The next generation of grand prix horses will take center stage during the first three weeks of the Vermont Summer Festival with qualifying classes for the Young Jumper Championship series. Running July 2 through August 11 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT, the Vermont Summer Festival is the richest sporting event based on purse in the state with more than $750,000 in prize money.
“The Vermont Summer Festival has been hosting qualifiers for a number of years and we’re happy to have their support again this year,” said Cheryll Frank, Director of the Young Jumper Championships. “The whole purpose of the program is to give young horses quality experiences and whenever you have events with the caliber of the Vermont Summer Festival, it provides a tremendous opportunity for our members.”
Five-year-old, six-year-old and seven and eight-year-old jumper classes will be held during weeks one, two and three of the Vermont Summer Festival. These qualifiers will count towards earning a spot at the Young Jumper Championship Eastern League Finals at the Hampton Classic, August 25 to September 1, in Bridgehampton, NY.
“The Young Jumper Championships are an important tool for developing up-and-coming grand prix horses,” said John Ammerman, organizer of the Vermont Summer Festival. “These classes provide an exciting opportunity to see some spectacular young horses at the start of their careers. Many of the horses competing in the program have returned to Vermont and enjoyed tremendous success here.”
Devin Ryan of Long Valley, NJ, is just one of several regular competitors at the Vermont Summer Festival whose horses have benefitted from the Young Jumper Championship program. Two of his top mounts, No Worries and Roman Saluut, have become regulars in Vermont’s winner’s circle after competing in the young horse classes. Roman Saluut won the $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix in 2011 and the $30,000 Mount Equinox Grand Prix in 2012, the same year No Worries claimed victory in the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix.
“The Young Jumper Championships really provide a pipeline for future grand prix horses,” explained Ryan, who operates River Run Stables. “Young horses need to be properly developed and this series provides that opportunity. The horses compete against their peers, not seasoned show horses, and the courses are designed to build confidence and encourage clear rounds. More needs to be done to support classes like these so that riders have the ability to bring along American-bred horses instead of importing from Europe.”
Created in 1998, the Young Jumper Championships is designed to provide an age-appropriate program for the development of young show jumping horses and to identify the most promising prospects competing in the United States. For more information about the Young Jumper Championships, please visit www.youngjumpers.com.
For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont. Known for its wide variety of area amenities including a large range of lodging options, restaurants to suit every taste, outdoor activities, and lots and lots of shopping, Manchester-area businesses warmly welcome horse show competitors to the area each summer.
The first five Saturdays of the Vermont Summer Festival will feature a $30,000 Grand Prix. The $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix will be held during the sixth and final week on Saturday, August 10. The weekly $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, will be held each Thursday. The hugely popular $5,000 3’3” Hunter Derby will also be held each Thursday for the first five weeks, with week six featuring the $15,000 Hunter Derby.
The Vermont Summer Festival is a proud member event of the Show Jumping Hall Of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL). For more information about the Vermont Summer Festival, please e-mail: [email protected] or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.