The world’s top course designers have been invited to showcase their skills during the six-week Vermont Summer Festival, running July 4 through August 13, 2017, at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
In 2017, the 24th annual Vermont Summer Festival will feature the international course designing talent of Gerry Briggs (USA), Manuel Esparza (MEX), Paul Jewell (USA), Ken Krome (USA), Michel Vaillancourt (CAN), and Alan Wade (IRL).
Jewell will kick off the season during week one, followed by Wade who returns to the Vermont Summer Festival for the eighth consecutive year having recently handled course designing duties at the 2017 World Cup Final in Omaha, NE. Krome will take over course designing duties during week three before Vaillancourt, the 1976 Olympic individual silver medalist, sets tracks during week four. Esparza, who was part of the course building team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has been invited back for his second year to design during week five. Briggs will close out the season by serving as course designer during the sixth and final week of competition.
Course designers at the Vermont Summer Festival set high-performance courses in the grand prix ring at Harold Beebe Farm, including the $10,000 Open Welcome held each Thursday and the $30,000 Grand Prix, held the first five Saturdays of the six-week circuit. The Vermont Summer Festival culminates with a $50,000 Grand Prix on Saturday, August 12.
In addition to building for the main events of the Vermont Summer Festival, course designers have the opportunity to work on Kruse Cushion Ride (KCR) footing. The all-new surface was installed during the extensive property and footing upgrades that took place at Harold Beebe Farm in 2015.
Hailing from Tipperary, Ireland, with more than 20 years of course designing experience, Wade has watched the Vermont Summer develop into a popular choice among North American hunter/jumper riders.
“Numbers have increased dramatically over the years, especially since the footing upgrades,” said Wade, who began course designing with his father, Tommy Wade, who also served as chef d’equipe of the Irish Show Jumping Team for a number of years. “There is a great competition in Vermont. A win is a win, and it is no easy task.
“The riders really seem to enjoy themselves at the Vermont Summer Festival, and that is part of the reason that I keep coming back,” continued Wade. “Most importantly, I am happy to work with the people who run the show. The event is so well-organized and well-run.”
The Vermont Summer Festival gives Wade an opportunity to build for a wide range of riders, thanks to an all-inclusive schedule.
“For the medium and low amateurs, for example, a chance to ride in the main ring is their grand prix,” said Wade. “The same principles apply to those classes as the actual grand prix and I enjoy building for them as well as for the grand prix riders.”
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 over $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).
For more information on the Vermont Summer Festival, please e-mail or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.