Elle Young of Salina, KS, took home the Adirondack – Green Mountain Challenge title on Saturday, July 12, at the Vermont Summer Festival. Young rode to first place in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division aboard Boris, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood by Tenerife owned by her mother, Karen Young.
The Adirondack-Green Mountain Challenge, now in its fifth year, is presented to the horse and rider combination that earned the most points in specific divisions during the two weeks of this year’s Skidmore College Saratoga Classic Horse Show and the first two weeks of the Vermont Summer Festival Horse Show. Points were earned by riders in Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions, Junior Hunter divisions, Pony Hunter divisions, Adult Amateur Hunter divisions, Children’s Hunter divisions, Children’s and Adult Jumper divisions, Junior and Amateur-Owner Jumper divisions, and Short Stirrup Hunter divisions.
“Horse shows don’t tend to work together, and I thought it would be a good idea to partner with the Vermont Summer Festival,” said Adele Einhorn, Executive Director of the Skidmore College Saratoga Classic Horse Show. “It helps promote both horse shows and it extends good will. We’re happy to be a part of it, and it’s beneficial to both shows. People really like it. They really enjoy the challenge of competing for a title at two different venues.”
For her win, Young received an engraved wooden platter from the Vermont Summer Festival, an embroidered Skidmore College Saratoga Classic Horse Show jacket from Marmot, a $100 gift card to SmartPak, and a pair of Ariat® Olympia breeches.
Young imported Boris as a four-year-old and has brought him along herself, putting in countless rides to show the talented gelding the ropes in the junior hunter ring. The two have made quick progress; Young pointed out that she had never even competed in the junior hunter divisions until recently.
“I’d always been given green horses when I was little, so it was nothing I wasn’t used to,” Young detailed of developing Boris. “He’s really strong and he loves his job, so (at first) when you jumped a jump, he would take off running towards the next one. But he was always easy.”
She continued, “Last year, this time of year, I had barely jumped 3’6”! It’s all new. I was excited (to find out that I won). Someone told me at the beginning of the week that I was leading, but there was a children’s hunter rider close behind me. I was like, ‘Ok, I want this thing! I’m going to get it this year!’”
Young was especially determined to go after this year’s title after falling short in 2013. Boris broke out in hives, preventing them from competing at the Vermont Summer Festival. In 2014, the pair triumphantly returned to Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT, finishing as division champions after winning all but one of their classes during the second week of the show.
Young has ridden with trainer Bobby Braswell for the last two years and has enjoyed the opportunity to show in both Saratoga and Vermont.
“Saratoga is fun. I love both towns,” Young said of Manchester, VT, and Saratoga, NY. “Vermont is wonderful. The classes move quickly, and it’s a great show to be at. It’s relaxed, the mountains are beautiful, and the horses love it.”
The Vermont Summer Festival offers a full schedule of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition from at Harold Beebe Farm. This week's $10,000 Open Welcome Stake Series, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, will be held , with the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix, presented by Hand Motors, taking place at . The $5,000 3’3” NEHJA Hunter Derby takes place on .
Competition runs weekly from through , beginning at Admission prices are $5 for adults, $3 for children from through . and , admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children. 100% of the gate proceeds benefit area libraries, including Manchester Community Library.
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 restaurants, outdoor activities, and lots and lots of shopping, Manchester-area businesses warmly welcome horse show competitors to the area each summer.
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). Please e-mail us or visit our website for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival.
Photograph by David Mullinix Photography