Two-Time Gold Medalist McLain Ward Clinic Kicks Off Year-Long Clinic Series at Old Salem Farm
RELEASE: December 15, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Marty Bauman
The phrase "learning from the best" took on a whole new meaning for the 14 riders who participated in a clinic with two-time Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY, December 5-6.
Ward helped the United States show jumping team win Gold medals at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, and has won major titles at some of the most prestigious horse shows in the world, including the $250,000 FTI Grand Prix at the Hampton Classic Horse Show and the $1 million CN International Grand Prix at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Canada. He also has been a Grand Prix champion at Old Salem Farm's annual spring horse shows multiple times, including this year when he won the $40,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix on Phillipa.
"It was a privilege to give a clinic at such a great facility, with great footing and indoor ring," said Ward. "All of the horses and riders came well turned-out and everyone rode well and improved throughout the two days. They were very good students, and it was my pleasure to see everyone ride."
The clinic, which was limited to two groups, allowed participants a unique opportunity to spend an hour-and-a-half each day with Ward while working on fine-tuning their jumping skills. Ward focused mainly on the riders' ability to hold their positions before, during and after a jump.
"I had a fabulous time and the help from McLain is invaluable! He had tremendous insight into my horse and my riding," said clinic participant Stacey Mahoney. "These two days with McLain will move this new partnership with my horse ahead on a fast track towards the High Amateur-Owner jumper division. He did an awesome job and it was well worth the investment. I can't wait to return next year!"
Old Salem Farm, which has undergone multi-million dollar renovations over the past few years, was the perfect venue to host such a prestigious clinic. Riders were able to enjoy Old Salem Farm's large indoor arena and its brand-new footing, while auditors could watch the action from the comfort of the farm's beautiful lounge.
"I thought it was a great clinic at a wonderful facility," said Shachine Belle, top professional hunter rider and trainer, and owner of Belle Equestrian. "The hospitality was second-to-none, as everything at Old Salem Farm is done top-notch. What was really great for me as a trainer was to see a few new techniques and ways to emphasize corrections. With two of my students in the clinic, it was terrific to hear the comments made reinforcing my training as well. McLain is very articulate and kind, and no one was over faced. I was happy to be able to let my students experience a progressive clinic with such a great rider!"
For those who were not able to ride in the clinic with Ward, there was still an opportunity to learn from him. With the donation of a new, unwrapped toy, auditors were admitted free of charge to watch Ward in action. Over the course of the two days, Old Salem Farm received over 200 toys for "Toys for Tots," which were collected by the Westchester County Detachment of the Marine Corps League. The "Toys for Tots" program provides a bit of joy to abused, underprivileged and institutionalized children living in Westchester County. Old Salem Farm was proud see how the community came together to provide a little happiness to these children!
"Old Salem Farm's participation in our 2009 campaign is vital in making the difference for some children during this hard economic year," said Lu Caldara, Campaign Coordinator. "Their support is indicative of those who care to share with others."
"We were extremely honored to have McLain give this superb two-day clinic," said Vandy Lipman, Old Salem Farm Horse Show Coordinator. "All the riders rode well and McLain made it a fun learning experience! Many of the participants approached me saying it was a 'dream of theirs' to be able to ride in front of McLain and receive his comments and ideas. Old Salem Farm was happy to provide this unique opportunity to them.
"This clinic served as the beginning of a series of clinics that will be offered throughout the year at Old Salem Farm. Who else but the very best to kick-off the series...McLain Ward," said Lipman.
Following is a list of riders who participated in the McLain Ward clinic:
Tara Corr - Goshen, NY
Katherine Edgell - Flanders, NJ
Barbara Hakim - New York NY
Michael Hughes - Allendale, NJ
Keirstin Johnsen - North Salem, NY
Stacey Mahoney - New York, NY
Ellen Mitchell - Bernardsville, NJ
Emily Pope - Goldens Bridge, NY
Rachael Ricci - North Salem, NY
Lexi Selldorff - Farmington, CT
Samantha Smith - Wakefield, RI
Jenny Swanson - Needham, MA
Amanda Wise - New Fairfield, CT
Zara Wright - Greenwich, CT
Old Salem Farm is located one hour north of New York City. In addition to its year-long horse show series that includes more than 20 horse shows in addition to its flagship spring horse shows, it maintains luxury stabling facilities for year-round boarding, and offers training for all levels of riders, as well as horses for sale and lease.
For more information on Old Salem Farm's clinic series, as well as information on the farm's year-long horse show schedule, boarding, lessons and training, please visit www.oldsalemfarm.net
or call (914) 669-5610.