The Big Jumpers Came Out To Play at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows
RELEASE: May 7, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Violet Forbes
As the sky lightened and rainbows appeared over the grand prix field, the horses and riders entered the rings at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows for the second day of competition on the beautifully renovated grounds of Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY.
One of the top horse shows in the country, the Old Salem Spring Horse Shows offers more than $500,000 in purses and runs through May 17. A portion of all ticket sales benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater NYC.
McLain Ward, two-time Olympic Team Gold medalist, heads a star-studded list of riders that includes Olympic veterans Norman Dello Joio, Leslie Howard and Nona Garson, as well as grand prix stars Georgina Bloomberg, Jeffrey Welles, Laura Bowery, Darragh Kerins, Federico Sztyrle and Brianne Goutal.
The most hotly contested classes of the day were the three levels of open jumpers. The first class, Open Jumpers 1.2 meters, had 61 entries all trying to complete the course fault free to advance into the jump-off. Of the 12 horse-and-rider combinations to clear the first round, Kimberly Swenson of Greenwich, CT, and her Windward's Tilia were the fastest in the second round by a full six seconds to take home the blue ribbon.
The second class of open jumpers, with fence heights of 1.3 meters, was even more popular with 72 to go. This class was all McLain Ward. Ward had six entered in the class, and he had four of those six finish in the top eight. Nana, owned and ridden by Ward of Brewster, NY, was the winner, turning in two clear rounds in a time of 29.89 seconds. Right on her heels was Cover Girl, also owned and ridden by Ward, who was clear but not quite fast enough with a time of 32.88. Ward was fourth with his and Blue Chip Bloodstock's XM, clear in a time of 34.26. Finishing out his quadruple was Logan De Noblat, owned by Katie Dinan, LLC, who crossed the timers in 35.62 seconds leaving all the fences standing.
Ward has had a phenomenal 2009 season. After winning the three biggest purses at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, he finished second in the Rolex FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas in one of the most dramatic and exciting finishes in the World Cup's 31-year history.
The Open Jumper 1.4-meter class featured a battle between father and son. Norman Dello Joio of Wellington, FL, rode Scarface, owned by Tony Weight, to victory, posting two clear rounds with a jump-off time of 32.528. He was followed in third place by his son Nicholas aboard KLM Jimmy who turned in two clear rounds but was just not fast enough to beat his dad. Norman placed fifth with Cotton Candy II with Nick in sixth on Draco. Second place in the class, slipping in between the Dello Joio family was Callan Solem aboard VDL Torlando who crossed the timers in 43.63.
In the hunter divisions, Jim Toon and Silas V, a six-year-old Rhinelander gelding owned by Brianne Link of East Islip, NY, were named First Year Green Hunter Champions. They won the division championship by placing in each of the five classes in the division.
Toon found Silas V in Holland and imported him to the United States last September. The talented six-year-old gelding was sold to the Links soon thereafter. Showing under Toon as a green hunter and Brianne Link in the children's division, Silas V has won some impressive classes in a short period of time.
Reserve champion in first year green division went to Laura King of Irvington, NY, with her horse Eric I. The pair train with Andre Dignelli of Heritage Farm in Katonah, NY.
The second year green hunters were combined with the regular working hunters into one division. Que Sera and Sophie Cohen of Greenwich, CT, won the division handily after placing first in two classes and second in two classes to lead in points.
The flashy chestnut Oldenburg marched around the ring and jumped in beautiful form. The pair was ranked 17th in the nation in the s