Ireland’s Kevin McCarthy has been knocking on the door of a win recently, and that win came in the $10,000 Manchester Designer Outlets Welcome Stake, presented by Vineyard Vines, on Thursday, July 11, during the Vermont Summer Festival, running for six weeks through August 11 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
McCarthy, 42, and Catch A Star HHS were the final pair to jump from a field of 38 over tracks set by Alan Wade of Tipperary, Ireland, who was the course designer for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG). Catch A Star HSS’s speed turned heads during opening week of the Vermont Summer Festival and impressed again when the mare stopped the clock double-clear in 27.06 seconds. McCarthy stole the win by only fractions of a second from runner-up Kirk Webby of New Zealand, who sat in the top spot aboard Brando du Rouet for most of the immediate jump-off class with a time of 27.71 seconds.
“This is a great day,” said McCarthy, who transitioned from professional to amateur status within the last year. “I have been having a banter with Kirk, and I knew he was standing at the in-gate waiting to put on his winning rug. He’s a great rider and I watched him go earlier, so I knew what I had to do.
“This mare is naturally so fast,” continued McCarthy of Catch A Star HSS, a nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare (Sheraton x Amulet) he imported a year ago. “I got a real nice inside shot into the double of verticals, and that was probably what won it for me. After that we just had to bring it home. She does nothing but win with me, and she loves this job. That makes it easy!”
While celebrating his win, McCarthy complimented a fellow Irishman on his course design, noting, “We all know Alan Wade is a fantastic course builder. The tracks were straightforward, but he does just enough to make them tough and jumpable. He’s a magician at it.”
McCarthy has been to the Vermont Summer Festival in previous years and chose to call it home for three weeks this season.
“It’s a great show – we love it here,” said McCarthy, who owns and manages the aptly named McCarthy’s Pub in his home base of Cazenovia, NY, when he isn’t competing. “The show itself is very well run, course design is great, prize money is very good, and it’s a fun town. They put in a lot of work here and it does show. The results are proven when you look down the order in these classes.”
In addition to his share of the prize money, McCarthy was presented with $1,000 in Vineyard Vines gift cards from Manchester Designer Outlets representative Katie Hunter as well as a show scrim by Mona's Monograms.
Rounding out the top three in a jump-off between 17 horses, Canada’s Kim Farlinger stopped the clock at 28.04 seconds riding Free Style, owned by Keren Halperin, while McCarthy added a second top-five finish to his afternoon by taking fourth riding Easton to a jump-off time of 28.14 seconds. The previous week’s winning pair, Ireland’s Kevin Mealiff and Nuca 2, ended in fifth on 28.55 seconds for owner Maarten Huygens.
This weekend will bring the $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix, presented by Hampton Inn & Suites Manchester, to the Vermont Summer Festival on Saturday, July 13. The Manchester Designer Outlets Welcome Stake Series continues on Thursday, July 18, with another edition presented by Armani Outlet.
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 Vineyard Vines - Thursday, July 11, 2019
Rider Hometown Horse Faults/Time
1 Kevin McCarthy Ireland Catch A Star HSS 0/0/27.06
2 Kirk Webby New Zealand Brando du Rouet 0/0/27.71
3 Kim Farlinger Canada Free Style 0/0/28.04
4 Kevin McCarthy Ireland Easton 0/0/28.14
5 Kevin Mealiff Ireland Nuca 2 0/0/28.55
6 Adelaide Toensing Charlotte, VT Blue 0/0/28.73
7 Kirk Webby New Zealand Jumanji 0/0/29.27
8 David Jennings Franklin, TN Aventador 0/0/29.62
9 Alexanne Thibault Canada Chacco Prime 0/0/29.69
10 Katia Manuel-Adams Vincentown, NJ E.R.P. van www.Olland.biz 0/0/29.76