East Dorset, Vermont – Genevieve Zock of Scarsdale, NY, emerged victorious in the $5,000 NEHJA Hunter Derby on Thursday, July 5, at the 2012 Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
Thirty horse/rider combinations contested the derby track designed by Billy Glass, which spanned two competition rings and featured many creative natural obstacles including a two foot round log, a woodpile, and birch branch poles. The top 11 riders after the first round came back in reverse order for the second handy round to further test their abilities.
Heading into the second round, Zock was sitting in third position with a score of 85, just a single point behind leader Jillian Clay of Deale, MD. Clay and her mount, True Quintender, earned an additional 84 points in round two to finish third overall, while Callie Seaman of Greenwich, CT, and her horse, Aha, finished second overall after earning scores of 85.5 in round one and 86 in round two.
Aboard HH Confession, a nine-year-old Hannoverian gelding owned by Double H Farm of Ridgefield, CT, and Wellington, FL, Zock put in a near flawless performance in the final round, taking many of the inside turns and contesting the difficult trot fence with ease. Her bold choices paid off, earning her an impressive score of 88, the highest of the competition.
“I love competing in Vermont,” said the 17-year-old. “I have been coming here since I was in the Short Stirrup division and always have such a great time.”
Zock, who trains with Valerie Renihan of Findley’s Ridge in North Salem, NY, has only been riding HH Confession for two seasons, but already the pair has made their mark in Vermont. In 2011, they finished fourth in the $5,000 Hunter Derby during week one and second in the $2,500 WCHR Handy Hunter Challenge during week three.
“I only started riding him last winter,” Zock explained of her hunter derby partner. “My equitation horse went lame and Double H was kind enough to let me ride Confession, even though he was for sale. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to ride such an amazing and talented horse.”
Zock plans to try to make it two in a row when the popular $5,000 Hunter Derby returns on Thursday, July 12. Based on the tremendous success of the hunter derbies during their inaugural year in 2011, the six-week festival, running July 4 through August 12, has added a $15,000 Hunter Derby, sponsored by Vermont-based equestrian luggage manufacturer, Oughton Limited, on August 9. In order to qualify for the sixth and final hunter derby of the circuit, a rider or owner must have competed in one of the $5,000 Hunter Derbies offered during the first five weeks of competition.
Offering more than $750,000 in prize money, the Vermont Summer Festival is the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont. New for 2012, the first five Saturdays of the Vermont Summer Festival will feature a $30,000 Grand Prix. During week six, the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix will be held on Saturday, August 11. The weekly $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, will now be held each Thursday.
Competition begins at 8 a.m. daily, Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children. All of the gate receipts benefit the a number of Manchester area non-profit organizations, including the Mark Skinner Library, Friends Foundation for MEMS, Community Food Cupboard, and Second Chance Animal Center.
For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont. 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). For more information about the Vermont Summer Festival, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.
$5,000 NEHJA Hunter Derby – Thursday, July 5
Rider Horse Round One Round Two
1. Genevieve Zock HH Confession 85 88
2. Callie Seaman Aha 85.5 86
3. Jillian Clay True Quintender 86 84
4. Kelly Wilson Rio’s Fame 83 85
5. Robin Swinderman Inxs 79.5 87
6. Samantha Schaefer Wonderland 80 83
7. Betty Oare Capone 82 79
8. Becky Cohn Emerson 78 81
9. Amanda Gellis Winston 76 78
10. Kaitlin Campbell October Road 79 65
11. Julian Curry Golden Opportunity 75 50