Katie McVeigh of Mount Kisco, NY, topped the $5,000 NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Eastern Hay, on Thursday, July 19, during World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week at the 25th annual Vermont Summer Festival, which runs for six weeks through August 12 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Spanning two competition rings, the derby courses were designed by Joe Carnicom of Toledo, OH, with traditional hunter jumps and derby-style fences. McVeigh had the highest score over the opening round to return last and combined an 82 with an 83 for a total score of 165 riding Goyard for their first derby win together.
Keirstin Johnsen of North Salem, NY, piloted Upset de Talma, owned by Lynne Schwartz, to scores of 82 and 77 to finish second on a score of 159. Megan Young of Jacksonville, FL, took third riding Varekai, owned by EHM Equestrian, LLC, with scores of 75 and 83 for 158 total. Jennifer Wright of Coscob, CT, rounded out the top five by riding Cosa Nostra, owned by Wright Start Outsourcing, LLC, to fourth with a score of 157 and Cordially Yours, owned by Sheffield Farms, Inc., to fifth with a total score of 155.5.
McVeigh’s win also secured her the high-point amateur award, while 17-year-old Ally Archer of Katonah, NY, was named high-point junior riding Prophet for owner Showcase Limited.
“I really can’t believe it,” said McVeigh, who was planning to use the derby as preparation for the Amateur-Owner Hunter division over the weekend. “She was perfect in the first round and then I felt the pressure going into the second round. She was a little spooky in the derbies here last year, so I was prepared for that, but she went right in and jumped around so well.”
McVeigh has had the ride on Goyard, an eight-year-old warmblood mare, for a year, saying, “She’s a horse that will do anything for you from any distance and she always comes out the same. She’s my favorite!”
After competing in Vermont for the next two weeks, McVeigh will shift her focus to school. She begins her freshman year studying biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, at the end of August.
Week three at the Vermont Summer Festival is all about the hunters with WCHR qualifying points up for grabs. The United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) World Championship Hunter Rider Program was founded in 1992 to recognize and celebrate the hunter rider. WCHR Program Members qualify for national and regional awards by earning points at member events held across the country. The top-ranked riders come together each year to compete in the WCHR Finals at the Capital Challenge Horse Show, held this year from September 28 through October 7 in Upper Marlboro, MD.
Competition continues at the Vermont Summer Festival with the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix on Saturday, July 21, beginning at 1 p.m.
The Vermont Summer Festival is New England’s largest hunter/jumper competition and the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont with more than $750,000 in prize money. The event is also a proud member of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL). Outside the show ring, exhibitors are immersed in the charm of Vermont's shopping, dining, and outdoor activities.
Competition at the 2018 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 Dorset School, Manchester Community Library, and the Rotary Club of Manchester.
$5,000 NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Eastern Hay
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Rider Hometown Horse Scores
1. Katie McVeigh Mount Kisco, NY Goyard 83/82=165
2. Keirstin Johnsen North Salem, NY Upset de Talma 82/77=159
3. Megan Young Jacksonville, FL Varekai 75/83=158
4. Jennifer Wright Coscob, CT Cosa Nostra 81/76=157
5. Jennifer Wright Coscob, CT Cordially Yours 74.5/81=155.5
6. Devon MacLeod East Kingston, NH Zelina 10 76/74=150
7. Ally Archer Katonah, NH Prophet 73/75=148
8. Brett Shear-Heyman Ossining, NY Vesper 77/70=147
9. Amanda Steege Ocala, FL Disclosure 79/67=146
10. Emma Schauder Greenwich, CT Lucky Steel 78/60=138
11. Alessandra Delucia Darien, CT Say Goodnight 80/52=132
12. Keirstin Johnsen North Salem, NY Calani 70/45=115