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

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. 

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.

Mark Bluman and G&C Blue (David Mullinix Photography)

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.

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: [email protected] or visit

$10,000 Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Welcome Stake

Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets

1  Mark Bluman, G&C Blue

2  Tracy Magness, Tarco Van Ter Moude

3  Catherine Tyree, Wetter

4  Luis Larrazabal, G&C Flash

5  Jimmy Torano, Walk About

6  Paul O’Shea, Wizz

7  Darragh Kenny, Quastor Van De Helle Z

8  Luis Larrazabal, G&C Lepanto