Amy Shafmaster of Portsmouth, NH, won the $5,000 North American League (NAL) Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic on Sunday, August 4, during the fifth week of competition at the Vermont Summer Festival, which continues through August 11 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Nine horse-and-rider combinations navigated the first-round track set by Gerry Briggs of Smyrna, TN, without fault to advance to the short course. Shafmaster and her winning mount, Basje, were the final pair to return for the jump-off, and they crossed the timers in 34.56 seconds to take the win.
Second place with a time of 35.37 seconds went to Alexandra Carlton of Madison, CT, riding her own Colourline, while Shafmaster also finished in third with a time of 37.38 seconds aboard her first entry in the class, Dalton de la Fresniere.
“I was excited; it was nice class,” said Shafmaster following her win and third-place finish. “The jump-off was a good jump-off for me in that having a [horse with a] longer stride helped. It wasn’t just quick turns. My horses just jumped really well.
“I’m starting to figure [Basje] out,” continued Shafmaster of Basje, a horse she recently started riding. She was showing the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood, owned by Terrapin Hill Farm, LLC, for just the second time.
“I think I was fourth in the first week that I showed him, but I wasn’t as quick. I’m getting the pace now and learning how he likes it,” said Shafmaster. “He likes some pace and some power, but he’ll pat the ground. He’s very careful. As long as you go, he’ll jump clear, which is nice. My big horse [Dalton de la Fresniere] has a huge stride. I took out a stride in the jump-off in the first line with him. Not many people did that, and he got down it no problem. He’s really scopey; he’s a little slower and jumps a little higher [than Basje]. I want to move him up into the higher classes, but Basje is really quick with his legs, so he’s perfect for this.”
While Shafmaster spent much of her life riding, including competing at the Vermont Summer Festival in the show’s earliest years, she took 15 years off and only returned to the saddle six months ago.
“I’d had my son and was more established in my job, and I said, ‘I need something for myself,’ so I started riding again!” said Shafmaster, whose son Eli is seven years old and whose family owns and operates Little Bay Lobster Company in Newington, NH. “I’ve been coming to this show since it started 26 years ago, so it’s fun to be back.”
In addition to Shafmaster, three other classic winners were named in the grand prix ring on Sunday, including Keely O’Hara of Cazenovia, NY, who topped the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Jumper Classic riding Bahis de Magica, owned by Maarten Huygens. The win in $1,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s Jumper Classic went to Olivia Reiskin of Warren, VT, riding Violette Dawn, owned by Casey Lorusso, and the final victory of the day in the $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Classic went to Serena Marron of New York, NY, riding Cacan, owned by Horse Orchard LLC.
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 NAL Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic – Sunday, August 4
Rider Hometown Horse Faults/Time
1. Amy Shafmaster Portsmouth, NH Basje 0/0/34.56
2. Alexandra Carlton Madison, CT Colourline 0/0/35.37
3. Amy Shafmaster Portsmouth, NH Dalton de la Fresniere 0/0/37.38
4. Jessie Goodwin Stowe, VT Domanie 0/0/37.98
5. Maya Nayyar New York, NY Narco VA 0/0/38.06
6. Gabi Morris Bridgewater, NJ Windsor Z 0/0/40.19
7. Hayley Anderson New Boston, NH Calico Blue 0/0/40.44
8. Grace Thames Wellesley, MA Diamaria 0/4/42.63