Paul O'Shea's Win in $75,000 Equine Insurance Services/Great American Grand Prix at Lake Placid Horse Show

RELEASE: July 1, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Classic Communications

Paul O'Shea and Primo De Revel -- champions of the $75,000 Equine Insurance Services/Great American GP of Lake Placid (The Book LLC)
Paul O'Shea and Primo De Revel -- champions of the $75,000 Equine Insurance Services/Great American GP of Lake Placid (The Book LLC)
Lake Placid, NY
- A win by Paul O'Shea of Ireland in the $75,000 Equine Insurance Services/Great American Grand Prix of Lake Placid was the culminating highlight of the 44th annual Lake Placid Horse Show, Presented by Sea Shore Stables, LLC.

Riding Michael Hayden's Primo De Revel, O'Shea was one of six entries from the starting field of 34 to reach the jump-off by riding without penalty over the 14-jump first round course designed by 2008 Olympic course designer Steve Stephens.  U.S. Olympic veteran Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, seeking a record eighth Grand Prix win in Lake Placid, took an early lead in the jump-off with a fault-free ride in 39.409 seconds on Royce, a 9-year-old, Oldenburg gelding.

Her lead held until O'Shea, 36, returned on Hayden's 12-year-old, Belgian Warmblood.  He finished clean in 38.189 seconds to claim the win.  Engle placed second and Heather Caristo Williams of Saugerties, NY finished third on Evening Star with 4 jump-off faults and a time of 41.795 seconds.
"I watched Margie go and when I saw her do six strides between fences 2 and 3 I changed my strategy to do the same," he said.  "I had thought at first that it would ride longer.  I rode as fast as I could without overdoing it."

Engle said that her first concern was to go clean.  "I didn't ride all out because, going early, I knew I had to be clean to have a chance.  I knew there were places that I could get caught and Paul did a beautiful job."

The win by O'Shea of Kildimo, Ireland marked the fourth straight year that a rider from Ireland has won the event, following wins by Darragh Kenny in 2010, Jonathan McCrea in 2011 and Kenny again last year.

"I thought Steve built a fair course and a good course," O'Shea.  "He built the course for the Grand Prix we won in Wellington in April.  Maybe I should just follow him around!"

This is the first time that O'Shea has competed at Lake Placid.  "We came over for a few shows last year," said Hayden who bought the horse for O'Shea six years ago.  "We heard so much about how great it is in Lake Placid that we knew we just had to come.  Needless to say, we are very glad we did."

O'Shea echoed the sentiment.  "It really is a fabulous place to bring the horses," he said.  "The riding trails are great for them and I really am in love with this horse show."

Caristo-Williams, the former Young Rider and USEF Prix de States Gold Medalist who has come to Lake Placid virtually every summer of her life, noted that she has had her 11-year-old horse since he was five.  "My mom showed him in the Adult Hunters.  It's amazing to have him doing so well in a Grand Prix like this!"

Prior to the Grand Prix, Victoria Colvin rode Don Juan to victory in the $10,000 North Star High Junior Jumper Classic and Karen Polle rode With Wings to the win in the $10,000 Mirror Lake Inn High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.  Both Classics are member events of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series which features classes at approximately 100 horse shows across the country with year-end championship finals at the Alltech National Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky and at the Las Vegas National Horse Show in November.

Colvin earned her win with two fault-free rides and a jump-off time of 26.095 seconds.  Placing second was Michael Hughes who had two fault-free rides and a jump-off time of 28.077 seconds on Luxina.  Third place went to Chloe Reid on King of Hearts.

In the Amateur-Owner Classic, Polle earned the win with two clean rounds and a jump-off time of 32.705 seconds.  Adrienne Sternlicht was second with two clean rides and a jump-off time of 33.731 seconds on Hathaway.  Leah De Martini had the only other clean ride in the jump-off to take third on True Love.

Sunday's other winners included Lilly Higgins on Danny Cool in the Price Chopper NAL & WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic (14 & under) and Cloe Hymowitz on Caleta in the Price Chopper NAL & WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic (15-17); as well as Margaret Oberkircher on Jukebox Hero in the MME NAL Adult Hunter Classic and Jane C. Brooks on Lifeline in the MME NAL Children's Hunter Classic.

Sunday's activities also included the Juliam Farm Lead Line class and the C.M. Hadfield’s Saddlery Parade of Champions which honored the horse show's champions such as Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL who was honored as Grand Hunter Champion for his stellar performances with Concept in the Green Conformation division.  Stewart also won championships in the First Year Green and High Performance Hunter divisions on Loyalty and in the Performance Hunter division on Declaration.  Also honored was Stewart's student, Victoria Colvin who earned Grand Junior Hunter Championship honors on Ovation, as well as many others who excelled during the week.