Amy Momrow of Albany, NY, won the $5,000 NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Eastern Hay, for the second week in a row riding G. Eleven on Thursday evening, July 25, during the Vermont Summer Festival running through August 11 in East Dorset, VT.
Competition was fierce with 59 horses facing the opening round of the NEHJA Hunter Derby, which utilized two competition rings with both traditional hunter jumps and derby-style fences. Gerry Briggs of Smyrna, TN, set the courses and the top 12 horses from the opening round returned in reverse order of standing to compete over a handy track. Momrow and G. Eleven, owned by Kara Hagler, dominated both rounds by leading the first with an 88 and returning to score even better with an impressive 90 in the second. The duo won handily on a total score of 178.
Beginning their partnership in 2018, Momrow and G. Eleven, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, began their partnership last year and have qualified for the for the Platinum Performance/United States Hunter Jumper Association International Hunter Derby Championship. According to Momrow, the derby ring is where he shines, and they will travel to Lexington, KY, in August to compete at the final.
“He always give such a great effort and comes to win,” said Momrow, who is accompanied in Vermont by fellow Stepping Stone trainers Monty Kelly and Shaine Brooks, as well as a barn full of students. “I wanted to be conservative but also showcase his handiness with a brighter gallop rather than try for the tight inside turns. Over the log jump, he jumped so well I even felt my legs come off him!”
As winner, Momrow was presented with a crystal trophy and Mona’s Monograms show scrim by Rachel Rothenberg representing class sponsor Eastern Hay.
“I would like to thank Eastern Hay for their support,” said Momrow. “These derbies are so much fun and it’s a nice feeling to have a sponsor like them here to recognize us.
“I would also like to congratulate [Stepping Stone Farm rider] Alexander Goet on being in the handy round with me,” continued Momrow of her 16-year-old student, who piloted his own Calvanos to fourth place and the high-point junior title. “His horse is young – only six – and he has done a beautiful job bringing him along. Alex has really come into his own over the last couple years and it was great to see him in the top five today.”
Rounding out the top five scores, Jennifer Wright of Greenwich, CT, claimed second aboard Cosa Nostra, owned by Wright Start Outsourcing, with scores of 77.5 and 81 for a 158.5 total. Momrow also earned third place riding Victorino Z with a final tally of 158 after scores of 78 and 80. Goet, who hails from Delmar, NY, posted scores of 83 and 74 to land fourth on a 157.
Joyce Mersereau of Concord, MA, capped the top five riding Capstone with scores of 77 and 79 for a 156 total. Julia O’Neil of Rehoboth, MA, jumped into sixth place to claim the high-point amateur award riding Camaro M for owner Kristen Chance. They combined a 76.5 and 77 for a 153.5 total.
The fourth grand prix of the Vermont Summer Festival will highlight competition for spectators on Saturday, July 27. Beginning at 1 p.m., the $30,000 Valley Classic Grand Prix will take center stage.
Now in its 26th year, the Vermont Summer Festival offers a dynamic competition schedule while also giving competitors an opportunity to enjoy the wide variety of entertainment, recreation, shopping, and dining options offered in Dorset, Manchester, and the surrounding area. A recent study conducted by the Center for Rural Studies at the University of Vermont cited that the total direct spending of visitors frequenting Vermont for equine-related activities is estimated at nearly $15.5 million annually.
Competition at the 2019 Vermont Summer Festival runs weekly from Wednesday through Sunday, beginning each day at 8 a.m. Admission is $5 for adults and children from Wednesday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children with 100 percent of all gate proceeds benefiting Dorset Equine Rescue, The Dorset School, and Manchester Community Library.
The Vermont Summer Festival is a proud member of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL). For more information on the Vermont Summer Festival, please visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.
$5,000 NEHJA Hunter Derby
Presented by Eastern Hay - Thursday, July 25
Rider Hometown Horse Score
1. Amy Momrow Albany, NY G. Eleven 88+90=178
2. Jennifer Wright Greenwich, CT Cosa Nostra 77.5+81=158.5
3. Amy Momrow Albany, NY Victorino Z 78+80=158
4. Alexander Goet Delmar, NY Calvanos 83+74=157
5. Joyce Mersereau Concord, MA Capstone 77+79=156
6. Julia O’Neil Rehoboth, MA Camaro M 76.5+77=153.5
7. Morgan Budovsky Rehoboth, MA St. Elmo’s Fire 78.5+74=152.5
8. Marylisa Leffler Brookeville, MD Carlot 85+41=126
9. Jessie Goodwin Stowe, VT Lachlan 80+45=125
10 Jennifer Ritucci Franklin, MA In The Pursuit 86+35=121
11. Tessia Soja Bedford Corners, NY Carmo 79+Elim.=79
12. Laura Beth Strong Southampton, NY Chando W 76.25+Elim.=76.25