of competition with three weeks still to come as riders vie for the coveted bonus.
Riders earn points toward the $10,000 Open Jumper High Score Awards by placing in the top eight of the Open Jumper 1.40m and the Open Jumper Welcome Stake classes throughout the six-week circuit. In the Saturday grand prix events, points are awarded to the top 12 finishers.
The $10,000 Open Jumper High Score Awards, Presented by Sir Ruly, Inc., now serves as a legacy and reminder of Raul ‘Ruly’ Torano’s generosity and commitment to show jumping excellence, both at the Vermont Summer Festival and to the sport as a whole. The bonus serves as a great incentive for the riders each year and recognizes their effort in the sport. A total of $10,000 is divided among the top three riders overall, with the winner receiving $5,000, the second place finisher taking home $3,000, and the third place rider earning $2,000.
Currently at the top of the leader board, Ken Berkley enjoyed great success during weeks two and three to earn 182 points in the rider standings. Berkley kicked off week two with a win aboard Waminka in the $10,000 Five Seasons Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, on July 12 and took third place in the class aboard Dione de la Vie. He then captured a one-two finish in the $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix, sponsored by Johnson Horse Transportation, on July 14 riding Waminka and Ax-Cent.
During week three, Berkley and Waminka topped the $10,000 Vermont Bird Place & Sky Watch Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, on July 19 and also finished third aboard Ax-Cent and sixth with Dione de la Vie. Ax-Cent also won the $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m class in both weeks two and three. All three of Berkley’s horses are owned by Rivers Edge, which Berkley operates with partner, Scott Stewart.
Kaitlin Campbell, of Brookeville, MD, is currently standing in second place in the Sir Ruly, Inc. standings after dominating week one of competition. Campbell captured victory in the $10,000 Overland Sheepskin Co. Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, on July 5 riding Rocky W and was also third in the class riding Grand Pleasure, owned by Rachel Kennedy. She went on to place first and second in week one’s $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix on Saturday, July 7.
As neither Berkley nor Campbell will be present for the final three weeks of competition, the door is open for other competitors to move up in the standings. Last year’s top three finishers, Darragh Kenny, Devin Ryan, and Jimmy Torano, are all competing during the final half of the Vermont Summer Festival and hope to rack up significant points.
Ryan, of Long Valley, NJ, sits in third place in the current standings after a win in week three’s $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix, sponsored by Equinox Resort & Spa, on July 21. Ryan won aboard No Worries, owned by Barbara Rowland, and also finished fourth riding Calissandro, owned in partnership with Barbara Drake. Ryan and Calissandro also finished second in week three’s Welcome Stake.
Week four’s Valley Classic Horse Show got underway on Wednesday with a full schedule of classes running through Sunday, July 29. Ireland’s Darragh Kenny is off to a good start with a win in the $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m class. Thursday will feature the $10,000 Kenneth Cole Open Jumper Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets. The $30,000 Mount Equinox Grand Prix takes place on Saturday, July 28.
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 largest “AA” rated hunter/jumper horse show in New England, the six-week competition attracts the best athletes, including Olympic medalists, from across the country and around the globe.
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 Open Jumper High Score Award, sponsored by Sir Ruly, Inc.
Standings through July 22, 2012