World-Class Course Designers Named for 2016 Vermont Summer Festival

April 29, 2016 - East Dorset, Vermont

Manuel Esparza will set the Grand Prix Ring courses during Week 5 of the Vermont Summer Festival this summer.
Photo provided by Manuel Esparza

The world's top course designers have been invited to build tracks at the six-week Vermont Summer Festival held from July 5 through August 14, 2016, at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.  This year, the Vermont Summer Festival will feature the international course designing talent of Alan Wade (IRE), Paul Jewell (USA), Ken Krome (USA), Michel Vaillancourt (CAN), Manuel Esparza (MEX), and Gerry Briggs (USA).

Wade is returning for his seventh successful year at the Vermont Summer Festival, and will handle course designing duties during opening week.  Krome, Vaillancourt and Briggs are also making return visits to Vermont, while Jewell and Esparza will make their Vermont Summer Festival debuts.

Jewell, who hails from Lambertville, NJ, and Esparza, who calls Mexico City home, will join Wade, Krome, Vaillancourt, and Briggs and each spend a week in southern Vermont to set high-performance courses, including a weekly $10,000 Open Welcome and $30,000 Grand Prix. After five weeks, the circuit will culminate with a $50,000 Grand Prix on August 13.

In addition to building for the marquee events of the Vermont Summer Festival, each designer will have the opportunity to set their tracks on Kruse Cushion Ride (KCR) footing.  After receiving rave reviews from riders and course designers alike, the KCR footing – manufactured in the United States from recycled materials – was an embraced improvement made in time for the 2015 Vermont Summer Festival show season.

Esparza himself is no stranger to top sport after serving as an Assistant Course Designer for the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004, and Beijing in 2008.  Hot on the heels of his debut appearance at the Vermont Summer Festival, Esparza will work at his fifth Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“I am very excited to be coming to Vermont,” said Esparza.  “I have heard many good things about the show and its horses for a long time and always hoped for an invitation.”

While he has never been to Vermont, Esparza is looking forward to experiencing the Manchester region, as well as all that the show has to offer, including its new footing.

“I have worked with [KCR] footing at many other shows and it is top level,” confirmed Esparza.  “I am excited to work with it again.  It's always nice for a course designer to work with great footing and not have to worry about the ground.”

The Vermont Summer Festival is New England’s largest hunter/jumper competition and offers more than $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont.  For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont for great competition in an ideal summer setting.

To view more information on course designers, as well as entry and schedule information for the Vermont Summer Festival, click here.

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 or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival.