East Dorset, Vermont — Alan Korotkin and Rocketman claimed victory in the $10,000 Tumi Open Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, on Friday, August 3, at the Vermont Summer Festival. The largest ‘AA’ rated hunter-jumper horse show held in New England, the Vermont Summer Festival is a six-week competition taking place from July 11 to August 19, 2007, in East Dorset, VT.
A total of 25 horses attempted the track set by course designer Jamie Alder with seven jumping clear to advance to the jump-off. One rider, Canada’s Sulu Rose Reed, also jumped clear with her big grey gelding, Gannon, but incurred two time faults. In addition to Rose Reed, five other competitors also incurred time penalties for exceeding the time allowed of 74 seconds. While time was a factor, so were many of the 13 obstacles on course, particularly a liverpool vertical at fence four, and a tall vertical at fence 11 set in flat cups where the lightest of rubs would bring the top rail down.
Korotkin, who last year won two major classes at the Vermont Summer Festival, was clear in the jump-off in a time of 27.53 seconds to move into the lead. None who followed were able to catch his time, with New Zealand native Sharn Wordley presenting the biggest threat with a time of 28.29 seconds riding Mr. Flanagan. Daisy Johnson of New York, NY, finished close behind in third place with a time of 28.33 seconds riding Oscar VDL, the former Grand Prix mount of Canadian Show Jumping Team member, Frankie Chesler-Ortiz, while New Jersey’s Linda Sheridan took fifth place with the big chestnut, Rembrandt.
Caitlyn Shiels mounted a strong effort with a stylish ride aboard Memphis, but when fence 10 fell in the jump-off, they were relegated to sixth place. Lacy Morrone Cramer and Pele suffered heartbreak at the final fence to finish seventh in a time of 28.09 seconds.
And so, victory went to 42-year-old Korotkin of Wellington, FL, and Rocketman. A 13-year-old grey Dutch Warmblood stallion, Rocketman was bred by owner Julie Aitken, and Korotkin has been his sole rider.
"He is very dependable and when he’s on, he’s very solid," said Korotkin, who formerly competed with Rocketman’s sire, Ranley. "He’s a horse that likes to show a lot, and now that we are in our fourth week of showing here in Vermont, he is getting into the groove.
Korotkin felt that the course for the Welcome Stake suited Rocketman, noting, "It rode nicely. In the jump-off, I kept it tight and tried to sweep the lines and not slow down. My curves were a little wider so that I could keep galloping."
For his victory in the $10,000 Tumi Open Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, Korotkin was awarded two beautiful pieces of Tumi luggage. Korotkin noted that the win was special because it marked his last day showing at the Vermont Summer Festival, and his youngest of two sons, Tanner, was celebrating his sixth birthday.
"Last year we came to the Vermont Summer Festival for three weeks, and this year we came for four," said Korotkin who last year won the $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix and the $10,000 Hickey Freeman/Bobby Jones Factory Store Mini Prix riding Rocketman. "Next year, we are coming back for the entire six weeks."
Competition continues at the Vermont Summer Festival with Sunday’s featured event being the $30,000 Mt. Equinox Grand Prix, presented by The Equinox Resort & Spa, beginning at 2 p.m.
The Vermont Summer Festival, now in its 14th year at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, Vermont, offers a total of $750,000 in prize money throughout the six weeks of competition, making it the richest sporting event in the state. Each week features a $10,000 Friday Open Welcome Stake, sponsored by Manchester Designer Outlets, and a $30,000 Sunday Grand Prix. The grand finale of the six-week Vermont Summer Festival is the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix on Sunday, August 19. For more information on the Vermont Summer Festival, please visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.
$10,000 Tumi Welcome Stake, sponsored by Manchester Designer Outlets – Final Results
|1||Alan Korotkin||Wellington, FL||Rocketman||0:0||27.532|
|2||Sharn Wordley||New Zealand||Mr. Flanagan||0:0||28.29|
|3||Daisy Johnson||New York, NY||Oscar VDL||0:0||28.33|
|4||Libby McKinney||Norwalk, CT||Gun du Desfi||0:0||29.22|
|5||Linda Sheridan||Ringoes, NJ||Rembrandt||0:0||29.47|
|6||Caitlyn Shiels||Sheffield, MA||Memphis||0:4||27.84|
|7||Lacy Morrone Cramer||Pittstown, NJ||Pele||0:4||28.09|