Canadian competitors Stephanie Lessard and Alexandra Cantin topped the Canadian Circuit Awards presented at the conclusion of the 2016 Vermont Summer Festival, a six-week circuit held July 5 through August 14 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
The $10,000 Canadian Circuit Awards are presented to the high-point hunter and jumper champions and reserve champions hailing from Canada. A total of $10,000 was divided between the winners, with each champion receiving $3,000 and each reserve champion receiving $2,000.
Lessard of Candiac, QC, jumped to a total of 34.5 points in the jumper ring throughout her time at the Vermont Summer Festival with trainer James Gillam. Her success earned her the Canadian Circuit Award for jumpers and a $3,000 bonus.
Highlights for Lessard included a win in the Low Junior/Amateur Jumper division riding Channel, owned by Maggie Webster, coupled with second and third-place ribbons riding HFO Cordyte, owned by Maggie Horne, all during week five. Lessard and Channel were named reserve champions in the Low Junior/Amateur Jumper division during weeks five and six at the Vermont Summer Festival.
“This award is exciting because I actually had to stop riding for three years to finish school in Quebec,” said Lessard, who just got back in the tack this year. “I was lucky to be back in the ring and performing so well after such a long break.”
While Lessard has been away from the Vermont Summer Festival for three years, she still considers it one of her favorite shows saying, “From the scenery to the staff to the prize money, it is a great show.”
The reserve Canadian Circuit Award for jumpers was presented to Stephanie Latulippe of St. Nicholas, QC, with 32.5 points. She was awarded $2,000 for her performances.
Alexandra Cantin, also of St. Nicolas, QC, collected 57 points with her finishes in the Adult Amateur Hunter 36-49 division to claim the Canadian Circuit Award for hunters. She and her mount Mint Condition, owned by Evelyn Cantin, won over fences during week three before collecting two wins over fences and topping the under saddle during week four to take the division’s championship title. Cantin was presented with $3,000 for winning the Canadian Circuit Award.
“Mint Condition had a great two weeks at the Vermont Summer Festival and winning this was a nice addition to an already exceptional season,” said Cantin, who trains with Emmanuel Geoffroy.
While cashing a $3,000 bonus check is a welcomed perk to her show season, Cantin was also proud to be recognized for her efforts, noting, “I want to thank the Vermont Summer Festival for encouraging Canadians to cross the border and enjoy beautiful Vermont.”
Reserve honors for hunters went to Cyran Itskovitz of Montreal, QC. He collected a total of 39 points to win $2,000.
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. The Vermont Summer Festival returns to Harold Beebe Farm for six-weeks of competition from July 4 through August 13, 2017.
Please e-mail or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival.