Wilmington, Ohio, USA – February 19, 2022 – The tenth week of the 2022 Winter Classic Show Series wrapped up in the Sanctuary Arena with the conclusion of the $30,000 World Equestrian Center – Wilmington Grand Prix. An international field of competitors took to the tracks built by course designer, Robert Barton of San Antonio, Texas. Just four found success over Barton’s first track and three ultimately delivered double clear rounds, but it was Kevin McCarthy (IRL) and his own Catch a Star HSS (Sheraton x Tolinda) that prevailed.
McCarthy of K&K Sporthorses in Lexington, Kentucky, and the 12-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare tackled the qualifying round in 86.033 seconds, well within the allowed time of 90 seconds. McCarthy and ‘Casey’ returned to tackle the short course, executing tight inside turns and extraordinary speed, leaping carefully over each effort, and stopping the timers at 31.622 seconds for the win.
We caught up with Kevin to chat about his winning ride. “The course designer has built lovely and testing tracks this week. There were four of us in the jump-off and any of us had a shot to win it. I was surprised to be two seconds ahead of David (Beisel), but I knew I had two other riders jumping after me. At the end of it, David Arcand was winning until he had a downed rail at the last jump. I’ll take the win however it comes and I appreciate the tough competitors.”
Megan Bash (USA) of Cleveland Equestrian and her own Jackson VDL (Zirocco Blue VDL x Design O) has steadily climbed the ranks throughout WEC’s winter circuit and most recently won the $10,000 WEC Welcome Stake two weeks consecutively. Bash and the eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding went double-clear, finishing the first round in 83.146 seconds and the jump-off in 33.586 seconds, to land in reserve.
David Q. Beisel (USA) and his veteran partner Essince W (Chacco Blue x Rossan) rounded out the $30,000 Grand Prix top three. Beisel of David Beisel Stables in Goshen, Ohio, and the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding delivered their usual speedy performance. The crowd cheered as David and Essince finished the first course in 86.246 seconds and later the final course in 33.906 to take home the third-place distinction.
Final Results – $30,000 Grand Prix
1) Kevin McCarthy (IRL) & Catch a Star HSS – 0 / 0 – 31.622
2) Megan Bash (USA) & Jackson VDL – 0 / 0 – 33.586
3) David Beisel (USA) & Essince W – 0 / 0 – 33.906
Source: Press Release WEC – World Equestrian Center
Photos: © Winslow Photography