The Green Mountain Horse Association’s Festival of Eventing, co-sponsored by Goss Dodge and Lake Champlain Transportation, takes place the weekend of August 9-11 in scenic Woodstock, Vermont. This boutique destination event features $10,000 in prize money, to be awarded to the Intermediate and CCI2*S divisions. GMHA’s sponsors are additionally providing fabulous prizes that will be given out across all divisions ranging from Beginner Novice to Intermediate.
Cornelia Dorr, winner of the 2017 Intermediate division and rising star in the Eventing world, has been a lifelong competitor at GMHA. “I have been going to GMHA’s Festival of Eventing for more years than I can count now,” says Dorr. “I did my first Novice there and was fortunate to have won the Intermediate division a few years ago. The prize money offered really helps draw the attention of upper-level riders from all areas. I saved the prize money for years until I used it to buy saddles for a new horse. I will always make my way back to Area I because I believe it is important to support the preservation and further development not only of GMHA, but the whole community of Area I.”
In recent years, Area I has lost several of its higher profile events, including Fitch’s Corner this past year. GMHA, its sponsors and the surrounding community work hard each year to produce the Area’s only FEI competition. Jane Hamlin, Co-Chair of GMHA’s Festival Committee and judge at the 2018 World Equestrian Games, emphasizes the importance of maintaining an upper-level presence in Area I. “This event brings international top-level riders to our area who provide a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to our local community. Their presence,” Hamlin says, “is crucial to fostering the development of young riders in our area and growing the future of this sport.”
Entries for the Festival open on June 25. Consider staying north after the Millbrook Horse Trials for the cooler weather and more forgiving footing of the Festival. GMHA is offering reduced-rate stabling for the intervening week and visitors can enjoy access to GMHA’s arenas and one of the most extensive trail systems in the country. Wednesday, August 7th, GMHA will host a pay-by-the-round schooling jumper show with courses designed by Chris Barnard—the Festival’s show jumping course designer—where competitors can prepare for the event and get a sense of Chris’s style.
GMHA is also introducing a new initiative to promote inclusivity and community building this year and will feature both a free competitors party with live music as well as a ringside tent with locally produced and donated vegetables and cheeses open to all competitors, sponsors and spectators. Surrounded by the gorgeous town of Woodstock, with numerous restaurants, coffee shops and specialty stores, it is bound to be a week of fun and great competition.