East Dorset, Vermont — Irish Olympian Kevin Babington won Friday’s featured event, the $10,000 Giorgio Armani, Michael Kors Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, at the Vermont Summer Festival running July 9 to August 17 at the Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
A total of 20 challengers lined up to tackle the course set by Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY. Of the five riders that successfully cleared the first round to advance to the jump-off, Babington was the only one to once again jump clear, posting a time of 36.39 seconds. Louis Jacobs riding Kachina and Lisa Rex riding Fit 3 had faster jump-off times, but both had a rail down to finish second and third respectively.
“I knew my horse had the scope to do the inside turn back to the double, and I tried to be medium-fast because there had been no double clear yet and only a few more still to come behind me,” said Babington, who purchased his winning mount, Caracas 49, in Europe nine months ago. The 10-year-old German-bred gelding is owned by the syndicate, Babington Jumpers, LLC, and Babington describes him as being “a careful horse with a good character – he always wants to get to the other side.”
For his win, Babington, 39, received $3,000 in prize money as well as a gift card in the amount of $1,000 from Giorgio Armani General Store in Manchester. As the runner-up, Louis Jacobs of East Aurora, NY, was awarded a $1,000 gift card to Michael Kors in addition to his prize money. Jacobs had the day’s fastest jump-off time, 34.51 seconds, but a rail fell early at fence two, bringing down with it his chances of victory riding his chestnut mare, Kachina.
Lisa Rex and the bright chestnut gelding, Fit 3, also incurred four faults in the jump-off in a time of 34.69 seconds to place third overall while the first rider back for the jump-off, Alan Korotkin of Lake Worth, FL, had ‘a’ of the double combination down to place fourth. The last rider to contest the jump-off, Amanda Flint, also ran into trouble at ‘a’ of the double when her mount, Will of Iron, refused to jump, then had the rail down during the second attempt.
Sunday’s featured event will be the $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix, Presented by Devoucoux, beginning at 2 p.m. Competition is held daily Wednesday through Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m. and running until approximately 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children Wednesday through Saturday. On ‘Grand Prix Sunday’, admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children. All gate proceeds are donated to the Friends Foundation for MEMS, benefiting programs in the local Elementary & Middle School.
New England’s largest “AA” rated hunter/jumper horse show, the Vermont Summer Festival offers over $750,000 in prize money, making it the richest sporting event in the state of Vermont.
Visit the Vermont Summer Festival website for more information, including full results.
$10,000 Girogio Armani, Michael Kors Open Welcome Stake – Final Results
|1||Kevin Babington||Ireland||Caracas 49||0:0||36.39|
|2||Louis Jacobs||East Aurora, NY||Kachina||0:4||34.51|
|3||Lisa Rex||Greenwich, CT||Fit 3||0:4||34.69|
|4||Alan Korotkin||Lake Worth, FL||Ruco-Line van’t Paradys||0:4||38:38|
|5||Amanda Flint||Lebanon, NJ||Will of Iron||0:19||49:50|
|6||Richard McGrath||Hummelstown, PA||Richydou||4|
|7||Joe Fargis||Middleburg, VA||Kimber||4|
|8||Holly Orlando||Wellington, FL||Pugnax||4|