Merrill Harvey of Huntington, NY, and Favoriet concluded the second week of the Vermont Summer Festival with a win in the $5,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, on Sunday, July 17. The Vermont Summer Festival runs for six consecutive weeks from July 5 through August 14, at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Eighteen-year-old Harvey topped a competitive field of 30 horses over courses designed by Paul Jewell of Lambertville, NJ, on Sunday afternoon. She and Favoriet, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Harvey Equine Ventures, LLC, were one of 11 pairs to advance to the jump-off. Their time of 33.96 seconds over the short course was the fastest of four double-clear rounds to give them the win.
Haleigh Landrigan of Marstons Mills, MA, was a single second shy of the lead aboard her own C Mons Venus to finish in second on a time of 34.94. Catalina Peralta of Geneva, FL, and Conti, owned by Wendy Peralta, took third in 35.66 seconds, while Lauren Linder of Warren, NJ, and her own Nazario 2 finished fourth in 36.63 seconds. Gillian Kelley of Rye, FL, piloted Zena D, owned by Emerald Isle Jumpers, to the fastest four-fault effort over the jump-off course in 34.66 seconds to round out the top five ribbons.
This week marked Harvey's first visit to the Vermont Summer Festival where she and Favoriet also picked up a fourth-place ribbon in the low junior/amateur-owner jumper division earlier earlier in the week. For Sunday's classic win, Harvey was presented with a pair of Tonic paddock boots and half chaps from sponsor Schockemoehle, as well as her share of the prize money.
“I love it here,” said the young rider, who trains with Michael Zukerman at Lynnewood Stables. “During the first round, Favoriet was really good and I was just focused on getting in under the time allowed.”
Despite a hard rub in the first round, luck was on Harvey's side and she advanced to the jump-off saying, “she felt ready to go, so we went for it and it was awesome. I cried when I came out of the ring because I was so happy.”
Sunday's win was a peak in Harvey's career with Favoriet after purchasing the mare last spring from German rider, Mattias Hollberg.
“We have had a lot of rough patches together,” said Harvey. “I fell off her the second week in Ocala this winter and broke my ankle, but now I am finally getting it all together with her. She's been so great for me. She's a big horse that was doing the grand prix before I got her, so I had to learn how to ride her.
“I love the feeling of a fast horse and she has tremendous scope,” continued Harvey. “Now, when I get in a groove with her she is awesome around the course.”
After finding success in the lows, Harvey's most immediate goal with Favoriet is to move up to the high junior/amateur-owner jumper division.
Kicking of the final day of Week 2 at the Vermont Summer Festival, Alissa Kinsey of Danville, NH, won the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Jumper Classic with her own Capella 37. Alfred Famiano Jr. of Albany, NY, took second place aboard Stryker, owned by Wind Fields Farm, LLC, and Kathleen Flynn, of Norwalk, CT, claimed third with Wilander, owned by Erin Witt. Wendy Wood of South Hamilton, MA, rode to fourth on her won City Life, while Michael Kennedy of Newtown, PA, rounded out the top five aboard Gentleman, for owner Kris Hoffman Kennedy.
Also highlighting the action in the Grand Prix Ring on Sunday, sixteen-year-old Katherine Fish of Clifton Park, NY, won the $1,500 Marshall & Sterling Children's Jumper Classic aboard her own C'Est Maybelline. Madeline Schaefer of Westminster, MD, and her own Red Hot jumped into second, and Madison Deregis of Jamesville, NY, claimed third in the irons of M and M for Redfield Farm. Logan Book of Darien, CT, took fourth on Proverbs 15, owned by DC Sales & Entertainment, LLC, while Samantha Rice of Ontario, QC, and her own Cheval D'Espoir Z capped the top five.
Wrapping up the day in the grand prix ring, 17-year-old Lauren Fischer of Bedford Hills, NY, and Tosca de Feugre, owned by Cheryl Fischer, won the $10,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Dr. Robert Barber & Team Barber, as the youngest rider in the field. Second was presented to Eliza Month of Scarsdale, NY, and her own Calumpi, while Saly Glassman of Gwynedd Valley, PA, took third on Doctori for Kindle Hill Affiliates. Catherine Wachtell of Chatham, NJ, accepted fourth with VDL Zedaldine, owned by The Coverboy Group, and Emma Schauder of Greenwich, CT, capped the top five in the irons of Sesto Senso, owned by Country Lane Farm.
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, and Meals on Wheels.
Please e-mail or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival.
$5,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic - Sunday, July 17, 2016
Rider Hometown Horse Faults Time
1. Merrill Harvey Huntington, NY Favoriet 0:0 33.96
2. Haleigh Landrigan Marstons Mills, MA C Mons Venus 0:0 34.94
3. Catalina Peralta Geneva, FL Conti 0:0 35.66
4. Lauren Linder Warren, NJ Nazario 2 0:0 36.63
5. Gillian Kelley Rye, FL Zena D 0:4 34.66
6. Saly Glassman Gwynedd Valley, PA Z. Adermie 56 0:4 35.80
7. Meghann Harmon Middleburg, VA Quastor van de Helle Z 0:4 36.32
8. Liz Schmid Wellington, FL HF Localido 0:4 36.96