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Sands Wins $1,500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic

East Dorset, VT—August 2, 2003— In one of her last shows as a junior rider, Caitlin Sands of Lebanon, PA aboard her Rienne de Rouge won the $1,500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic at the Manchester & The Mountains Horse Show, July 30-August 3, the fourth week of the Vermont Summer Festival, July 9-August 10, held at the Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.

The final pair to enter the ring of the 16 horse-and-rider combinations who qualified for the jump-off, Sands and her seven-year-old, chestnut mare were chasing class leader Nicole Lakin of Reading, PA aboard Kick the Clouds, owned by Rolling Acres. Going third in the jump-off, Lakin and her mount posted a clear round in a time of 33.472 seconds, which held as the fastest time until Sands entered the ring.

In the end, Sands and Rienne de Rouge were able to catch Lakin’s time. Their time of 33.212 seconds earned them the blue ribbon. “She’s obviously really fast. I didn’t even know I was going that fast,” said Sands, who is heading to the University of South Carolina in the fall on a riding scholarship. “She’s an amazing jumper.” Sands, who trains with Richard McGrath, has competed in a few equitation classes this summer, but admits, “I definitely like the jumpers better. They’re more fun.”

Lakin finished in second place. Kendall Bate of Wellington, FL aboard her Boston finished in third place with a clear round and a slightly slower time of 33.502 seconds.

For the second week in a row, another of Richard McGrath’s students, his wife, Cindy McGrath of Hummelstown, PA and her Euro Pass earned the blue ribbon in the $1,500 NAL/WIHS Adult Amateur Jumper Classic. Out of the seven horse-and-rider combinations who qualified for the jump-off, McGrath, who went second in the order, posted the a time of 31.847 seconds which proved unbeatable. Only having been partners with the twelve-year-old gelding for three weeks, McGrath said of her mount, “He’s just amazing. He’s a speed horse. The hardest thing is for me to do nothing.”

Natasha Sirjusingh of Brookeville, MD finished second aboard Kentucky IV. This pair posted a clear round with a slightly slower time of 32.966 seconds in the jump-off. Julie Graham of Kintnersville, PA finished in third place aboard her Humble Dice.

In the hunter rings Championship ribbons were awarded in the Adult Amateur Hunter Divisions. Championship honors in the Adult Amateur Hunter for riders ages 18-35 were awarded to CC Bloom, owned and ridden by Samantha Hallman.

Anne Braswell and her Mistletoe, who have been regular fixtures in the winner’s circle at the Vermont Summer Festival, won the Champion ribbon for the Adult Amateur Hunter Division for riders ages 35-45 for the third straight week. Championship honors in the Adult Amateur Hunter for riders 46 and over were awarded to Francesco, owned by Michael and Lora Schultz and ridden by Lora.

The Vermont Summer Festival is New England’s largest “AA” rated hunter/jumper horse show. This year’s event includes five USET-recognized $35,000 Grand Prix to be held on the last day of each show and five $10,000 Mini Prix to be held on the Friday of each show. Each of the five weeks also features a $10,000 Show Jumping Hall Of Fame High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class, part of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series which determines which junior and amateur/owner riders will qualify to ride at the 2003 National Horse Show.

For further information on the 2003 Vermont Summer Festival, please call (802) 362-9023. For full results, visit the Vermont Summer Festival website

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