What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Vermont Summer Festival Focuses on Fun

July 12, 2012 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

Exhibitors gathered at the Chantecleer Restaurant to celebrate the Fourth of July at the first exhibitor party of the 2012 Vermont Summer Festival.
Photo by David Mullinix Photography

East Dorset, Vermont – It’s more than just the outstanding competition that draws exhibitors to the Vermont Summer Festival, running July 4 through 12, 2012 in East Dorset, VT.  It’s the focus on fun that has so many competitors returning year after year.

Known for their hospitality, show organizers John and Dotty Ammerman have made sure exhibitors have ample opportunity to kick back and enjoy the local atmosphere.  Each Wednesday, they host an exhibitor party open to all competitors, as well as their families and friends attending the show.

“We like to ensure that horse shows are fun,” explained Dotty.  “Not everyone can win, but everyone can have a good time.”

The Chantecleer Restaurant was the site of this year’s first exhibitor party, held on Wednesday, July 4.  The ‘Fourth of July’ theme saw partygoers dressed in red, white and blue as they dined on delicious food supplied by the Chantecleer, which is know throughout Vermont for its gourmet fare.  Many exhibitors then headed into nearby Manchester to see the town’s fireworks display.

This week’s party will be held on Wednesday, July 11, at the Bromley Mountain Adventure Park, a family favorite among exhibitors.  Attendees will have the chance to experience the thrill of sliding down North America’s first triple-tracked Alpine Slide, one of many popular rides at the park.

“It’s really, really, fast,” said seven-year-old Blythe Goguen of Lexington, KY, who competes in the Short Stirrup Division.  “I really like the trampoline, and all the slides.  I’ve been down them around 30 times.”

Other weekly exhibitor parties will be held at Riley Rink, the historical Dorset Inn, and the Equinox Resort & Spa, where the highlight of the party will be the British School of Falconry’s demonstration.

In addition to providing a fun and enjoyable evening, the parties are also a great opportunity to introduce exhibitors, many of whom have traveled from outside the state to attend the competition, to the distinctive features of Manchester and the surrounding area.

“In planning our exhibitor parties, we like to highlight beautiful venues and fun family activities,” said Ruth Lacey, Marketing Director for the Vermont Summer Festival.  “We truly believe that the Manchester area is an important part of what makes the Vermont Summer Festival special.”

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 largest “AA” rated hunter/jumper horse show in New England, the festival attracts the best athletes, including Olympic medalists, from across the country and around the globe.

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.

The hugely popular $5,000 3’3″ Hunter Derby will also be held each Thursday for the first five weeks.  Based on the tremendous success of the hunter derbies during their inaugural year in 2011, Vermont Summer Festival show organizers have added a $15,000 Hunter Derby for week six, sponsored by Vermont-based equestrian luggage manufacturer, Oughton Limited.

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: info@vt-summerfestival.com or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.