East Dorset, Vermont – Michelle Stacy, 63, of Ipswich, MA, won the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Amateur Jumper Classic on Sunday, July 28, during the fourth week of competition at the Vermont Summer Festival, which continues through August 11 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Seventeen entries contested the first-round track set by Canada’s Michel Vaillancourt, with five horse-and-rider combinations jumping without fault to advance to the jump-off. As the third rider to return, Stacy and her mount, I Watch, crossed the finish line in a clear time of 30.10 seconds to take over the lead and ultimately clinch the victory.
“It’s always so exciting at my age to go in the ring and actually be able to still ride well enough to win a class!” said Stacy, 63, who rode as a junior before taking more than 30 years off from riding. She returned to the saddle 11 years ago. “It’s a great sport to come back to. I came back at a time period where my daughter [Danielle Stacy] was really doing well in the sport; I was coming to all of the shows. I was semi-retired, and it just really became a nice thing to do in my older years. That’s why it’s so fun to come out here and still be competitive!”
Stacy has been partnered with I Watch, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, for the last year and a half, and she is quick to credit the mare with her success.
“She’s amazing; she tries her heart out,” said Stacy of the mare, known in the barn as “Apple.” “She’s such a wonderful partner to me. I just adore her. She just takes good care of me. There are many times that I can just say, ‘Apple, take the wheel,’ and she just takes right over and does her job.”
Coming the closest to catching Stacy and I Watch’s time was Katharine Stento of Wellesley, MA, and Chocoboy 2, who finished the short course in 30.62 seconds to take second place. Third place with a time of 30.81 seconds went to Christina Couper of Savannah, GA, riding Libelle van de Moerhoeve. Finishing in fourth with one rail in a time of 30.56 seconds were Marissa Fogal of Pottstown, PA, and De Laila, while Steven Gordon of East Norwich, NY, and Reddington rounded out the top five with four faults in 31.44 seconds.
Following the conclusion of the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Amateur Jumper Classic, the Children’s and Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers took to the grand prix ring for their own classics. Earning the win in the $1,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Jumper Classic was Mark Leone, Jr. of Franklin Lakes, NJ, riding Shearsha Ronin, owned by Stefani Gorman. The win in the $5,000 Junior and Amateur/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic went to Jordan Shelburne-Douglass of Scarborough, ME, riding her own Dacidin.
Now in its 26th year, the Vermont Summer Festival offers a dynamic competition schedule while also giving competitors an opportunity to enjoy the wide variety of entertainment, recreation, shopping, and dining options offered in Dorset, Manchester, and the surrounding area. A recent study conducted by the Center for Rural Studies at the University of Vermont cited that the total direct spending of visitors frequenting Vermont for equine-related activities is estimated at nearly $15.5 million annually.
Competition at the 2019 Vermont Summer Festival runs weekly from Wednesday through Sunday, beginning each day at 8 a.m. Admission is $5 for adults and children from Wednesday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children with 100 percent of all gate proceeds benefiting Dorset Equine Rescue, The Dorset School, and Manchester Community Library.
The Vermont Summer Festival is a proud member of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL).
$2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Amateur Jumper Classic – Sunday, July 28, 2019
Rider Hometown Horse Faults/Time
- Michelle Stacy Ipswich, MA I Watch 0/0/30.10
- Katharine Stento Wellesley, MA Chocoboy 2 0/0/30.62
- Christina Couper Savannah, GA Libelle van de Moerhoeve 0/0/30.81
- Marissa Fogal Pottstown, PA De Laila 0/4/30.56
- Steven Gordon East Norwich, NY Reddington 0/4/31.44
- Jennie Towner Churchville, MD Britta of Berga 4/63.57
- Tyler Bui Hopkinton, MA INXS 4/65.57
- Amy Singer New Fairfield, CT Chubby 4/66.01
- Katie McVeigh Mount Kisco, NY Whip Jet 41 4/66.04
- Faith Kollien Acton, MA Dominique 4/66.10
- Colm McGuckian East Islip, NY Edjin 4/68.04
- Michelle Stacy Ipswich, MA Enrique VHV 4/71.74