East Dorset, Vermont – Devon Macleod of East Kingston, NH, won the $5,000 NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Eastern Hay, on Thursday, July 26, at the 25th annual Vermont Summer Festival, which runs for six weeks through August 12 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
The derby course, designed by Gerry Briggs of Smyrna, TN, encompassed two competition rings and included traditional hunter jumps and derby-style fences. Macleod and Zelina 10, an 11-year-old Holsteiner mare owned by Kasey Noffsinger, returned last in the second round after scoring the high score of 84 over the opening track. Their second round handy score of 82 totaled a 155 for the win, just one day after Macleod’s 21st birthday.
Macleod started competing at the Vermont Summer Festival in the short stirrup divisions and is back this year as a working student for Mark Jungherr, with whom she rode as a junior competitor.
“Mark got this mare out of a field in New Hampshire as a sales horse,” said Macleod of Zelina 10. “The previous owners imported her from Germany and were looking to sell her. Kasey bought her and does her in the Adult Hunters. Last week and this week were the first two derbies that she has ever done, but she will go in any ring and jump around. And, she can jump a big jump!
“She is not the most refined horse, so she always surprises people when she jumps,” continued Macleod, who is studying public relations online at Southern New Hampshire University while also riding and training with Jungherr and her mother, Sheryl Macleod. “She wins a lot because she is easy and an all-around good horse. Today, the courses were great and we were conservative in the first round before showing off over the derby fences.”
Clara Bechtold of Madison, CT, finished second riding Donder with scores of 77 and 78 for a 155 total. Bechtold was also honored as the high-point amateur competitor.
D.J. Volandre of Norwell, MA, finished third riding Coolio, owned by Donald Stewart, on scores of 75 and 76 for a final score of 151. Jennifer Ritucci of Wrentham, MA, was fourth on In The Pursuit, owned by Susan Gomez with a 150 after combining scores of 78 and 72, while Alexandra Carlton of Madison, CT, rounded out the top five riding Cimorene with score of 79 and 65 totaling 144.
Competition continues at the Vermont Summer Festival with the $30,000 Mount Equinox Grand Prix, presented by Hampton Inn & Suites Manchester, on Saturday, July 28, beginning at 1 p.m.
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). Outside the show ring, exhibitors are immersed in the charm of Vermont’s shopping, dining, and outdoor activities.
Competition at the 2018 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 Dorset School, Manchester Community Library, and the Rotary Club of Manchester.
$5,000 NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Eastern Hay Thursday, July 26, 2018
Rider/ Hometown/ Horse/ Scores
1. Devon Macleod/ East Kingston, NH/ Zelina 10/ 84/82=166
2. Clara Bechtold/ Madison, CT/ Donder/ 77/78=155
3. D.J. Volandre/ Norwell, MA/ Coolio/ 75/76=151
4. Jennifer Ritucci/ Wrentham, MA/ In The Pursuit/ 78/72=150
5. Alexandra Carlton/ Madison, CT/ Cimorene/ 79/65=144