East Dorset, Vermont — Six weeks of hunter/jumper competition officially began on July 6 as the Vermont Summer Festival celebrated its opening day at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT. The circuit runs through August 14 and is known for exciting competition, world-renowned course designers, family-friendly exhibitor activities, and more than $750,000 in prize money.
The Vermont Summer Festival is the richest sporting event in the state of Vermont based on purse, thanks to weekly grand prix events offering between $30,000 and $50,000 in prize money. Alongside impressive purses, the Vermont Summer Festival management team upgraded all ring surfaces in 2015 to all-new Kruse Cushion Ride (KCR) footing and made numerous other property improvements. The effort was met with rave reviews from exhibitors last year, and has helped to make the 2016 season one of the most popular yet.
“This show has experienced such popularity that we have sold out of stabling during most weeks,” said Ruth Lacey, Marketing Director for the Vermont Summer Festival. “Exhibitors clearly appreciate our efforts to improve the facility, and they have thanked us with overwhelming support of the show as a whole.
“We love seeing returning horses and riders as well as new faces each year, and this season is shaping up to be one of the most exciting yet,” concluded Lacey.
Highlighting ringside action this summer in Vermont, the first five Saturdays will feature a $30,000 Grand Prix with the grand finale, the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix concluding the season on Saturday, August 13. Top show jumper competitors will also contest the $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, held each Thursday.
Each Sunday will feature the North American League (NAL) Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers Classic, as well as Marshall & Sterling Children’s and Adult Jumper Classics, giving junior, amateur and adult jumping competitors their turn in the grand prix ring.
For hunters, the $5,000 3’3” NEHJA Hunter Derby Qualifier returns on Thursdays during the first five weeks, culminating with a $15,000 offering on Thursday, August 11.
Tuesdays at the Vermont Summer Festival offer unique opportunities for equitation riders. The ‘Equitation Tuesday’ schedule, which is held in addition to equitation offerings taking place each week, features classes ranging from the THIS Children's Medal to USEF National Hunter Seat Medal and ASPCA Horsemanship qualifiers.
For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont for great competition in an ideal summer setting. Outside the show ring, exhibitors are immersed in the charm of Vermont's shopping, dining, and outdoor activities.
Competition at the 2016 Vermont Summer Festival runs weekly from Wednesday through Sunday, beginning each day at 8 a.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children from Wednesday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $9 for adults and $5 for children with 100% of all gate proceeds benefiting the Manchester Community Library and Dorset Equine Rescue.
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.