Patricia Griffith and Travino Take the Hunter Derby By Storm

Griffith Gallop

Patricia Griffith and Travino (James Leslie Parker Photo)

North Salem, NY – May 22, 2010 – Patricia Griffith from nearby Katonah, NY, and Travino, owned by Heritage Farm, kept their winning streak alive at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows in North Salem, NY, and brought home the big award, a win in the $10,000 Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA International Hunter Derby Presented by The Premier Collection/Land Rover of Mt. Kisco and Land Rover of Larchmont.  

Their first round score of 199 positioned them at the head of the class going into the second “Handy” round of competition.  The pair showed their talents as they mastered the nine fence test with aplomb, and emerged from the ring with a score of 211 to take the top spot with a total of 410 points.

“My horse was great,” said Griffith.  “I loved the course, lots of gallops.  And I thought the Handy was perfect.  It was just challenging enough and it had its options.  It was fun.  My horse was perfect.  There was a lot going on at the other end (of the ring) lots of distractions with the jumpers running by and the crowd, I was really happy he reacted like he did, especially since we are on to Devon next.  This was a great warm-up for that.  This is a real hometown show for us, so it’s nice to come through.  We show here a lot it’s kind of like our own show.

 

“We got “Eric” two years ago, and when I first got him we did the 1st Year Greens and he was Champion at Capital Challenge.  We decided that we would try him in equitation.  He won the Washington Equitation Finals with Samantha Schaefer and got a call back on top in the Medal Finals and he just had a little green mistake.  He can be a little bit immature.  He is going to Devon next week to do the equitation with Samantha and we hope that he wins many more Finals. 

“He is the best of both worlds, he is a great jumper but he can make the turns and that is what a good equitation horse is, a good jumper and a good hunter combined.  That is what is so special about him.  He has been really rewarding for me because I kind of made him a hunter, and it made him a great horse.  We still have our green moments, at Palm Beach we were fourth or fifth going into the night class, and he took one look at the ring of hay, and I think I am still picking straw out of my teeth today.  It is a very humbling sport that way.  It is never over until you trot the last step. 

“The Derby’s are such a great thing for our sport.  The hunters were really dying and there was no atmosphere and no crowd – no draw.  The Derby’s are a huge draw now.  People are excited about it and the crowds love it.  This is just as hard as some of the jumper classes where they are giving away significant money, so the money is great.  It’s nice that we can get this kind of recognition in the hunter ring.  It is not easy to do this smoothly, without touching the reins, clear, it is hard - just as hard as the jumpers.  This is our system here in the states – the hunters are very important and classes like this are what it is all about.”

Lillie Keenan and Chansonette Farms’ Genuine placed second in the Derby with a final total of 391 points.  Poetic and Maggie Boylan were third, 380 points.

The conclusion of the 2010 Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows will feature the $75,000 Empire State Grand Prix as well as a $15,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic part of the Cavalor Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series, $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Derby, , and the $10,000 Cavalor Leading Hunter Rider Award.

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 state-of-the-art stabling facilities for year-round boarding. Old Salem Farm’s training staff offers training for every level of riding from Short Stirrup to Grand Prix hopefuls! Exceptional horses are also available for sale or lease.

Tickets for the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows are $10.00 for a three-day pass, valid Tuesday-Thursday, and $20.00 for weekend pass, valid Friday-Sunday. A portion of the admission proceeds will benefit Pegasus Therapeutic Riding and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Tickets for the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows can be purchased online at www.oldsalemfarm.net or by calling               914-669-5610       , as well as on-site during the horse shows 

For more information on Old Salem Farm, including its year-long horse show schedule, clinics, boarding, lessons and training, please visit www.oldsalemfarm.net or call               914-669-5610       .

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