Kevin McCarthy swept the top two spots in the $10,000 Manchester Designer Outlets Welcome Stake, presented by Theory, on Thursday, August 1, during week five of the Vermont Summer Festival, which runs through August 11 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
McCarthy’s victory on Thursday marked the Irishman’s fifth major win at the six-week Vermont Summer Festival, including two prior welcome stake wins and two grand prix victories.
This time, McCarthy duplicated the same results he produced in week three’s $10,000 Manchester Designer Outlets Welcome Stake, topping the class aboard Easton and finishing in second with Catch A Star HSS.
Six entries from the 14-horse starting field qualified to jump off over the track set by course designer Gerry Briggs, and as the second to jump off, McCarthy and Easton, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Contendro I and owned by McCarthy, set the early time to beat at 32.13 seconds.
With McCarthy’s lead untouched when he went in the ring aboard Catch A Star HSS, his own nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare (Sheraton x Amulet), he knew he did not need to try to overtake his own time. Instead, he executed another clear round and stopped the clock in 34.92 seconds for second place.
“I knew with my mare, if I went double clear, I’d be up there,” said McCarthy of his jump-off plan for Catch A Star HSS. “I still had people behind me, but I didn’t want to overrun her. She had still more left in the tank, and I was happy with first and second. It’s what everyone wants when they have two horses in it: to come in first and second!
“Easton’s a lovely, big scopey horse,” continued McCarthy. “His stride would be a lot larger than the mares. He really covers ground amazingly. In a six-stride distance, I could do five if I wanted. Whereas, with [Catch A Star HHS], she’s a bit more nifty and quick. I tend not to take strides out with her even in the jump-off because she’s really fast around the course. With him, in the jump-off, I took one stride out in that line that I didn’t with her.”
In addition to his share of the prize money, McCarthy was presented with a $1,000 gift card to Theory at the Manchester Designer Outlets by representative Chelsea Murdoch, as well as receiving a show scrim from Mona’s Monograms.
Coming the closest to catching McCarthy to finish in the third was Colin Savaria of Wellington, FL, who rode Felex, owned by the Helios Group, to a time of 36.99 seconds. Fourth place with just one rail in the jump-off and a time of 33.18 seconds went to Ireland’s Kevin Mealiff riding Idylle van de Eikhoevel, owned by Freedom Hill Farm. Clinching both the fifth and sixth place honors was Cian McDermott riding Newcastle and Feliciano van d’n Otterdijk, respectively.
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 runs weekly from Wednesday through Sunday, beginning each day at 8 a.m. Admission is $5 for adults and children from Wednesday through 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 Theory
– Thursday, August 1
Rider Hometown Horse Faults/Time
1. Kevin McCarthy Ireland Easton 0/0/32.13
2. Kevin McCarthy Ireland Catch A Star HSS 0/0/34.92
3. Colin Savaria Ocala, FL Felex 0/0/36.99
4. Kevin Mealiff Ireland Idylle van de Eikhoeve 0/4/33.18
5. Cian McDermott Wellington, FL Newcastle 0/4/34.24
6. Cian McDermott Wellington, FL Feliciano van d’n Otterdijk 0/4/35.33
7. Jonathan Corrigan Bridgehampton, NY G. Power 2/89.57
8. Matthew Metell Wellington, FL Donchalant 4/78.30