A total of 10 entries found their way to a clear round over the track, 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, Bryn 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 eight 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 nine-year-old 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.
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.”
Her third place mount, Ramses du Lavillon, also came to Missy Clark and John Brennan’s North Run, based in Warren, in April.
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 the win, Welles received a crystal trophy and a Vermont Summer Festival custom scrim from Mona’s Monograms. Twan’s groom, Ulises Gonzalez, was presented with a display cooler and a jacket from Glenn Geary’s Horse Watch.
For Welles, who spent her junior career riding with Missy Clark, competing at the Vermont Summer Festival is a homecoming of sorts.
North Run brought approximately 40 horses to this year’s Vermont Summer Festival, competing for three weeks of the circuit.