St. Patrick’s Day may be over, but the luck of the Irish has not run out. This afternoon saw a fantastic win for Ireland’s Kevin McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS (Sheraton x Tolinda) as the pair graced the winner’s circle for the third time during the 2019 Winter Series of the Midwest. This afternoon’s $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m sponsored by CWD Sellier hosted plenty of stiff competition with five entries jumping quick, double clear rounds, challenging one another for the ultimate prize.
The course for the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m sponsored by CWD Sellier was designed by Keith J Bollotte a course designer with more than thirty years of experience in the equestrian industry. Bollotte has designed courses across North America at top venues including the $100,000 Hunter Classic at the 2005 Queen City Classic in Charlotte, North Carolina. This afternoon’s course began over a CWD vertical on the diagonal heading home, then continued past the ingate to a vertical on the rail that bent to a one stride combination on a diagonal. Entries rounded the top of the arena to jump an oxer on the rail, then bent down the diagonal over a five stride line. From there, entries rolled back to jump a vertical on a diagonal in the corner heading up the rail, then bent across the diagonal over a second combination. Entries rounded the top of the ring to jump a vertical in the corner, then bent down the diagonal to jump an oxer-to-vertical line. To finish, entries rode up the diagonal, over an oxer and through the timers.
Near the top of the order of go was last week’s $25,000 WEC Grand Prix winners Charlotte Clark and her own Kinsella (Capitalist x Jerpoint Mist). The pair jumped two clear rounds, setting the initial time to beat at 32. 234 seconds. The lead was taken over shortly thereafter by Richard Rinehart and Caron Stucky’s Uranus 112 (Uccello x Conny). The pair finished third in last week’s Welcome Stake, which prepared them for the class tonight. Rinehart and Uranus 112 were quick in the first round, jumping clear in a time of 75.438 seconds, indicating that they were prepared to challenge Clark and Kinsella’s time.
Rinehart and Uranus 112 continued straight to the jump off of the Table II event. The course for the jump off began over the vertical in the corner at the top of the ring heading home, then continued to the in of the oxer-to-vertical line. From there, entries rolled back to the one stride combination, then rounded the top of the ring to jump an oxer on the rail heading home. To finish, entries bent to the CWD vertical, then rolled back to the vertical heading up the rail. Rinehart and Uranus 112 sped through the course, taking each inside turn with ease. The pair galloped through the timers at 31.026 seconds, setting the new time to beat.
Rinehart and Uranus 112 held their lead for the majority of the class until Kevin McCarthy and his own Catch A Star HSS (Sheraton x Tolinda) entered the ring. McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS have a great rapport that has been evident on each visit to World Equestrian Center, having won multiple $25,000 WEC Grands Prix and taken the blue in the Welcome Stake during Week 4 of the Winter Series. The pair strode into the ring this afternoon with confidence, jumping a clear first round in 76.928 seconds. McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS continued to the jump off, and the scopey Swedish Warmblood mare cleared each fence with room to spare. The pair navigated the short course with plenty of pace and slid neatly into the top spot, stopping the clock at 30.006 seconds.
Though McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS held their spot atop the leader board throughout the remainder of the class, Doug Boyd made sure to give the pair some competition aboard Sapphire Riding Academy’s Berkley III (Pall Mall H x Resina). The pair were fierce competitors during Week 5 of the Winter Series, taking the win in the Welcome Stake and second in the Grand Prix. Boyd and Berkley III were on a roll again tonight, blazing through the first course in 74.703 seconds. The duo continued to the jump off, galloping the same track as McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS. Boyd and Berkley III stopped the clock at 30.044 seconds, and McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS remained in first place by just fractions of a second.
Kevin McCarthy of Cazenovia, New York stuck around after his win in the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m sponsored by CWD Sellier to chat with us about his ride aboard Catch A Star HSS. “I haven’t been at the show for a few weeks now,” McCarthy explained, “So it’s good to get her back into these classes. Today, the Welcome looked quite fast, and I was luckily later to go in the class, so I knew the time I had to beat. Today worked out good, she’s a great mare. Every time she goes to a show she’s always picking up a check. She’s still only an eight year old. So, we’re rolling onto Saturday night and we’ll see how that goes!”
Catch A Star HSS was bred by Johanna Friman of Sweden in 2010. Friman still makes an effort to keep up with Catch A Star HSS’s successes, and describes the mare and McCarthy as a “dream team”. She was Friman’s first offspring from Tolinda, and Firman says, “I knew she was something special, so I gave her a name worthy of a star.” Friman’s feelings were spot on, and in 2015, Catch A Star HSS was the top five year old in Sweden, based on competition results. Catch A Star HSS continues to excel in her showjumping career, and both Friman and McCarthy are excited to see what the future holds for the talented mare. Click here to read more about Catch A Star HSS.
Watch Kevin McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS’s winning round, courtesy of ShowNet
$5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m
- Catch A Star HSS, Kevin McCarthy – 0 | 0 | 30.006
- Berkley III, Doug Boyd – 0 | 0 | 30.044
- Uranus 112, Richard Rinehart – 0 | 0 |
- Kinsella, Charlotte Clark – 0 | 0 | 32.234
- Alexa 410, Renee Connors – 0 | 0 | 35.386
- ERP van www.olland.biz, Katia Manuel-Adams – 0 | 4 | 32.037
- Caroquados, Sam Pegg – 0 | 4 | 32.399
- Hannibal V, Nicki Wilcox – 1 | 79.106
- Babar, Ryan Sassmannshausen – 2 | 80.720
- Danique Du Lys, Nicki Wilcox – 4 | 70.299