East Dorset, Vermont – Patricia Hurter of Harvard, MA, rode Contendro’s Girl to win the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s/Adult Amateur Classic on Sunday, August 5, to conclude the fifth of six weeks of competition at the 25th annual Vermont Summer Festival, which continues through August 12 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Twenty-five entries contested the class with nine horses advancing to jump off over the short course set by course designer Gerry Briggs. Michelle Stacy of Ipswich, MA, and I Watch, owned by R.J. Equestrian Group, were the first to return, and the pair set the time to beat at a fast 35.94 seconds. That time would hold up as the best of the class all the way until the final jump-off entry, Hurter and her own 14-year-old Holsteiner mare, Contendro’s Girl. The final pair made short work of the previously leading time, crossing the timers well over a second faster and securing the win with a time of 34.11 seconds.
Hurter’s winning time would relegate Stacy and I Watch to second, while third place with a time of 35.96 seconds went to Kelsey Hill of North Bennington, VT, and her own Authentic Managerie.
“The jump-off was fun because I don’t usually go for it,” said Hurter, who turns 55 on Wednesday. “I just try to go double clean and ride well and not kill myself because I’m not exactly young! But today, it seemed like a really nice course for her because she could really gallop and excel. I figured, ‘what the heck, just go for it!’ So I went for it, and she was awesome.”
Hurter has owned Contendro’s Girl for the last year and a half after falling in love with the mare while leasing her.
“I wasn’t really supposed to buy her, but I loved her,” said Hurter. “She’s got an amazing canter. She feels like she has turbo boosters behind. You put your leg on her, and she just goes. She has a really soft mouth. She’s going in a loose ring snaffle. She’s really, really fun to ride. If you ride her well, she’s unbelievably perfect. If you ride her badly, she stops.”
Outside of riding, Hurter works in pharmaceutical research as the Senior Vice President of Pharmaceutical and Preclinical Sciences for Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and she has been attending the Vermont Summer Festival nearly every year since moving to Harvard, MA, in 2004.
“I love the area,” said Hurter. “I love the town, and there are so many restaurants and lots of great places to stay. It’s very nice, and it’s a very friendly show. The ladies in the office are really friendly, and the ring guys are friendly; the tent guys are friendly. The people are really all just extremely nice.”
Also on Sunday, Anastasia Bezsylko of Harrisburg, PA, won the $5,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic riding her own Cakao 2.
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 percent of all gate proceeds benefiting The Dorset School, Manchester Community Library, and the Rotary Club of Manchester.
$2,500 Marshall & Sterling Children’s/Adult Amateur Jumper Classic Sunday, August 5, 2018
Rider/ Hometown/ Horse/ Faults/Time
1. Patricia Hurter/ Harvard, MA/ Contender’s Girl/ 0/0/34.115
2. Michelle Stacy/ Ipswich, MA/ I Watch/ 0/0/35.947
3. Kelsey Hill/ North Bennington, VT/ Authentic Managerie/ 0/0/35.960
4. Anna Claire Smith/ Atlanta, GA/ Bilbo Baggins/ 0/0/36.052
5. Michelle Stacy/ Ipswich, MA/ Enrique VHV/ 0/0/36.317
6. Julia Horan/ Port Jefferson, NY/ Acolino 4/ 0/0/37.665
7. Cayla Fisher/ Ridgefield, CT/ Nintendo 25/ 0/0/39.500
8. Jessica Mundie/ Akron, NY/ Camalii/ 0/4/35.242
9. Joy Slater/ Unionville, PA/ Oilean Uno/ 0/4/39.859
10. Kacy Gardiner/ Lafayette, NY/ Lord Armitage/ 4