Cory Hardy and Camelot 105 Clinch First Big Win in $10,000 Marimekko Welcome Stake

Cory Hardy and Commonwealth Ventures’ Camelot 105 claimed the $10,000 Marimekko Welcome Stake, presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, held July 18 at the Vermont Summer Festival.  The six-week competition continues through August 11 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.

Hardy and Camelot 105 were one of only two double clear rounds produced in Thursday’s $10,000 Marimekko Welcome Stake, the other coming from Devin Ryan aboard Eagle Valley Partners’ Boucanier.  Hardy and Camelot 105 managed to slice almost one-tenth of a second off of Ryan’s time of 37.81 for the win, finishing in 37.72 seconds.

“I think going into the last jump is where I made the time,” Hardy revealed.  “I think Devin had me beat going into the turn back on 14, but Camelot can open his step up and just work off a big gallop.  He doesn’t feel like he’s going that fast but he covers a lot of ground without being crazy.”

Hardy had his eye on the long approach to the final fence after watching Ryan lay down the first double clear round of the day.

“Devin was quick in the jump-off and I figured maybe I could do one less stride to the last jump and go fast without trying to kill ourselves,” he remarked.

While Camelot 105’s ability to cover the ground serves him well, it doesn’t compromise his rideability.

“He’s got good scope and blood, but he goes a little bit like an equitation horse in a classic style.  He’s not running and blazing around,” Hardy described.

The victory marks Hardy’s win at the higher levels, something the pair has been building up to since Hardy imported the eight-year-old Holsteiner by Cassal from Germany last December.

“Peter Wylde found him over in Germany and helped me import him,” said Hardy.  “He started doing some young jumper classes in Florida this past winter and then moved up to the 1.40m and 1.45m classes in Wellington.  He just did his first grand prix in June and was fourth.”

Based out of Newbury Farm in Littleton, MA, Hardy has been pleased with Camelot 105’s quick progress through the show jumping ranks.

“He’s risen to the occasion in every capacity.  The bigger the challenge, the harder he tries,” Hardy commented.  “He’s a class horse.  I think he’s a unique combination of scopey, careful and brave.  You put those together and you have a really nice horse.  I think if he keeps progressing and developing in small steps, we can make him into a really nice horse.”

Based on Camelot 105’s stellar performance in Thursday’s $10,000 Marimekko Welcome Stake, Hardy plans to contest the $30,000 Otter Creek Grand Prix on Saturday, July 20.

“We were playing it by ear depending on how today went, but he jumped so beautifully and handled it with ease,” smiled Hardy.  “As long as they don’t build anything too scary, it will be his first bigger grand prix as a young horse.”

He continued, “Camelot has never let me down.  He’s always risen to the occasion with everything I’ve asked of him, so as long as the Grand Prix is tough but fair, he’ll jump it well.”

Hardy, who will switch gears and compete in week three’s $5,000 NEHJA Hunter Derby, has been attending the Vermont Summer Festival since childhood.  Now a professional, he appreciates the wide range of classes offered at the show for his clients.

“You can bring everything in the barn,” Hardy said.  “We’ve got Camelot’s owners’ son showing the short-stirrup all the way to Grand Prix horses and hunters.  There are all sorts of classes for every horse to do.  It’s very exhibitor-friendly.”

2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the Vermont Summer Festival in its current Manchester area location.  The Vermont Summer Festival offers more than $750,000 in prize money, making it 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 10.  The weekly $10,000 Open Welcome Stake, Presented by Manchester Designer Outlets, is held each Thursday.  The hugely popular $5,000 3’3” Hunter Derby is also held each Thursday for the first five weeks, with week six featuring the $15,000 Hunter Derby.

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).  Please e-mail us or visit our website for more information about the Vermont Summer Festival.