East Dorset, Vermont — Amanda Strain of Deep River, CT, topped the $10,000 Marimekko Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, held July 17 at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
Strain rode Helen Krieble’s Carrara 11, an eight-year-old Oldenburg mare by Come On, to the win. For her efforts, Strain took home her share of the $10,000 prize money in addition to a $1,000 gift card to Marimekko. Second place finisher Cassandra Herman was awarded a $500 gift card to Theory.
Strain and Carrara 11 topped the 23-horse starting field that attempted the first round course designed by Ken Krome of Westminster, MD. Eight horse and rider pairs were clear to advance to the jump-off, but Strain and Herman were the only two riders to again jump clear in the tie-breaker. The time to beat of 44.58 seconds was set by Herman riding Casis, but Strain’s daring inside turn to the second-to-last fence stopped the timers in just 40.44 seconds for the win.
“I thought about it. I was like, “Eh, she can do it,”’ said Strain. “You just think it, and she turns. She gets excited when you do a jump-off. She’s awesome.”
Strain continued, “She’s super fun to ride. She doesn’t look at anything, she can spin right around, and she’s so much fun. She doesn’t really look it, but she’s 17.3 hands, and I’m only 5’4”. She can do anything – she can add three steps, she can leave three steps out. It’s almost hard to ride when she’s so incredibly adjustable!”
Strain also appreciates Carrara 11’s forgiving nature, admitting that pilot error put them in a poor spot leading up to fence six in the jump-off.
“She has a sense of humor,” Strain smiled. “I turned to fence six and came up with (no good distance to take off from). Any other horse would have told you no. But instead, she came off the turn and twisted and tried to get over it. She’s such a wonderful mare.”
Strain’s Lone Wolf Stables operates out of Deep River, CT. The barn’s name pays tribute to New England culture; Strain laughed that she had to point this out to her mother, who thought the name was a cry for help.
“When I said my barn name was going to be Lone Wolf Stables, my mom said, ‘Honey, is there something wrong? Do I need to fly to Connecticut?’” Strain recalled. “It’s actually a New England superstition. They used to put a big oak tree in the cow field, and it was called a lone wolf tree. We bought our property and there was an old field that had been a hay field since the 1600s, and it has a 300-year-old silver oak in it. So we called it Lone Wolf Stables because of the tree.”
Strain and Carrara 11 will return to the grand prix ring on Saturday, July 19, for the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix, presented by Hand Motors. Strain will also ride San Pirolo in week three’s feature class.
The Vermont Summer Festival offers a full schedule of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT. The $10,000 Open Welcome Stake Series, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, is held each Thursday. This week’s feature event, the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix, presented by Hand Motors, takes place Saturday, July 19, at 1 p.m. The $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix will be held during the sixth and final week on Saturday, August 9.
Spotlighting the hunter competitors, the popular $5,000 3’3” NEHJA Hunter Derby series is held each Thursday, culminating in the $15,000 3’3” NEHJA Hunter Derby, presented by Land Rover Experience.
Competition runs weekly from Wednesday through Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m. Admission prices are $5 for adults, $3 for children from Wednesday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children. 100% of the gate proceeds benefit area libraries, including Manchester Community Library.
The Vermont Summer Festival is a proud member event of the Show Jumping Hall Of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL). Please e-mail us or visit our website for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival.
$10,000 Marimekko Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets
|1||Amanda Strain||Carrara 11||0:0||40.35|
|3||Kenneth Berkley||Catoki's Son||0:4||38.89|
|7||Wendy Ritter Peralta||Cruz Z||0:4||42.28|
|9||Amanda Starbuck||Carte Blanche||4|
|10||Jimmy Torano||Zena D||4|