East Dorset, Vermont – Kendra Sue Walmer of Reinholds, PA, topped the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic on Sunday, July 29, to conclude the fourth of six weeks of competition at the 25th annual Vermont Summer Festival, which runs through August 12 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Nine horses advanced to Canadian course designer Michel Vaillancourt’s jump-off from an original field of 24. Walmer, 21, and her veteran mount Electra, a 20-year-old Thoroughbred mare by Sky Classic, had the speed to score the double-clear win in 33.49 seconds against a competitive group.
Electra is the former grand prix mount of Walmer’s trainer Andrew Ross. She got the ride on the mare after Ross stepped her down from top competition two years ago.
“She’s still kicking!” said Walmer, who regularly competes in the High Adult Jumper division and splits her time in the saddle with her studies to become a dental hygienist. “I love how game she is; she will give her all every time and always get you to the fences.
“She came back from an injury and this year we have put all the pieces together,” continued Walmer. “We have learned how to go fast, do the inside turns, and she is really getting it done.”
This week was Walmer’s first time competing at the Vermont Summer Festival and she said, “I really like it here and I was tickled pink to win today. In the first round, she was very forward so I was a little worried about how the jump-off was going to go. I was hoping she wasn’t going to be too forward, but she really got it together between rounds.”
Walmer bested her own barn mate by only fractions of a second to take the win. Rachael Kealey of Denver, PA, who also rides with Ross, took second in 33.92 seconds riding Estella Zazoom. Michelle Stacy of Ipswich, MA, finished third in 35.17 seconds riding I Watch, owned by R.J. Equestrian Group.
Local rider Katie Gray of Essex, VT, took fourth in 38.06 seconds aboard Citizen, and Nancy Buonpane of Melville, NY, rounded out the top five riding Rio to a time of 38.35 seconds.
Also taking home a win on Sunday, Elizabeth Kirby of Wellington, FL, claimed a victory in the $5,000 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic for the second week in a row, this time riding Cassinja, owned by E.K. Equestrian, LLC.
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.
$2,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic
Sunday, July 29, 2018
Rider/ Hometown/ Horse/ Faults/Time
1. Kendra Sue Walmer/ Reinholds, PA/ Electra/ 0/0/33.49
2. Rachael Kealey/ Denver, PA/ Estella Zazoom/ 0/0/33.92
3. Michelle Stacy/ Ipswich, MA/ I Watch/ 0/0/35.17
4. Katie Gray/ Essex, VT/ Citizen/ 0/0/38.06
5. Nancy Buonpane/ Melville, NY/ Rio/ 0/0/38.35
6. Caitlin Darnall/ New Canaan, CT/ Ballichaco/ 0/0/39.58
7. Sarah Trent/ New York, NY/ Beach Boy/ 0/4/35.18
8. Katie McVeigh/ Mount Kisco, NY/ Czechmate/ 0/4/36.97