East Dorset, Vermont — The fifth week of competition at the six-week Vermont Summer Festival kicked off with equitation riders taking center stage during the popular ‘Equitation Tuesday’ on Tuesday, August 1, at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Every Tuesday at the Vermont Summer Festival offers some of the country's top equitation riders and national champion hopefuls unique opportunities to qualify for year-end finals. Highlighting ‘Equitation Tuesday’ competition during week five, Dominika Silvestri, 15, of Andover, MA, won the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children's Medal.
Silvestri has won every THIS National Children’s Medal class she has ever entered at the Vermont Summer Festival, which included three blue ribbons during the 2016 season.
“It feels really good to win this class,” said Silvestri, who rode under the direction of Shane Powell at Evermoor, LLC based in Newbury Old Town, MA. “Last year, the points I got in Vermont helped me to make it to the final and that is my goal again this year.”
The 2017 THIS National Children's Medal Final will take placeat the Capital Challenge Horse Show, running from September 29 through October 8 in Upper Marlboro, MD.
Speaking specifically about her round aboard her own Nice, a horse she has owned for two years and sometimes doubles as her hunter mount, Silvestri noted, “In my first round, I think I was a little slow to jump one, but I realized that quickly and got it together. But, I was really proud of all my inside turns.
“In the test, I tried to focus on my counter canter to the first jump and finish with a really nice trot jump,” continued Silvestri, who returned second in the four-horse test over fences evaluated by judge Richard Slocum of Wellington, FL.
Silvestri has been attending the Vermont Summer Festival for five years, saying, ”I love how laid back ‘Equitation Tuesday’ is. Everything isn’t going on at once, so you can really focus on your equitation rounds. The show itself is really well organized, and the grounds are gorgeous. I also really love the courses.”
While the THIS National Children's Medal Final is Silvestri’s current goal as a rider, outside the show ring she will begin her junior year of high school this fall at Andover High School in Andover, MA.
After testing alongside Silvestri, Kate Coffey of Westford, MA, finished second riding Del Mar, Abigail Tinsley of Sudbury, MA, claimed third place aboard Zonder Z Quattro, and Alessandra Dipietro of Westford, MA, took fourth riding Adagio.
Also taking place on Tuesday, Emma Ellis, 17, of Annapolis, MD, won both the New England Horsemen’s Council Junior Hunt Seat Medal and the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal riding Captain Jack under the direction of John Brennan and Missy Clark, trainers at North Run based in Warren, VT. Tessa Queirolo, 16, of Farmington, CT, won the ASPCA Horsemanship Medal riding her own Vintage Bentley, and Elizabeth McKim,16, of Wilmington, NC, topped the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search class riding Casper van’t Gestelhof.
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. Offering more than $750,000 in prize money over the course of its six-week run, the Vermont Summer Festival is New England’s largest hunter/jumper competition as well as the state’s richest sporting event based on purse. Outside the show ring, exhibitors are immersed in the charm of Vermont's shopping, dining, and outdoor activities.
Competition at the 2017 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, Meals on Wheels of Bennington County, and the Rotary Club of Manchester.