East Dorset, Vermont — Sloane Coles of The Plains, VA, and Baloucat won the $10,000 Overland Sheepskin Company Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, on Thursday, July 24, at the Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT.
The Vermont Summer Festival marked Coles’ third competition with Baloucat, with the pair enjoying their first win. Coles topped the 21-horse starting field with a speedy time of 37.93 seconds in the jump-off, beating out nine other jump-off contenders. Jimmy Torano and Bentley placed second after blazing through the timers in 38.13 seconds while Denmark’s Henrik Gunderson took both third and fourth riding Ahaveros (38.24 seconds) and Adlanteur (40.27 seconds).
For the win, Coles took home her share of the $10,000 in prize money offered in addition to a $1,000 gift card to Overland Sheepskin Company.
“She jumped great today,” said Coles, 26. “I just allow her to go a little fast and she’s very fast. I’m hoping that I’ll have her for a little bit and be able to do her in some grand prix, and then she’ll be a good Young Rider or 1.50m horse. She’s very scopey.”
Coles acquired Baloucat, a 10-year-old Westphalian mare by Balou du Rouet, in June at the Lake Placid Horse Show, and Coles and the speedy black mare have already clicked.
“She is a really good type,” Coles explained. “She’s very fast and light. You kind of just sit there and let her do her job. She’s very careful. Her hind end is unbelievable and she has incredible scope.”
Of the track for the $10,000 Overland Sheepskin Company Welcome Stake set by Canadian course designer Peter Holmes, Coles said, “It was a nice course. It wasn’t huge, although it was bigger than I thought it was going to be. It was nice to have this kind of course and I’m glad it wasn’t too small. It was a good start for the grand prix on Saturday.”
She continued, “There was line that was a really steady four strides, and she came back really well there. It was an oxer coming into a vertical, and then a steady four strides to another vertical. That was the trickiest part for me. I also rode my seven-year-old horse in the class, Wec L’ami Noir, and it was a nice class for him to do one of his first real 1.40m/1.45m classes.”
Although the pair also qualified for the jump-off, Coles and Wec L’ami Noir, owned by the Windwood Group, had a refusal in the jump-off, relegating them to tenth place. Coles acknowledged that riding two horses gave her a definite edge, but it was Baloucat’s natural speed that earned them the win.
“I was very quick rolling back to the second-to-last jump, and I think that gave me a good advantage,” said Coles. “The timers after the last jump were really far away, which I didn’t really notice on my first horse. Julie Welles went before me, and went slow through the timers and it looked like the clock didn’t stop, but it was just that the timers were so far away. So then I knew to really gallop after the last fence.”
Coles looks forward to competing with both horses in the future as she continues to grow her business, SpringLedge LLC, based in The Plains, VA.
“I just started the business a year and a half ago, and I’m trying to concentrate on sales horses and developing young horses,” explained Coles. “I’ve got a really good string of young horses, so that’s really exciting. I’ve concentrated on the jumper horses more, but I’ve got a couple of nice hunters, including a First Year Green Working Hunter horse that won here today.”
Coles and Baloucat will return to the grand prix ring on Saturday for the $30,000 Mount Equinox Grand Prix, presented by Purina Horse Feed, scheduled for 1 p.m.
The Vermont Summer Festival offers a full schedule of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition. The $10,000 Open Welcome Stake Series, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, is held each Thursday. A $30,000 Grand Prix is held each Saturday, culminating in the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix on Saturday, August 9, during the sixth and final week of competition at the Vermont Summer Festival.
Competition is held 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 Overland Sheepskin Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets
|5||Kimberly Mulligan-Mangione||Psalms 23||0:0||40.41|
|10||Sloane Coles||Wec L'ami Noir||0:16||61.62|