Vineyard riders display impressive skills at dressage fall festival

Isabella Thorpe on Reina, with, from left, Tracey Olsen, Julie Flanders, Shane Dante, and Robert Thorpe. —Courtesy of Lisa Scannell

The Vineyard was well-represented at the New England Dressage Association’s Fall Festival (NEDA), in Saugerties, N.Y., held last week from Sept. 17 to 21.  With more than 600 horses in competition, NEDA is the largest dressage competition in America. Horses and riders compete in classes from training level, the first step on the dressage ladder, to Grand Prix, the pinnacle of the sport as seen at the Olympic Games, according to a press release.

Vineyard riders and trainers at this year’s show included: Tracey Olsen and Isabella Thorpe from Woodbe Farm; Madeline Alley and Hannah Maxner from Netherfield Farm; and Jessica Forend, who is riding for Jewel Court Stud USA, located at Lionshare Farm in Greenwich, Conn.

The Vineyard riders performed well even as they coped with the sad news of the death of Beatrice “Beach” Bennett on Wednesday. Beach, the owner of Netherfield Farm, was a highly respected and accomplished rider and trainer on the Island and nationally. She had reached the highest levels of this sport, and coached generations of Vineyard equestrians.

Highlights from the show included:

Madeline Alley of Netherfield Farm on Ariza GS; Third Level, Test 2: First place for juniors, sixth place overall; Fourth Level, Test 1: First place for juniors, fifth place overall.

Jessica Forend of Jewel Court Stud USA on Winston; Fourth Level, Test 1: First place; Fourth Level, Test 3: First place.

Tracey Olsen from Woodbe Farm on Zem and Lamborghini; Fourth Level Sweepstakes, Test 3: Sixth place (Zem); Sweepstakes: Sixth place (Zem); FEI Grand Prix: Fourth place (Lamborghini).

Isabella Thorpe from Woodbe Farm on Reina; Training Level, Test 1: First place for juniors, fourth place overall; Training Level, Test 2: Third place for juniors; Training Level, Test 3: First place for juniors, third place overall.