Ireland’s Kevin McCarthy continued his hot streak at the Vermont Summer Festival by winning the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix during week three of the six-week circuit at Vermont.
The jump-off was a two-horse duel between McCarthy on Catch A Star HSS and fellow Irish rider Kevin Mealiff riding Nuca 2.
McCarthy led off over the track set by course designer Manuel Esparza of Mexico City, Mexico, and he did enough to prove uncatchable in 40.97 seconds. Mealiff stopped the clocked at 42.26 seconds to finish as the runner-up
“She is an unbelievable mare!” said McCarthy of Catch A Star HSS, the nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare that he also rode to victory in the Manchester Designer Outlets Welcome Stake during the second week of competition.
“She’s a dream come true for me to ride. I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’ve never had a horse with this much heart that wants to do the job this much. I love her.”
When asked about his face-off in the jump-off with Mealiff, McCarthy said, “I knew Kevin was coming and with two in it, you have nothing to lose. I tried to be fast enough and leave all the jumps up, so I didn’t do two of the inside turns, but she’s fast across the ground. I just rode my luck, and it paid off.”
After a rewarding three weeks at the Vermont Summer Festival, McCarthy and his string of horses will return to their home base of Cazenovia, New York, before returning for the final two weeks of competition.
Rounding out the other top placings, McCarthy also posted the fastest four-fault round over the opening course to finish third riding Easton.
$30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix
- Kevin McCarthy Ireland Catch A Star HSS 0/0/40.97 seconds.
- Kevin Mealiff Ireland Nuca 2 0/0/42.26 seconds.
- Kevin McCarthy Ireland Easton 4/74.09 seconds.