William 'Billy' Glass has announced his retirement from the Vermont Summer Festival following 35 years of tireless dedication. Glass served as technical coordinator for the six-week Vermont Summer Festival, which this year runs from July 3 through August 12, 2018, at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
During his lengthy tenure at the Vermont Summer Festival, Glass ran the day-to-day operations of the event while also spearheading the inclusion of niche offerings for exhibitors. Glass led the charge to introduce a week of World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) competition as well as "Equitation Tuesdays" which have become extremely popular qualifying events for year-end equitation finals.
"Vermont is where I grew my career," said Glass, who originally hails from Buffalo, NY, and began working for the Vermont Summer Festival 35 years ago when it was based in Killington, VT. "We started with 200 stalls and two competition rings and have grown to 1,200 stalls and five competition rings at the event's permanent home in East Dorset. The Vermont Summer Festival has enjoyed a great run under [show organizers] John and Dotty Ammerman."
After spending his summers at the Vermont Summer Festival, Glass will now follow his passion for fishing, saying, "I look forward to my second career as a fishing guide. However, I will miss the competition and the spirit of the horses and people, as well as the great state of Vermont."
Doug Russell, another Vermont Summer Festival employee who has dedicated his summer months to working in the mountains of southern Vermont, will take over the reins as technical coordinator. Russell has served as an assistant to Glass and course designer at the Vermont Summer Festival for the past six years.
"I look forward to maintaining what we have all built and keeping a happy clientele," said Russell, originally from San Antonio, TX, and now based out of Ocala, FL. "Vermont is beautiful and a great place to be, and everyone who works at the show is a pleasure to be around.
"We are all very familiar and friendly with each other and that is a good setting to work in," continued Russell, who runs the Venice Equestrian Tour in Venice, FL, during the winter months. "That atmosphere is infectious throughout the horse show and it makes it so easy to be a part of the team. The staff and the exhibitors are the most cooperative around and John and Dotty are great to work for."
The 2018 Vermont Summer Festival offers an all-inclusive schedule with weekly $5,000 3'3" NEHJA Hunter Derbies each Thursday, culminating with a $15,000 offering in week six. For jumper competitors, highlights include the $10,000 Open Welcome, held each Thursday, and the $30,000 Grand Prix, held the first five Saturdays of the six-week circuit, before concluding with a $50,000 Grand Prix on the final weekend.
The Vermont Summer Festival is New England's largest hunter/jumper competition and the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont with more than $750,000 in prize money. The event is also a proud member of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL).