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August 11, 2014

Welles Comes Full Circle With Vermont Grand Prix Win

Julie Welles has been knocking on the door for a win with Twan, and at the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix, they got it. Photo by David Mullinix Photography

East Dorset, Vt.—Aug. 9  

Julie Welles had a little bit of a different jump-off strategy in the $50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix. “Twan is super-fast, so sometimes in the jump-off I try to go too fast!” she said of the Dutch Warmblood that Missy Clark owns in partnership with Stephex Stables of Belgium. “I have to keep my mind under control and remember that he is already fast enough.”

Twan was definitely fast enough on the finale of the final week of the six-week Vermont Summer Festival horse show in East Dorset, Vt. He and Welles stopped the timers more than a second faster then second-placed Bryn Sadler on Bon Giorno.

“We’ve had lots of good results throughout the spring and the summer. He’s been knocking on the door for a big win; we have been second numerous times, so I couldn’t be happier with him,” Welles said. Twan has been at Clark and John Brennan’s North Run since the beginning of April. They were second in the $25,000 Saratoga Cup (N.Y.) in April and the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties (N.Y.) in May; they placed sixth in the $75,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix at Saugerties as well.

Twan, 14, has a lot of mileage in Europe up to the 1.45-meter level with riders like Eiken Sato of Japan, Duarte Romao of Portugal, Zoe Conter of Belgium, Ruben Romp of the Netherlands, Cindy van der Straten of Belgium.

Of the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood’s personality, Welles noted, “He’s a sassy little thing and I think that’s what makes him so good. He’s a little horse with a big personality. He goes in there and always tries to do his best. As long as I don’t get in his way, he’ll fight for it.” 

A total of 10 entries found their way to a clear round over the track set by U.S. course designer Eric Hasbrouck, giving the crowd an opportunity to enjoy a thrilling jump-off.  The first clear round in the tie-breaker belonged to Henrik Gundersen of Denmark, who stopped the timers in 44.53 seconds to take the early lead with his 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion, Adlanteur.

Four horses later, Sadler galloped to the top of the leader board, crossing the timers in 44.12 seconds with Bon Giorno, a 15-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Showcase 81, LLC.  Her time at the top would be short-lived, however, as Welles was next to challenge with Twan.  The pair made easy work of the course, slicing and dicing their way around the track in 42.55 seconds.

When Gundersen had an unplanned dismount from his second jump-off contender, Ahaveros, and Catherine Tyree incurred 8 faults with Wetter, Welles was still in the lead with Twan when she entered the grand prix ring with the final jump-off entry, Ramses du Lavillon. Welles guided the Selle Francais gelding owned by her employer, Missy Clark and North Run, to a clear round, but their time of 44.14 seconds left them just behind Sadler in third place.

Her third place mount, Ramses du Lavillon, also came to Clark and Brennan’s North Run, based in Warren, Vt., in April.

“Ramses is 9, so he’s still learning how to jump clear, how to go fast, and where his balance is,” said Welles. “He surprised me today with how great he was in the jump-off.  Before I went in, John, Missy and I looked at each other and said ‘Let’s try to be first and second!’ I gave it a go, and he was so good! He just kept jumping higher and higher the faster I went.”

It was a great finish for the 26-year-old Welles. In addition to winning with Twan and taking third with Ramses du Lavillon, she also posted the fastest four-fault effort in the opening round to place 11th with Bazooka de Muze.

For Welles, who spent her junior career riding with Clark, competing at the Vermont Summer Festival is a homecoming of sorts.

“When I first came to the Vermont Summer Festival, I was doing the equitation, 11 and under division,” laughed Welles, who is now a professional rider and trainer with North Run.  “I hadn’t been here for four or five years and when I came back last summer, it was like I had never left. It’s come full circle, I’m back at home. I have nice horses to show and I love helping the kids. I couldn’t ask for anything else right now.”

$50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix

 

 

Rider 

Horse 

Faults

Time

 

 

 

1. 

Julie Welles

Twan

0:0

42.55

 

 

 

2.

Bryn Sadler

Bon Giorno

0:0

44.12

 

 

 

3.

Julie Welles

Ramses du Lavillon

0:0

44.14

 

 

 

4.

Henrik Gundersen

Adlanteur

0:0

44.53

 

 

 

5.

Lauren Fischer

Offenbach du Granit

0:0

46.56

 

 

 

6.

Sloane Coles

Baloucat

0:4

43.01

 

 

 

7.

Katie Tyler

Kroner Z

0:4

43.78

 

 

 

8.

Catherine Tyree

Wetter

0:8

40.85

 

 

 

9.

Leann Kelly

Leander

0:21

56.58

 

 

 

10.

Henrik Gundersen

Ahaveros

0:elim.

 

 

 

 

11.

Julie Welles

Bazooka de Muze

4

 

 

 

 

12.

Jackie McQuade

Copilot   

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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