Thirty four entries contested this afternoon’s $15,000 Welcome Stake 1.35m sponsored by CWD Sellier in the beautiful Sanctuary arena. The class featured a technical course designed by Tucker Williams of Ocala, Florida that included two one-stride combinations, two liverpools and several bending lines. Ten entries advanced to the jump off, but it was Ireland’s Kevin McCarthy and his own Catch A Star HSS (Sheraton x Tolinda) who topped the class in their signature blazing fast style.
One of the first to go double clear in this afternoon’s Welcome Stake was Summer Hill and Diane Masters’ Light Show (Quasimodo Z x Predente). The pair spent the Summer show season earning top placings in 1.30m-1.40m classes, including a third place finish at World Equestrian Center in the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35m in August, and returned to World Equestrian Center this afternoon ready to compete. Hill and the eleven year old Dutch Warmblood gelding navigated the first round clear in a time of 68.421 seconds, just under the time allowed of 70 seconds. They continued straight to the jump off of the Table II 2b event, taking the inside turn after the combination and crossing the timers at 41.431 seconds, setting a tough pace to beat.
Hill and Light Show held their lead until halfway through the class when Kevin McCarthy and his own Catch A Star HSS (Sheraton x Tolinda) took to the course. McCarthy and the nine year old Swedish Warmblood mare had a fantastic Summer, taking multiple blue ribbons in Welcome Stakes and Grand Prix throughout the duration of the Vermont Summer Festival. McCarthy also earned the World Equestrian Center Leading Open Jumper Rider for the six week series. This afternoon, they brought their A-game, speeding through the first round with pinpoint accuracy in a time of 67.807 seconds. McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS advanced to the jump off, also opting for the inside turn after the combination. The duo flew through the timers with all rails up at 40.049 seconds, moving themselves to the top of the leader board.
Though McCarthy and Hill held their first and second place standings throughout the rest of the class, Ryan Genn and Taylor Blackman’s Dieta (Ukato x Werdieta) gave them a run for their money. Genn and the eleven year old Dutch Warmblood mare were fresh off of a fourth place finish in the $25,000 Grand Prix at Tryon in late September. They brought the heat this afternoon, jumping the first round in 68.340 seconds and continuing straight to the jump off. The pair kept their pace, also opting for the inside turn after the combination, and stopped the clock with all rails up at 41.949 seconds, just behind Hill and Light Show for third place.
McCarthy took a moment to chat with us ringside after the awards ceremony, “Catch A Star is at it yet again, that’s why we love her! She’s had nearly a month off from showing so we’re delighted to be back here at World Equestrian Center, we love it here. This is a great way to start off two weeks here!”
When asked about his incredibly successful Summer show season, McCarthy was characteristiclly humble, “We’ve had a great Summer, I have some really good horses. It’s all fun at the moment. Between Catch A Star and my new horse that I’ve purchased, Easton, they’ve been doing very well in the Grand Prix and the Welcome Stakes. Vermont was an excellent show, we had some good results at Old Salem and Saugerties too. Now we’re going to take on WEC for the Winter and see what damage we can do!”
McCarthy also commented on his new mount, “The new one is Easton, we purchased him over the Summer. He was imported in by a good friend Niall Carey who brings in some really nice horses. He’s been doing very well. He was a bit unlucky here tonight, he had the last down, but that’s show jumping.”
$15,000 Welcome Stake 1.35m Results
- Catch A Star HSS, Kevin McCarthy – 0 | 0 | 40.049
- Light Show, Summer Hill – 0 | 0 | 41.431
- Dieta, Ryan Genn – 0 | 0 | 41.949
- Banco Du Moulin, Sean Jobin – 0 | 0 | 42.470
- Van Gogh, Wilhelm Genn – 0 | 0 | 42.568
- Hindsight, Lisa Goldman-Smolen – 0 | 0 | 42.898
- Angelo, David Beisel – 0 | 0 | 44.361
- As Di SoGrand, Lisa Goldman-Smolen – 0 | 0 | 45.956
- Nike, Lisa Goldman-Smolen – 0 | 4 | 42.675
- Darius, Sean Jobin – 0 | 8 | 45.882
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.