East Dorset, Vermont — Everything panned out as expected for Show Jumping Hall-of-Famer and Olympic gold medalist Joe Fargis in the $10,000 Hickey-Freeman & Bobby Jones/Betsey Johnson Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Design Outlets, at the Vermont Summer Festival.
Aboard Kimber, a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Hidden Trails Farm, Fargis crossed the finish line quickest and without fault. In addition to bragging rights and $3,000 in prize money, Fargis also earned a $1,000 gift certificate to Hickey-Freeman & Bobby Jones.
A total of 25 entries tested their merit on the challenging show jumping course designed by Kenny Krome of Westminster, MD. Eight riders successfully advanced through the winding track and on to the jump-off. Even through the twists and turns, Fargis noted that the questions were consistent and fair.
“The difficulty was evenly distributed, and that’s a good thing,” explained Fargis. “Everything rode as I expected—the course, my horse, everything. It felt great. I think Kenny is a great course designer.”
A new ride for Fargis, he picked up Kimber’s reins only two months ago from Darren Finkleman, a fellow grand prix show jumping rider from Fargis’ hometown of Middleburg, VA. “He’s just a great, honest horse,” Fargis said frankly. They posted the speediest jump-off time at 36.42 seconds.
Last week’s Open Welcome winner, Irish Olympian Kevin Babington riding Caracas 49, took second place with a clean jump-off trip in a time of 37.25 seconds. He earned $2,200 and a $1,000 gift from Betsey Johnson. Meanwhile, Jimmy Torano and Caldam D’Or posted a clear jump-off trip in 38.67 seconds to finish third which earned them $1,500.
Louis Jacobs of East Aurora, NY, pinned fourth aboard Kachina, while Fargis aboard Tarco rounded out the top five.
This year marks Fargis’ second trip up to East Dorset for the Vermont Summer Festival.
“Everything is great here; the weather, the competition, the people,” Fargis said. He’ll head home on Sunday after the grand prix to end his two-week run at the six-week series.
He and Kimber plan to shoot for the top in Sunday’s feature class, the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix, scheduled to begin at 2:00 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 Hickey-Freeman & Bobby Jones, Betsey Johnson Open Welcome Stake – Final Results
|1||Joe Fargis||Middleburg, VA||Kimber||0:0||36.42|
|2||Kevin Babington||Ireland||Caracas 49||0:0||37.25|
|3||Jimmy Torano||Ft. Lauderdale||Caldam D’or||0:0||38.67|
|4||Louis Jacobs||East Aurora, NY||Kachina||0:4||38.16|
|5||Joe Fargis||Middleburg, VA||Tarco||4||39.87|
|6||Kimberly Mulligan||New Canaan, CT||Butterfly Rouge||4||40.84|
|7||Danielle Torano||Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Ormsby Hill||8||40.84|
|8||Kent Farrington||Wellington, FL||Thunder-Ball||11||50.25|