Vermont Dressage Days return to the Champlain Valley

July-5-S-Dressage-Days-SCThe Champlain Valley Exposition will play host to the 10th annual Vermont Dressage Days for two days, Aug. 9 and 10. This year’s event will feature over 100 of the finest dressage riders from across Vermont, New England, and New York, all competing for top honors in 50 classes. A national competition, Vermont Dressage Days is the only Northern Vermont event officially sanctioned by both The United States Equestrian Federation and The United States Dressage Federation as well as the American Quarter Horse Association.
Originally conceived in 2004 by local businesswoman, philanthropist, and avid dressage rider Jean Pecor, this year’s show promises to be the most competitive and exciting yet, with competition running simultaneously in three arenas on the fairgrounds.
Vermont Dressage Days is a benefit show, with proceeds going to two of Vermont’s most widely known and respected charities: Women Helping Battered Women, the largest service provider for battered women in Vermont dedicated to addressing the problems of domestic violence, and The Vermont Humane Federation, which works on behalf of member organizations to ensure animal welfare on a statewide level.
Spectators are not just welcomed but encouraged to attend. Parking is free and there is no admission fee. Classes start at 8:30am and continue through 4pm each day.
Dressage is a French term meaning “training” and its purpose is to develop the horse’s natural athletic ability and willingness to work, making him calm, supple and attentive to his rider. The beginnings of dressage date back to Xenophon in Greece and include a long line of riding masters, both from the military and the famous riding schools which developed during the Baroque era. Currently, competitive dressage involves nine progressive levels incorporating multiple tests within each level. Special tests are also written for musical freestyle and performances incorporating multiple horses and riders. Competition occurs in a regulation size arena with specific apparel and equipment all regulated by USEF. Judges are licensed by the USEF and the FEI and are assisted by scribes who write down the judge’s scores and comments during the test.
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