East Dorset, Vermont – Morgan Ward of Milford, NJ, won her second $5,000 NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Eastern Hay, on Thursday, July 11, during the Vermont Summer Festival, which runs for six weeks through August 11 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
The derby course, built by Joe Carnicom of Toledo, OH, spanned two competition rings with both traditional hunter jumps and derby-style fences. From the first-round field of 32, the top 12 returned in reverse order of standing to decide the winner over a handy track. After topping the derby during opening week riding Cypress, Ward again earned the highest score, this time riding Carpedi for owner Wolver Hollow. Carrying forward an 85, Ward and Carpedi were best over the handy track, posting a. score of 86 to finish on a high score of 171 for the win.
Ward got the ride on Carpedi, a seven-year-old Holsteiner gelding, this spring from Teddy Demetriou of Wolver Hollow out of Chester, NY. Despite piloting a new mount, Ward kept her hot streak alive.
“Teddy and I are good friends and he sent me this horse to be sold,” said Ward, who quickly fell for the mount’s willingness in the competition ring. “He always goes in the ring and gives you 100 percent. His jump and expression are the best, but he also is the easiest, sweetest horse in my barn.”
Carpedi is currently only jumping in derby competition and is coming off two victories with Ward in Saugerties, NY. Ward set her focus on impressing the judges over the handy track to give the pair their third derby victory together.
“Going into the second round, I knew there were some good scores so I had to give it my best,” said Ward. “I was a little worried about the trot jump because he’s new at those. He jumped fence three the best and I felt great the rest of the way around. I really focused on landing and turning tight, being slick in the corners, and angling a few jumps.”
Finishing as runner-up to Ward, Cooper Dean of Fayette, AL, scored another top finish for the Wolver Hollow team riding Memorable. They combined scores of 81 and 85 to finish on 166 to take second place for owner Over Fences Farm, LLC. Shachine Belle of Farmington, CT, piloted Zosha, owned by Michelle Shapiro, to third with scores of 81.5 and 84 for a 165.5 total.
Fourth went to Kristen Bumpus of Concord, MA, and Trendsetter, owned by North Wind Farm, LLC, with a pair of 83s. Nicole Lyvere of Lakewood, CO, finished on 162.5 to take fifth place riding Haribo and earn the high-point amateur title. With a score of 153 and the 11th-place ribbon, Natalie Meyer of New Paltz, NY, was honored as the high-point junior rider.
Coming up, the second grand prix of the Vermont Summer Festival will highlight competition on Saturday, July 13. Beginning at 1 p.m., the spectator favorite $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix, presented by Hampton Inn & Suites of Manchester, will take center stage.
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).