East Dorset, Vermont — Six of the best course designers in the business will be showcasing their work in the all-weather grand prix ring during the Vermont Summer Festival running July 7 through August 15, 2010, in East Dorset, Vermont.
New England’s largest “AA” rated hunter/jumper horse show, the Vermont Summer Festival offers more than $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest sporting event based on purse in the state. The competition attracts the best athletes, including Olympic medalists, from across the country and around the globe to vie for top honors.
The course designers featured at this year’s Vermont Summer Festival, in order of appearance, are Michel Vaillancourt, Anthony D’Ambrosio, Ken Krome, Conrad Homfeld, Eric Hasbrouck and Chris Brandt. Two of those are Olympic medalists – Canada’s Michel Vaillancourt won an Individual Silver Medal in front of his hometown at the 1976 Montreal Olympics while Conrad Homfeld won Team Gold and Individual Silver Medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Competitors during week four of the Vermont Summer Festival will have a rare opportunity to compete over Homfeld’s courses before the upcoming 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, this fall, where Homfeld will act as co-course designer.
Another course designer with major championship experience is Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, New York, who handled course designing duties at the 2009 World Cup Final in Las Vegas. A former grand prix competitor himself, D’Ambrosio set the Puissance World Record in 1983 riding Sweet & Low at the Washington International Horse Show. D’Ambrosio currently concentrates on course design, and is a regular at the Vermont Summer Festival.
“I enjoy the Vermont Summer Festival for many reasons,” said D’Ambrosio, who holds ‘International’ course design status with the International Equestrian Federation (FEI). “I always competed at the horse show, and had many good moments there with my horses. When I started course designing, John (Ammerman) was one of the first show organizers to hire me, and I have learned a lot about being a course designer during the 16 years I have worked for him. Also, since I course design in so many different places that are far from home, coming to Vermont gives me a chance to design for the equestrian community that I grew up with.”
Featured events during the second week of the Vermont Summer Festival, when D’Ambroiso will be setting the tracks, include Friday’s $10,000 The Vermont Bird Place & Sky Watch Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, and Sunday’s $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix.
“We are constantly striving to make the showing experience the best it can be, and that includes hiring the best course designers in the business,” said John Ammerman, Vermont Summer Festival Show Manager. “In the sport of show jumping, the riders are competing against the course designer in the first round of competition. If they can answer all the questions asked by the course designer and jump a clear round, then they advance to the jump-off.”
The first five Sundays of the Vermont Summer Festival feature a $30,000 Grand Prix, culminating with the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix on Sunday, August 15. Weekly $10,000 Open Welcome Stake classes, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, and weekly $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur-Owner Classics are also hotly contested. New for 2010, the Vermont Summer Festival will host a World Championship Hunter Rider qualifying event during week three.
The Vermont Summer Festival is a proud member event of the Show Jumping Hall Of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL). Please e-mail us or visit our website for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival and to download a copy of the 2010 prize list.