Ireland’s Kevin McCarthy won the $10,000 Manchester Designer Outlets Welcome Stake, presented by New Balance, on Thursday, August 8, during the final week of the Vermont Summer Festival. The victory marked McCarthy’s fourth welcome stake win during the six-week show circuit, which continues through August 11 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
McCarthy and his winning mount, Catch A Star HSS, were one of 22 entries to contest Thursday’s first-round track set by Ken Krome of Westminster, MD, and the pair was one of 10 horse-and-rider combinations that jumped without fault to advance to the short course.
As the penultimate pair to jump off, McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS quickly took over the leaderboard with a clear round in what proved to be an untouchable time of 36.82 seconds.
“I knew that if I could get into the jump-off, if I could leave the jumps up, I could have a good shot at it,” said McCarthy. “She is simply just so fast that it worked out well.”
In addition to his success in the weekly welcome stake classes, McCarthy has claimed two grand prix wins with Catch A Star HSS at the 2019 Vermont Summer Festival.
“She has a record now that out-passes many horses at the horse shows,” said McCarthy of his own nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare (Sheraton x Amulet) that he started riding roughly a year ago. “She’s so consistent. She’s an amazing horse. I was always told that she was going to be the winner. You know, everyone says that, but she really is. I’ve never rode a horse that is as consistent as this, and it’s fun. You can’t beat winning!”
In addition to receiving the winner’s share of the prize money and a show scrim from Mona’s Monograms, McCarthy is now prepared for quite the shopping spree, as he was presented with his fourth $1,000 gift card to one of the Manchester Designer Outlets’ retailers, this one to New Balance and awarded to him by New Balance store representatives Melissa Parker and Liz Pavlik.
Finishing in both second and third behind McCarthy was fellow Irishman Kevin Mealiff. Mealiff stopped the clock in 39.25 seconds to take the runner-up spot aboard Idylle van de Eikhoeve, owned by Freedom Hill Farm, and he took third with a time of 40.54 seconds riding Nuca 2, owned by Maarten Huygens.
Fourth place went to Kyla Makholghi of Sherborn, MA, riding Hurry Up B, owned by Rosemont Farm, LLC, and Cory Hardy of Littleton, MA, rounded out the top five aboard Chico 892, owned by Beyaert Farm, Inc.
Now in its 26th year, the Vermont Summer Festival offers a dynamic competition schedule while also giving competitors an opportunity to enjoy the wide variety of entertainment, recreation, shopping, and dining options offered in Dorset, Manchester, and the surrounding area. A recent study conducted by the Center for Rural Studies at the University of Vermont cited that the total direct spending of visitors frequenting Vermont for equine-related activities is estimated at nearly $15.5 million annually.
Competition at the 2019 Vermont Summer Festival continues through Sunday, beginning each day at 8 a.m. Admission is $5 for adults and children on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children with 100 percent of all gate proceeds benefiting Dorset Equine Rescue, The Dorset School, and Manchester Community Library.
The Vermont Summer Festival is a proud member of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL). For more information on the Vermont Summer Festival, please visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.
$10,000 Manchester Designer Outlets Welcome Stake, presented by New Balance
– Thursday, August 8
Rider Hometown Horse Faults/Time
1. Kevin McCarthy Ireland Catch A Star HSS 0/0/36.82
2. Kevin Mealiff Ireland Idylle van de Eikhoeve 0/0/39.25
3. Kevin Mealiff Ireland Nuca 2 0/0/40.54
4. Kyla Makhloghi Sherborn, MA Hurry Up B 0/0/40.91
5. Cory Hardy Littleton, MA Chico 892 0/0/41.37
6. Kevin Mealiff Ireland Eldorado 0/0/42.24
7. Lainie Wimberly Ridgefield, CT RF Quarterman 0/0/46.15
8. Kirk Webby New Zealand Brando du Rouet 0/4/38.03
9. Brian Murphy Berryville, VA Chicco W 0/4/41.61
10. Kirk Webby New Zealand Jumanji 0/4/43.85