Kevin McCarthy Finishes One-Two in Cross Insurance Speed Derby

Kevin McCarthy claiming top honors with Jeffrey Welles (left) and Darren Granziano (right). Photo by Alex Lynch
Kevin McCarthy claiming top honors with Jeffrey Welles (left) and Darren Granziano (right). Photo by Alex Lynch

Halifax, MA - August 15, 2014 - Friday was speed day at The Silver Oak Jumper Tournament, but although many were speedy, few were clean in our main event. With an exciting Welcome Stake ending the day yesterday, today's featured class was the 1.30m Cross Insurance Speed Derby.

Olaf Peterson Jr.'s unique Speed Derby course design made for an exciting afternoon at Silver Oak. In a field of 29 horse and rider combinations, only three went clear. With poles and riders flying, spectators may have mistaken this Speed Derby for a demolition derby, but with faults converted, riders didn't seal their fate with a rail down or a refusal.

Ireland dominated the top spots in the class with Kevin McCarthy claiming both the first and second place honors.   On Katie Kohlhas' Vernal, McCarthy soared through with a clear round in a time of 95.487 seconds. Impressively, McCarthy also took the second place spot with Further Lane Farm's Quidam Manciais. Just a single rail down increased his final time to 96.276 seconds.

Kevin McCarthy and Vernal soaring to victory. Photo by Anne Gittins
Kevin McCarthy and Vernal soaring to victory. Photo by Anne Gittins

"My first didn't go as well as I had planned. My second horse, surprisingly with a rail was holding the lead, but I knew that realistically a clear was needed. My last horse has done a lot for me; he's won a good amount of competitions. I was looking for a good result today and he gave it to me," McCarthy described.

The grueling course had 15 numbered obstacles and 18 jumping efforts with three double combinations. McCarthy took a different approach to the Speed Derby than most, focusing on getting over the jumps first, with speed as the second priority. 

"Olaf Peterson Jr. is a tremendous course designer as you know. The course looked simple enough when you walked through it, but I know from the way he builds that first you have to jump the jumps and then you have to go fast," he said. "I think a lot of people decided that they'd try to go fast first and then jump, which didn't really work."

 Kevin McCarthy and Quidam Manciais. Photo by Anne Gittins
Kevin McCarthy and Quidam Manciais. Photo by Anne Gittins

McCarthy has been thrilled with his experience at Silver Oak and is hoping to round out the week with a winning ride in the D & G Ventures Mini Prix 1.30m-1.35m on Sunday. "I love it here, it's my favorite show and it just got better. Jeff Papows and the team really put in a great effort," McCarthy said.

Also riding an impressive round was Jeffery Welles and Nod Hill Farm's KM What Ever RV who took the third place spot despite a time sapping refusal, tripping the timers at 96.983 seconds.

Coming in close behind was Kristen Bumpus and her own Cupid who had four faults and a refusal while still crossing the finish line at a swift 97.475 seconds for today's fourth place finish.

The second clear round of the class went to Peter Leone and Sally Hinkle Russell's Donut W who earned fifth with a time of 98.693 seconds. Closing out the top six was owner rider Aiden Kileen and his mount Sportsfield Eterina with a four fault round and a careful time of 104.480 seconds.

Earlier in the day, the Unicorn Landing Grand Prix field kicked off with the 1.40m Open Jumper Class, Table II.B, that was claimed by Mario Deslauriers and Peyton owned by his wife Lisa, with an impressive jump-off time of 34.308 seconds.

The red ribbon went to Kevin Babington and Heather Irons' KEC Jakson, only a tenth of a second behind with a time of 34.414. Cruising swiftly to the third place spot was Alan Griffin and Tricolor Sales' Orient D'elle with a clean ride in 35.220 seconds. Both fourth and fifth place went to Margie Engle and two Elm Rock LLC entries. She crossed the finish line at 35.325 seconds with Ba-ckmanns Lazio and 35.410 seconds with Eckman Van Het Steentje. With four faults, Allyson Shryoc and her own Whisper Z rounded off the top six with a time of 33.233 seconds, a time that would've put them on top with a clean round.

The Junior A/O Low 1.25m, Table II 2.1 speed class brought a competitive line-up that saw Ailish Cunniffe and Gotham Enterprizes' Prince Du Bonneville finishing almost two seconds ahead of the rest.

" I got Prince Du Bonneville at the beginning of the summer. Our partnership has gone really well and I've been lucky enough to be able to ride him," Cunniffe said. "He is very easily turned which made the inside turns really easy for me. The Silver Oak Jump on the inside to the oxer was particularly difficult for us, but I feel like that turn was where we made up the most time. I plan on showing him tomorrow in the Low Junior Classic and at the Hampton," she said.

Amanda Gellis and Bull Run's Charly Brown. Photo by Anne Gittins
Amanda Gellis and Bull Run's Charly Brown. Photo by Anne Gittins

Next in line was Amanda Gellis and her own Bull Run's Charly Brown who finished with a time of 65.487 seconds. In third was owner rider Amanda Gunthel and Laracon with an impressive time of 65.838. Fourth went to Saly Glassman and her own KEC Pineapple Swirl who crossed the finish line at 66.308. Completing the top six were owner rider Allyson Shryoc on her mount Cheval D'Espoir Z with a time of 66.530 seconds and Casey Lorusso and her own Violette Dawn, crossing the finish line at 66.810.

The jumps were raised for the Jr. A/O High 1.35m, Table II 2.1 division but only five riders were able to complete the course. With a clear lead, Katherine Steenberg and her mount Tres Bien took top honors with a time of 64.309 seconds. Riding to second, a couple of seconds off the pace was Saly Glassman and her own Ti Punch D'emm who posted a time of 66.027. Rounding out the top three was Ailish Cunniffe and Whipstick Farm's Himero riding a clean round in only 67.779 seconds. Fourth place went to Charles Jacobs and CMJ Sporthorses' Cassinja S who crossed the finish line at 72.315. Closing the class was Alexandra Bartlett and her own Glory B IV with an eight fault score and a time of 62.125.

On Saturday, The Masters Classic opens the day and then we'll see Top Ten Classics for the Children Adult Jumpers and Classics for the Low and High Juniors and Amateurs.

Sunday of course is THE main event, with the $75,000 Agero Grand Prix in the afternoon and proceeded by the D and G Ventures Mini Prix at 11 am.

Admission and parking is free every day. We hope to see you at the show!

Further information on the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament is available on line at or 

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