August 11, 2017 – East Dorset, Vermont-Meghan Kaupp, 24, of Pittsford, NY, won the $15,000 3’3” NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Land Rover Experience, on Thursday, August 10, during the final week of competition at the six-week Vermont Summer Festival, running through August 13 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.

Course designer Joe Carnicom of Toledo, OH, set the hunter derby track, which spanned two competition rings and utilized both hunter-style fences as well as traditional derby jumps. From an original starting field of 31 entries, the top 12 horse-rider combinations following the opening round returned for the handy round, judged by Sissy Wicks of Unionville, PA, and Barbara Filippelli of Pawling, NY.

Meghan Kaupp of Pittsford, NY, won the $15,000 3’3” NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Land Rover Experience, riding Sansouci on Thursday, August 10, at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Consistency was key for Kaupp as she scored an 84 in the first round before earning another score of 84 over the handy course for a final score of 168 riding Sansouci, a nine-year-old Warmblood mare sired by Sir Donnerhall and owned by Lydia Ulrich. A regular competitor for the past five years, the victory marked Kaupp’s first derby win at the Vermont Summer Festival.

Finishing a half point behind Kaupp for second place was Kristen Bumpus of Concord, MA, riding Carington with scores of 82.5 and 85 to finish on a final score of 167.5. Also jumping into the top three, Rebecca Gibson of Mohnton, PA, earned combined scores of 81.5 and 77 riding Fait Accompli for a 158.5 total. Having won the week five hunter derby, Canadian competitor Harold Chopping, now based in Southern Pines, NC, finished fourth riding Gold Rush with scores of 80 and 78 for a final score of 158. Todd Karn of Fayetteville, NY, rounded out the top five with scores of 82 and 74 to finished on a score of 156 riding Qaboom.

“I wasn’t necessarily thinking about winning, I just wanted to make it better than last week,” said Kaupp, who finished seventh in the week five hunter derby at the Vermont Summer Festival. “I am so thrilled. Our partnership has really grown over the last few weeks since we’ve been here.”

Kaupp, who began riding Sansouci during the 2017 winter season, spoke to her mount’s strengths, saying, “She was there for me everywhere. Last week, we were a little conservative in the handy, but we put it all together this week. We got a nice gallop out of the ingate and she was right there for me at the first jump, made the inside turn to two, galloped right through the gap, and jumped the oxer in the other ring amazing. She’s just as fun as she looks!”

Kaupp and Sansouci also compete in the 3’3” and 3’6” Performance Working Hunter divisions, and took the 3’3” division championship title during week five.

“I love coming to this horse show,” said Kaupp, who works for trainer Beth Congel at Up The Creek Farm in Fairport, NY. “Every year, I look forward to these derbies because they are unique in that not a lot of places have natural jumps anymore, which makes the derbies not as special as they are here.”

In addition to her share of the prize money and a monogrammed winner’s scrim from Mona’s Monograms, Kaupp was presented with a Land Rover Experience Driving School off-road excursion and a custom ribbon box from Jennifer Hinman of Hammond & Hinman.

Meghan Kaupp and Sansouci, joined by groom Martha Briseno (left) and trainer Beth Congel (right), are presented as the winners of the $15,000 3’3” NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Land Rover Experience, by Jennifer Hinman (center) of Hammond & Hinman, on Thursday, August 10, at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Also during the presentation of awards, Ava Lindsay of New York, NY, was presented with the High Point Amateur Award after piloting Canturamo to a sixth-place finish while 16-year-old Carson Ruff of Jackson, MO, was named the High Point Junior Award winner following a ninth-place finish riding Toulouse.

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. Offering more than $750,000 in prize money over the course of its six-week run, the Vermont Summer Festival is New England’s largest hunter/jumper competition as well as the state’s richest sporting event based on purse. Outside the show ring, exhibitors are immersed in the charm of Vermont’s shopping, dining, and outdoor activities.

The final week of the Vermont Summer Festival continues with the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 12, and concludes on Sunday, August 13. Competition begins both days at 8 a.m., and admission is $9 for adults and $5 for children. 100% of the gate proceeds benefit the Manchester Community Library, Meals on Wheels of Bennington County, and the Rotary Club of Manchester.

For more information on the Vermont Summer Festival, please e-mail or visit