Jonathan Corrigan Goes One-Two in $30,000 Manchester & the Mountains Grand Prix at Vermont Summer Festival
Jonathan Corrigan of Southampton, NY, claimed both first and second place in the $30,000 Manchester & the Mountains Grand Prix, presented by Purina Horse Feed, on Saturday, August 4, at the 25th annual Vermont Summer Festival, which continues through August 12 at Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, VT.
Five entries successfully navigated the first round Gerry Briggs-designed track without fault to advance to the jump-off, but none would catch the first pair to return, Corrigan with Javas Keltic Mist. With a stride left out down a long line and the 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding’s quick foot-speed, Corrigan and Javas Keltic Mist tripped the timers in an unbeatable 43.85 seconds.
Only Corrigan himself could come the closest to his fast pace with Javas Keltic Mist, finishing on a time of 47.07 seconds with his second mount, Loughnavatta Indigo, to take second place as well.
Finishing only tenths of a second behind Corrigan and Loughnavatta Indigo were Thursday’s $10,000 Vineyard Vines Welcome Stakes winners, Marylisa Leffler and Luminous, owned by Rolling Acres. The pair crossed the finish in 47.27 seconds for third place, while fourth place went to David Jennings and Gracieux van Seven Oaks with a time of 50.72 seconds. Rounding out the clear, top-five finishers were Ashley Foster and Deliante M with a jump-off time of 52.47 seconds.
“I had the exact same plan with both horses,” said Corrigan of his jump-off rides. “I knew I was going to do the six [strides rather than the seven] in the first line with both horses. I hoped I was going to get six on the first horse; he’s a little bit short-strided but very careful. I knew if I galloped up and got there, he would jump clear.”
Corrigan only started riding Javas Keltic Mist, owned by Steven Klein, earlier this year but has already seen consistent top results.
“He’s a little over-qualified!” said Corrigan, who hails from and rides for Ireland, “He jumped double clear in a Nation’s Cup in Drammen with Brian Cournane [in 2015]. I got him in Florida, and we’ve jumped some double clears in some ranking classes. I’m kind of still getting to know him, but I think he’s going to be my three-star grand prix horse. That’s my hope.
“The other horse is really, really good,” continued Corrigan of his second mount, Loughnavatta Indigo, a nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Twin Oaks Stables, Inc. “He’s my scopiest horse, and the plan is to jump five-star grand prix with him. He’s jumped a lot of double clears and bigger grand prix already. He’s not quite as quick, but he’s getting quicker all the time.”
Corrigan has contested the Vermont Summer Festival in the past, but this week marks his first week at the horse shows for 2018. This year, Corrigan comes with five clients and 15 total horses.
“It’s just really nice, and it’s easy to get to,” said Corrigan of the Vermont Summer Festival. “The scenery is beautiful. We all love it here. We can all be competitive, and it’s nice for the clients.”
In recognition of his win, Corrigan was awarded a scrim by Mona’s Monograms as well as a crystal trophy. In addition, the Vermont Summer Festival also recognized his groom, Oscar Castillo, with the weekly Grand Prix Groom Award in honor of his hard work preparing Javas Keltic Mist for grand prix competition. He was presented with a monogrammed jacket and coolerette from sponsor Glenn Geary of Horsewatch.
The Vermont Summer Festival is New England’s largest hunter/jumper competition and the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont with more than $750,000 in prize money. The event is also a proud member of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, the Marshall & Sterling League, and the North American League (NAL). Outside the show ring, exhibitors are immersed in the charm of Vermont’s shopping, dining, and outdoor activities.