Matthew Metell of Wellington, FL, earned his third consecutive victory at the 25th annual Vermont Summer Festival by winning the $10,000 Vineyard Vines Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets on Thursday, July 5, during the six-week circuit running through August 12 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Seven horses advanced to the jump-off track set by Alan Wade of Tipperary, Ireland, who also has the prestigious appointment as course designer for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) in Tryon, NC, this September.
Returning early over the short course, Metell, 28, proved that Donchalant, a 10-year-old grey Dutch Warmblood mare (Larino x Amaretto I) owned by Wolver Hollow, is tough to beat by stopping the clock with a clear round in 31.43 seconds. Christian Coyle of Derry, Ireland, who rides for Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY, was just off the pace to finish second riding Dolce Vita KDW Z, owned by Andrew Kocher, in 32.95 seconds. Morgan Ward of Milford, NJ, posted a time of 43.10 seconds to finish third riding Diacord for owner Sorelli, LLC.
Cynthia McGrath of Hummelstown, PA, finished fourth aboard Caruso, owned by Wynnwood Farm, LLC, in a time of 34.87 seconds, while Vermont native Adelaide Toensing of Charlotte rounded out the top five riding Blue with a double-clear effort in 35.20 seconds.
“She has been fast since I got her and she won a lot of classes in Europe before she came over,” said Metell of his winning mount, a mare he imported together with Theodore “Teddy” Demetriou of Wolver Hollow in Chester, NY. “Her previous rider Rodrigo [Silva Morgado of Portugal] told me she was fast; she has a lot of foot speed and doesn’t mind turning quick to the jumps. That is the whole package and a lot of fun to ride.”
In addition to his share of the prize money from Thursday’s win, Metell was awarded a $1,000 gift card to the New Balance shop at Manchester Designer Outlets. Additionally, Manchester Designer Outlets presented Coyle with a $250 gift certificate to the Le Creuset store in recognition of his second-place finish.
Metell also claimed the Manchester Designer Outlet Welcome Stake during opening week of the Vermont Summer Festival, saying, “Their support means a lot. Not a lot of horse shows award special prizes and every dollar of our prize money goes into an account to pay for the horse show and our horses, so it’s a nice plus to be here and get to visit Manchester Designer Outlets.
“This one will come in especially useful because I have a race coming up in month!” continued Metell, who will put his New Balance shopping spree to good use before running in the 7.1-mile Falmouth Road Race on August, 19, in his hometown of Falmouth, MA.
Open jumper competition continues during the second week of competition at the Vermont Summer Festival with the $30,000 Battenkill Grand Prix, presented by The Equinox Resort, on Saturday, July 14, when Metell and Donchalant will look to defend their grand prix title from week one.
The Vermont Summer Festival is New England’s largest hunter/jumper competition and the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont with more than $750,000 in prize money. The event is also a proud member of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL). Outside the show ring, exhibitors are immersed in the charm of Vermont's shopping, dining, and outdoor activities.
Competition at the 2018 Vermont Summer Festival runs weekly from Wednesday through Sunday, beginning each day at 8 a.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children from Wednesday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $9 for adults and $5 for children with 100% of all gate proceeds benefiting The Dorset School, Manchester Community Library, and the Rotary Club of Manchester.
$10,000 New Balance Welcome Stake
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Rider Hometown Horse Faults/Time
1. Matthew Metell Wellington, FL Donchalant 0/0/31.43
2. Christian Coyle Derry, Ireland Dolce Vita KDW Z 0/0/32.95
3. Morgan Ward Milford, NJ Diacord 0/0/34.10
4. Cynthia McGrath Hummelstown, PA Caruso 0/0/34.87
5. Adelaide Toensing Charlotte, VT Blue 0/0/35.20
6. Jennifer Kocher Chester, NY Carlos 0/0/35.23
7. Lainie Wimberly Ridgefield, CT RF Quarterman 0/0/35.36
8. David Jennings Franklin, TN Donegue 4
9. Karyn Foley Wilton, CT Falco 4
10. Lincoln Russell Columbus, NC Gaverdi Z 4