Sarah Barge of Bloomfield, NY, won the $5,000 3'3” NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Eastern Hay, in the irons of Danturano on July 14 at the 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.
Barge and Danturano, owned by Sydney Degrazia, were first to enter the derby ring in a 24-horse order. Their performance over the course, which spanned two competition rings and was designed by Gerry Briggs of Smyrna, TN, earned them a score of 86.
As the first round neared completion, an approaching storm prompted riders, show management, and judges to agree to pin the class after one round. With only six horses left to show after that decision, Barge was still the class leader from the first trip of the day and her score held until the end.
Climbing the hunter derby ranks in Vermont, Samantha Schaefer of Westminster, MD, finished third during Week 1 and jumped into second this week on a score of 85.5 aboard her own Classified. Canadian rider Tommy Feigel, who now hails from Pompano Beach, FL, piloted Cypress to an 85 to finish in third for owner, Bruce Green.
Kristy Herrera of Wellington, FL, and Sweet Caroline, owned by Louisa Attenborough, jumped to an 84 to finish fourth. Herrera was also presented with the Kastel Denmark Ladies Style of Riding Award for her performance.
Elizabeth Kirby of Wellington, FL, rounded out the top five aboard Reservation, owned by E.K. Equestrian, LLC, with a score of 83.
Danturano is an eight-year-old Warmblood gelding and a new ride for Barge. The mount was added to her string at the end of the winter season in Florida with plans for Degrazia to take over the reins in the junior hunters. The Vermont Summer Festival marks the beginning of Danturano's derby experience after jumping to an eighth-place ribbon during Week 1.
“Last week he was a little unsure of himself, but this week he went in and was very confident and knew his job,” said Barge. “It is always exciting to win but more exciting to see the horse's progress. We are putting him together for Sydney and getting him as much experience along the way.”
Barge also competes Danturano in the pre-green hunter division and considers the horse one of the special ones in her barn.
“He has a beautiful jump every time, which is quite fun to ride and there is just something about him,” she said. “I am so happy with how much I have seen him grow up in the past few months.”
Barge's own Stone Lane Stables is based at the Vermont Summer Festival for the first three weeks of the circuit and are familiar faces at the Southern Vermont event.
We love Vermont!” said Barge. “The people are wonderful, the horse show is run impeccably well, and the kids have so much to do outside the horse show that they have a great time both in the ring and experiencing Vermont.”
In addition to her share of the prize money and a commemorative scrim from Mona's Monograms, Barge was presented with a Land Rover Experience Driving School off-road excursion from class sponsor, Eastern Hay.
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 3'3" NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Eastern Hay - Thursday, July 14
Rider Hometown Horse Scores
1. Sarah Barge Bloomfield, NY Danturano 86
2. Samantha Schaefer Westminster, MD Classified 85.5
3. Tommy Feigel Pompano Beach, FL Cypress 85
4. Kristy Herrera Wellington, FL Sweet Caroline 84
5. Elizabeth Kirby Wellington, FL Reservation 83
6. Jimmy Torano Wellington, FL Walk About 82.5
7. Mary Davis Needham, MA Georgette le Bon 82
8. Kelsi Okun McLean, VA Park Place 80
9. Robbie Burroughs Hackensack, NJ Valentine 79
10. Jimmy Torano Wellington, FL High Time 77
11. Robert Lee Ocala, FL Shock Top 76.75
12. Robbie Burroughs Hackensack, NJ Allure 76.5