Amanda Flint of Long Valley, NJ, and VDL Coverboy captured the $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix, presented by Johnson Horse Transportation, on Saturday, July 9 at the 2016 Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT. The Vermont Summer Festival runs for six consecutive weeks, from July 5 through August 14, at Harold Beebe Farm.
After a win in the $10,000 Bass Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, earlier in the week, Flint and VDL Coverboy, owned by The Coverboy Group, stayed on top form to best 17 starters in Saturday’s $30,000 grand prix offering. Ireland's Alan Wade set the tracks for the week's featured jumper event and saw nine horses advance to the jump-off. Four produced double-clear efforts, leaving the top placings to be decided by speed.
Flint set an early time to beat with VDL Coverboy by crossing the timers in 42.51 seconds. Linda Sheridan of Frenchtown, NJ, and her own Vantina HPF were less than a second shy of bumping Flint from the top spot, but finished in 43.25 seconds for second place.
“I thought I left the door open a little bit in that last turn and I knew Linda was coming behind me with a very fast horse, but we ended up getting lucky,” said Flint.
Coupled with second-place, Sheridan was also presented with the Kastel Denmark Ladies Style of Riding Award for her performance in Saturday's grand prix.
Capping the top three was Bryn Sadler of Santa Fe, NM and Anabella, owned by Showcase 81, LLC, with a time of 43.94 seconds. In his second grand prix start ever, 18-year-old Brandon Howard of Flower Mound, TX, claimed fourth place on HF Costa Rica, owned by Homeward Farms, in a time of 48.21 seconds.
Flint also rounded out the top five in the irons of VDL Wittinger, owned by The Coverboy Group, with the fastest four-fault jump-off round in 42.69 seconds.
“Coverboy is performing incredibly well after just moving up to bigger jumps this winter,” said Flint of her winning mount, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding.
The Coverboy Group added VDL Coverboy to their string five years ago after spotting him at the first North American VDL auction in Ocala. He then spent several years with owner, Katherine Wachtell in the amateur jumper ranks. It wasn't until this year that Flint decided he was ready to move up into the grand prix ring.
“He progressed to the point where he's really performing – I couldn't be more elated with how he did today,” said Wachtell, who owns Bow, as she calls him around the barn, with her family and is currently a senior at Georgetown University. “He has always been the most athletic horse in the barn, but was really immature and always goofing off until he was about seven. He started coming around and we decided it was time to try and see how far he can excel.”
Wachtell has been attending the Vermont Summer Festival for eight years and considers it one of her favorite shows saying, “this is one of the most beautiful settings of any horse show anywhere. We come here every year as a result.”
For her victory, Flint was awarded a cooler from Mona's Monograms and an equestrian-themed belt from Oughton Limited. In addition, the Vermont Summer Festival also recognized her groom with the weekly Grand Prix Groom Award. In recognition of Junior Duarte's hard work to prepare VDL Coverboy for grand prix competition, he was presented with a monogrammed jacket and coolerette from sponsor Glenn Geary of Horsewatch.
For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont for great competition in an ideal summer setting. Outside the show ring, exhibitors enjoy the charm of Vermont's shopping, dining, and outdoor activities.
Competition at the 2016 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 Manchester Community Library, Dorset Equine Rescue, Meals on Wheels.
Please e-mail or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival.
$30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix, presented by Johnson Horse Transportation - Saturday, July 9, 2016
Rider Hometown Horse Faults Time
1. Amanda Flint Long Valley, NJ VDL Coverboy 0:0 42.51
2. Linda Sheridan Frenchtown, NJ Vantina HPF 0:0 43.25
3. Bryn Sadler Santa Fe, NM Anabella 0:0 43.94
4. Brandon Howard Flower Mound, TX HF Costa Rica 0:0 48.21
5. Amanda Flint Long Valley, NJ VDL Wittinger 0:4 42.69
6. Katie Tyler Old Lyme, CT Wild Card 0:4 43.56
7. Theodore Demetriou Wellington, FL Conntador 0:4 44.06
8. Bryn Sadler Santa Fe, NM Bon Giorno 0:4 44.96
9. Amanda Flint Long Valley, NJ Cairo 0:4 51.33
10. Amanda Strain Deep River, CT Casino Royale 3 85.37