Mark Bluman and G&C Blue Gallop to Victory in $10,000 Welcome Stake

Friday, August 10, 2012
Posted by Jennifer Ward, Starting Gate Communications



East Dorset, Vermont – Colombia’s Mark Bluman and G&C Blue, owned by Gustavo Mirabal, were the winners in the $10,000 Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, on Thursday, August 9, at the 2012 Vermont Summer Festival.  The six-week Vermont Summer Festival is running at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT, from July 4 through August 12.Eric Hasbrouck is the course designer in the grand prix ring for the sixth week of jumper action in Vermont. In Thursday’s $10,000 Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Welcome Stake, Hasbrouck saw seven out of 30 entries jump the first round course without fault. Three went double clear in the jump-off, and it was 21-year-old Mark Bluman and G&C Blue who had the fastest time of 31.21 seconds for the win.

Wednesday’s $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m winners, Tracy Magness and M/M John Bartko’s Tarco Van Ter Moude, finished second. Magness, of Hughesville, MD, blazed through the short course in 33.27 seconds as the seventh entry to go with Tarco. Their time held the lead for most of the class, but was surpassed by Bluman 19 rounds later.

Catherine Tyree, of Barrington Hills, IL, had the only other double clear in the jump-off with her horse, Wetter. The pair stopped the clock in 35.70 seconds to finish third. Venezuela’s Luis Larrazabal had the fastest four-fault jump-off round in 33.27 seconds to earn the fourth place prize riding G&C Flash, owned by Gustavo Mirabal. Larrazabal and Flash were the winners of last week’s $10,000 Welcome Stake, which was sponsored by Vineyard Vines.

Riding for G&C Farm, Mark Bluman and Luis Larrazabal are on a roll in Vermont. The two have been friends for almost eight years after meeting at a children’s show jumping championship in Ecuador, and began working together full time this year. With Larrazabal winning the class last week and Bluman earning top prize this week, both riders were very pleased. They cheer each other on from the sidelines and share in each other’s success.

“We get as happy as we could be for each other,” Bluman said after his round of honor. “If Luis wins, I get really happy and if I win, he gets really happy. We are a team and I think that we are going in the right direction and we are doing such an amazing job together.”

Bluman’s winning mount on Thursday was G&C Blue, a nine-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Mr. Blue x Bigtime. Bluman got the ride on Blue just this year and is beginning to form a good partnership. The duo finished second a few weeks ago in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix in Saugerties, NY, and was ninth in the $30,000 Manchester & the Mountains Grand Prix in Vermont last week.

“Our barn manager, Elizabeth Rae, used to ride him since he was a four-year-old and Gustavo bought him this year for me to ride,” Bluman explained. “He is a really good horse. He is getting better and better every day.”

“He is not an easy ride,” Bluman acknowledged. “I have to ride him in a hackamore; he doesn’t like any bits in his mouth. It took me a while to find out that the hackamore was the right bit for him and it worked really well.”

Bluman and G&C Blue won Thursday’s class with a bold gallop through the jump-off course. Bluman showed first aboard G&C Quivola, but had a difficult round and then felt determined to have a good ride on Blue.

“In the first round, the jumps were not too high, but it was very technical,” he stated. “There were a lot of problems to the Swedish jump and my first horse stopped, so I was just focusing on riding well to the Swedish jump with the second horse and he was jumping really well. He is feeling amazing and he was really good.”

“The jump-off was really fast,” Bluman recalled. “When you are young and hungry and you want to win, you don’t care about what happen; you just have to go for it.”

After the exciting win, Bluman acknowledged his supporters at G&C Farm and trainers, Helio and Rodrigo Pessoa. “I would like to say thank you to Gustavo and the whole G&C team, including my trainers, Helio and Rodrigo and all of them,” he smiled.

In addition to the cash prize for the Welcome Stake, the first and second place riders received a prize valued at $500 from Not Your Daughter’s Jeans and $500 from Polo Ralph Lauren.

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 Saturdays of the Vermont Summer Festival feature a $30,000 Grand Prix.  The $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix will be held during the sixth and final week on Saturday, August 11.  The weekly $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, are held each Thursday.

Competition begins at 8 a.m. daily, Wednesday through Sunday.  Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  On Saturday and Sunday, admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children.  All of the gate receipts benefit the a number of Manchester area non-profit organizations, including the Mark Skinner Library, Friends Foundation for MEMS, Community Food Cupboard, and Second Chance Animal Center.

For over 20 years, the Vermont Summer Festival has attracted exhibitors and their families to the Manchester region in southern Vermont.  The Vermont Summer Festival is a proud member event of the Show Jumping Hall Of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL).  For more information about the Vermont Summer Festival, please e-mail: or visit

$10,000 Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets Vermont Summer Festival VI
Rider     Horse     Faults    Time
1.  Mark Bluman    G&C Blue     0:0     31.21
2.  Tracy Magness    Tarco Van Ter Moude   0:0   33.27
3.  Catherine Tyree     Wetter    0:0    35.70
4.  Luis Larrazabal   G&C Flash   0:4   33.65
5.  Jimmy Torano    Walk About   0:4   45.21
6.  Paul O’Shea    Wizz    0:4    47.33
7.  Darragh Kenny   Quastor Van De Helle Z   0:8     45.21
8.  Luis Larrazabal   G&C Lepanto  4   68.72

$10,000 Open Jumper High Score Award, sponsored by Sir Ruly, Inc.
(Standings As of 8/9/12)
Kenny, Darragh - 183
Berkley, Ken - 182                                                                                                 
Ryan, Devin - 98
Campbell, Kaitlin - 68
Larrazabal, Luis - 66
Jacobs, Charlotte - 64
O'Shea, Paul - 57                                                                                                                               
Scott, Miranda - 55
Torano, Jimmy - 55
Magness, Tracy - 49
Sadler, Bryn - 46
Flint, Amanda - 38
Tyree, Catherine - 31
Cramer, Adam - 29                                                                                                                            
Leone, Mark - 29
North, James - 29
Silitch, Ian - 29

Photo: Mark Bluman and G&C Blue won the $10,000 Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, on Thursday, August 9, at the 2012 Vermont Summer Festival in East Dorset, VT. Photo by David Mullinix Photography