East Dorset, Vermont — Devin Ryan began the first week of the Vermont Summer Festival with a win in the $10,000 Vermont Bird Place Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, on Friday, July 8, in East Dorset, VT. The six-week equestrian competition is running at Harold Beebe Farm from July 6 through August 14, 2011.
A total of 11 horses were able to jump clear over the first round track set by Irish course designer Alan Wade to advance to the jump-off. As the third rider on course, Ryan set a blistering fast pace of 37.11 seconds that would hold for the remainder of the competition.
The final jump-off contender, Ireland’s Darragh Kerins riding Hot Wheels, came closest to catching Ryan’s time, crossing the timers in 37.96 seconds. Ryan was also third after guiding Roman Saluut to a clear round in a time of 38.52 while his third entry in Friday’s competition, Calissandro, placed eighth after incurring four faults in the jump-off.
“My plan with that one, because he is such a fast horse, is not to try to go fast!” laughed Ryan of his jump-off strategy. “I try for nice turns, and that’s it! Darragh was on a fast horse, but my horse is quicker across the ground.”
No Worries is a 10-year-old selle francais gelding that was bred by owner Barbara Rowland. Ryan began riding the horse, by D’Accord and out of a Galoubet dam, as a three-year-old, breaking him, developing him through the young horse classes, and training him up to Grand Prix. The pair recently began competing at the Grand Prix level, and has already enjoyed four victories so far this season.
“In the barn and on the flat he is very laid back, but when he starts to jump, he turns on - you just flip the switch,” said Ryan, who is competing at the Vermont Summer Festival for the fifth year in a row. “He likes his job!”
Based in Long Valley, New Jersey, Ryan’s training business, River Run Stables, has 13 horses competing at the Vermont Summer Festival. His other two entries in Friday’s Open Welcome Stake, Roman Saluut and Callissandro, both came from well-known Holsteiner breeders Blair and Karen Cudmore of Omaha, Nebraska. Roman Saluut, an eight-year-old grey stallion, was purchased as a three-year-old while Callissandro, a seven-year-old sired by Karen Cudmore’s well-known Grand Prix mount Conejo, was bought as a two-year-old. Ryan broke and trained both horses.
“Both horses are very confident and very brave,” noted Ryan, who prefers to start his horses himself. “I think it’s nice to develop them yourself because you know each one well and you know what the story is. You definitely have a different feeling for them than if you just went and bought one. You know them better. It is nice, and it has been a way for me to afford to bring them on. I think a big thing, too, is that you really believe in them and give them a chance.”
Ryan will start No Worries and Roman Saluut in Sunday’s Grand Prix. The $30,000 Vermont Summer Special Grand Prix, presented by The Equinox Resort and Spa, will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, July 10.
Offering more than $750,000 in prize money, the Vermont Summer Festival is the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont. The first five Sundays of the Vermont Summer Festival feature a $30,000 Grand Prix at 1 p.m., culminating with the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix on Sunday, August 14. In addition to the $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, held each Friday, the weekly $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur-Owner Classics are hotly contested. New for 2011, the Vermont Summer Festival will host a $5,000 Hunter Derby each Thursday five of the six weeks.
Competition begins at 8 a.m. daily, Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children, Wednesday through Saturday. On Grand Prix Sunday, admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children. As always, 100 percent of the gate proceeds benefit the Friends Foundation for MEMS, (Manchester Elementary and Middle School).
For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region each summer. For more information about the Vermont Summer Festival, please e-mail: email@example.com or visit www.vt-summerfestival.com.
$10,000 Vermont Bird Place Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets
1. Devin Ryan No Worries 0:0 37.11
2. Darragh Kerins Hot Wheels 0:0 37.96
3. Devin Ryan Roman Saluut 0:0 38.52
4. Samantha Schaefer Canute 0:0 40.38
5. Michael Dorman Cermit 0:0 40.75
6. Darragh Kerins S & L Slingback 0:0 41.32
7. Darragh Kerins S & L Shoe Guru 0:0 45.28
8. Devin Ryan Calissandro 0:4 38.51
Photo: Devin Ryan and No Worries won the $10,000 Vermont Bird Place Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, on Friday, July 8, at the Vermont Summer Festival horse show in East Dorset, Vermont. Photo credit - David Mullinix Photography