Wilmington, Ohio, USA – January 16, 2022 – A quiet Saturday in Southern, Ohio set the backdrop for today’s feature classes in the Sanctuary arena. A crowd gathered to watch twenty-two athletic jumpers give it their all during this afternoon’s $10,000 Futures Prix and $30,000 Grand Prix classes.
The $30,000 Grand Prix course, designed by Anderson Lima (BRA) featured fifteen jumping efforts that included bending lines, a triple combination and a liverpool that challenged riders. Though the competition was fierce, none could best Kevin McCarthy and his own Catch a Star HSS (Sheraton x Tolinda).
This marked the fourth consecutive win for the team who operate out of KK Sporthorses, LLC in Lexington, Kentucky. McCarthy (IRL) and the bay Swedish Warmblood mare have proven untouchable in the competition arena week after week. Today was no different for the pair. They raced against the clock in the first round to finish in a time of 80.076 seconds. A fault-free round earned them a spot in the jump-off. On the short course, McCarthy (IRL) and ‘Casey’ crossed the finish line in 35.478 seconds, well under the allowed time of 55 seconds to earn first place honors which included a stunning WEC-branded cooler, a dazzling crystal trophy and a giant blue neck ribbon.
Kevin caught up with us after his win to chat about the course. “The course was nice and the jump-off was a lot of fun. It was challenging in all of the right ways. My horse performed well but we had to stay on top of our a-game because there were many good riders trailing us.”
This week’s Welcome Stake winner’s Paul Halpern (CAN) and Vanessa Lee’s Esra (Bratt Z x Ulibra) claimed second place in today’s $30,000 Grand Prix, missing the blue ribbon by just fractions of a second. The duo from Canada looked polished and smooth navigating the fast course, appearing to effortlessly take inside turns and approach fences with ease. Halpern finished the first round in 78.489 seconds clear and fast. Upon returning to the arena for the jump-off, they gave it their all, clearing all of the jumps to stop the timers in 35.649 seconds for a red ribbon finish.
Winning last week’s Futures Prix and finishing third in today’s Grand Prix was Switzerland’s Katia Manuel-Adams (USA) and her own ERP Van www.Olland.biz (Amadeus x T’olga). Manuel-Adams and the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion navigated a clear first round in 79.641 seconds and advanced to the jump-off. The pair maintained their speed on the short course, leaving all rails up in a time of 37.476 seconds to earn third place honors.
Final Results – $30,000 WEC Grand Prix
1) Kevin McCarthy (IRL) & Catch a Star HSS – 0 / 0 – 35.478
2) Paul Halpern (CAN) & Esra – 0 / 0 – 35.649
3) Katia Manuel-Adams (USA) & ERP Van www.Olland.biz – 0 / 0 – 37.476
4) Mikayla Sancho (CAN) & Clarence NT – 0 / 0 – 38.831
5) Darby Pease (USA) & Cumbaya W – 0 / 4 – 39.322
6) Chloe Parker (USA) & Tinka’s Soldier – 0 / 8 – 36.067
7) Logan Taylor (USA) & First Finch – 4 / 77.954
8) David Q. Beisel (USA) & Essince W – 4 / 79.794
9) David Q. Beisel (USA) & Vegas H – 4 / 81.230
10) Shawn Buter (USA) & Matinee BSH – 8 / 83.430
Source: Press Release from WEC – World Equestrian Center
Photos: © Winslow Photography