The first three weeks of horse showing at the 25th annual Vermont Summer Festival have welcomed equitation riders to take center stage during popular Equitation Tuesday competition each week during the six-week circuit, which runs through August 12 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 the first half of the circuit with equitation victories were Alida Treuting of Seldon, NY, riding Unex Timo IV, Zoe Goldberg of Greenwich, CT, riding Estonia, and Carson Ruff of Jackson, MO, riding RE Chiste.
Twelve-year-old Treuting won three classes during opening week of the Vermont Summer Festival, including the ASPCA Horsemanship Medal, Open Medal, and National Horse Show 3’3” Medal. She clinched the hat trick riding Unex Timo IV, an 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Numero Uno that is owned by Thinks Like A Horse and was a former grand prix mount of U.S. grand prix rider Aaron Vale.
“That first week was really special because we have been working really hard at home and it paid off,” said Treuting, who owes a lot of her success in the ring to trainer Brooke Chasin, as well as her mother and fellow trainer Myrna Treuting. “We are turning Unex Timo into an equitation horse and he’s learning very quickly; he just keeps getting better and better.
“I love everything about this show!” continued Treuting, who returns to the Vermont Summer Festival during week four to continue her first season stepping up into the 3’6” equitation with the help of trainer Val Renihan and Findlay's Ridge.
Also making her debut in 3’6” equitation competition, 16-year-old Zoe Goldberg won the ASPCA Horsemanship Medal and placed second in the New England Horsemen’s Council Junior Hunt Seat Medal during week two. She piloted the nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Estonia, owned by Goldberg’s trainer Christian Coyle, who trains at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY, to the blue and red ribbons.
“This is my first year in the big eq and I was very happy with the results that we had in Vermont,” said Goldberg, who has had the ride on Estonia for three months. “I set a goal at the beginning of the season to move up to 3’6”, so to win this class makes reaching that goal even more special.”
During week three, 18-year-old Ruff won the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal riding RE Chiste, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Chester Z and owned by Sabina Holtzman, for the second week in a row. The two victories qualified Ruff for the 2018 Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA, this fall.
“I really like how Equitation Tuesday gives riders the opportunity to complete two qualifying classes in one week and gain a lot of points during the summer,” said Ruff, who also competes RE Chiste in junior hunter competition. “I have been competing him for three years and he jumped around great this week. The test had a really hard counter-canter turn, which he handled really well.”
Ruff is competing at the Vermont Summer Festival this summer with the Missouri-based Kennedy Farms under the direction of trainer Micaela Kennedy.
Over the last several years, the Vermont Summer Festival has become a hot spot to qualify for year-end equitation finals thanks to the introduction of Equitation Tuesdays.
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.