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Amanda Steege and Zidane Capture Grand Hunter Championship at Week Two of Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows

RELEASE: May 14, 2014
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Amanda Steege and Zidane (The Book LLC)
Amanda Steege and Zidane (The Book LLC)
North Salem, N.Y.
– The second day of the second week of the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows had multiple hunter championships awarded, including that of the Grand Hunter Champion, which was awarded to Amanda Steege of Bedminster, NJ, on Susan Darragh's Zidane. In the Grand Prix Field, a large class of 91 entries led to a “California Split” of entries, with two sets of ribbons and prize money awarded. Sarah Segal of Flemington, NJ, and Hannah Selleck of Westlake Village, CA, were the fastest in the long list of top competitors.

The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows run May 6-11 and May 13–18 at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY. The shows feature over 130 hunter and jumper classes each week, bringing together top competitors, including Olympic show jumpers, from across the country to compete for almost $500,000 in prize money.

Steege and Zidane were champions of the High Performance Working Hunter division, presented by Ariat. Their consistent ribbons of first and second over fences on Tuesday, two blue ribbons Wednesday, and second place under saddle gave them top billing as Grand Hunter Champions.

Steege has ridden Zidane, a 10-year-old Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding by Mermus R, for a year and a half in the High Performance division as well as the USHJA International Hunter Derbies. Zidane also shows with his owner in the Modified Adult Hunters. “He's the family horse,” Steege confided. “He lives in a stable near Susan's house, she ships him in their two horse trailer for lessons and for me to school him, and to horse shows. Susan works for me in order to help with the costs of having him show. I'm always really excited when he does well.”

Steege was thrilled that his consistency led to the Grand Championship. “I don't think he's ever done that before, so it was an extra special bonus. Susan didn't know it was something he was in contention for, so I'm sure she'll be thrilled that he's gotten that and a nice prize,” she said.

An exhibitor at Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows since 2000, Steege is a fan of the horse shows. She praised the work that has been done in improving the footing not only in the show rings, but the schooling rings and lunging areas. “It's so impressive how much they've improved the facility over the last few years. That's so important and a lot of our shows don't always concentrate on that,” she noted.

She said of this week's courses, designed by Paul Jewel, “The courses were actually a little bit challenging, but nice. I was happy (for that) in the High Performance division, because it's good preparation for Devon. Today started with a right lead jump on the quarterline that was an oxer, but it was a big oxer! I was definitely thinking that standing at the in-gate! I was very happy with the way Zidane went; he actually scored an 87 in that round. It made me feel very confident for the next event.”

Steege plans to show Zidane in Saturday's $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, since she has made those classes a priority this year. She said, “Each derby is a little different in atmosphere and course design, and it just is nice to get to a bunch of them and feel like you have these different experiences under your belt.”