Darragh Kenny Rides to Another Victory in 1.40m Jumpers
For Immediate Release
North Salem, NY – May 8, 2014 – The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows continued today and in the hunter ring, the Grand Adult Amateur Hunter Championship was awarded to Jetset, ridden by Lindsay Strafuss of Memphis, TN. In the $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m, it was another win for Darragh Kenny (IRL), this time riding Gabriela Mershad’s SIEC Ledgepoint.
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.
Jetset won the under saddle class and was first, first, third, and fifth over fences. They won the championship in the Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunters, and their top finishes gave them the grand championship. The reserve champion in the 18-35 division was Compliment, ridden and owned by Stephanie Bulger. They were first, second, third, and fifth over fences and sixth in the under saddle.
Strafuss recently moved to the area, and this was her first time showing at Old Salem Farm. “I love it, it’s beautiful. The prizes are amazing, everything is really well organized, the footing is great. The horses seem happy.”
Strafuss has had a nine-year partnership with Jetset, a 14-year-old Dutch warmblood gelding owned by Castle Point Farm LLC, and she trains with Judy Garofalo Torres of Higher Ground Farm. “I feel a really special bond [with him],” Strafuss said. “He loves me, and I love him. We’ve been through everything together, high school, college, now. I think I’ll slowly transition into jumpers after him because I’ll never have another hunter like him.”
Strafuss said that Jetset “loves showing.” She continued with a smile, “When he’s out in the field, he bucks all the time, but when he’s in the ring, he knows his job. I just point and shoot, and he’s great. But he’s done it a long time! He’s a funny one. He gets mad in the jogs, but he loves treats. If you can bribe him, he’s a happy boy.”
Their long-term partnership was put to the test this week when the pair returned to the show ring for only the second time after a three-year absence. Strafuss has been recovering from two herniated discs in her back, and it took years to recover physically and mentally to get back on a horse.
“It’s the icing on the cake,” she said of the championship. “I’ve had him for so long. He’s been kind of tricky, but this is proving that he can come back after a couple years off and be the winner.”
She related, “I thought I was never going to ride a horse again, so this really does mean a lot. It’s my second show back. It took that long, and mentally, I thought, ‘What if I fall off?’ Backs are dangerous. To come up here and win is a great feeling. I have a great team. Now, when I go in the ring, I enjoy just being able to be on a horse. Then when it comes together and I win, it’s even better. I really appreciate being on a horse.”
In the Adult Amateur 36-45 Hunters, the champion was Chocco Mousse, ridden and owned by Alicia Nisberg. They placed first, second, second, and third over fences and were second in the under saddle. Black Tie was reserve champion. Ridden by Blair Balmer and owned by Deer Hill Farm, Black Tie was first, second, fourth, and fourth over fences and third under saddle.
The Adult Amateur 46 & Over Hunter championship went to Nairobi Nights and Laura Lee Montross. Nairobi Nights, who is owned by Palm Meadows Farm LLC, won three over fences classes and was fourth under saddle. Mystique and Hope Rothschild were reserve champions after they placed first, fourth, and fourth over fences and won the under saddle.
To ensure that the grass Grand Prix Field is as good as it can be for the duration of the horse shows, classes were moved to the sand ring today in the rainy weather. Winning the $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m class for the second day in a row was Darragh Kenny. He rode Gabriela Mershad’s SIEC Ledgepoint to the win with a clear round in 56.866 seconds in the class of 43 entries. Second place went to Sydney Shulman on Zartouche, who had a time of 58.011 seconds. McLain Ward and Dulien van de Smeets had another top finish after they stopped the timers in 58.432 seconds.
Kenny used this class as practice for SIEC Ledgepoint to get him ready for Mershad to show in the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers this weekend. Ledgepoint has only been in the barn since the end of March, but Kenny has known the horse for years and watched him compete in the FEI World Equestrian Games for Hungary in Kentucky and the European Championships for Ukraine last year.
“He’s very experienced. I’ve known the horse for a long time; he’s a super horse, very easy. He’s very brave and jumps big classes,” he described. “He’s a quick horse, but he’s not naturally a galloping horse. He just has a really big stride. It’s very easy to leave out strides and turn back tight to big jumps because he has so much scope.”
Kenny knew that SIEC Ledgepoint would be a good match for Mershad. “The way I work, I try to have horses for my clients that have a lot of experience so my clients can learn a lot on them. If you buy a horse from a professional [rider], it’s schooled properly, it hasn’t had bad experiences, it rides very well, it’s jumped big classes,” he explained. “It makes it a lot easier for a young girl to get on and ride it, it knows how to do everything. She wants to try and move up a level in her riding. She moved up and jumped some big classes at WEF and did really well. He’s a proven commodity. It’s a good match for her to move up on.”
Competition continues tomorrow at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows with two big classes for the jumpers, the $10,000 Open Jumper 1.35m at 8 a.m. and the $35,000 New York Welcome Stake at 1 p.m. Amateur-Owner Hunters start their divisions, and there will be the always-fun $1,500 Canine Puissance at 3 p.m.
Full horse show results can be found at www.horseshowsonline.com.
Final Results: $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m
1 SIEC Ledgepoint, Darragh Kenny, Mershad Stables LLC: 0/56.866
2 Zartouche, Sydney Shulman, Elizabeth D’Loren: 0/58.011
3 Dulien van de Smeets, McLain Ward, Blue Chip Bloodstock: 0/58.432
4 HH Casallo, Quentin Judge, Double H Farm: 0/62.537
5 O’ Vol de la Roque, Cara Raether, Trelawny Farm LLC: 0/62.541
6 Orfeo di Valmarina, Giovanni Principi, Giovanni Principi: 0/64.344
7 Balous Day Date, Candice King, Louisburg Farm: 0/64.743
8 Carneyhaugh Manx, Peter Lutz, Katherine Gallagher: 0/66.084
9 Alexandria, Gabrielle Hero, Pebble Lane LLC: 0/66.636
10 Contiki, Nicholas Dello Joio, Judy Richter/Coker Farm: 0/66.925
11 Magnus Orfeo, Mary Manfredi, Libertas Farm LLC: 0/67.837
12 Vasco, Adam Prudent, Plain Bay Sales/Patrick Flin: 0/68.148
WATCH LIVE! The $50,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix on May 11, the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on May 17, and the $100,000 Empire State Grand Prix on May 18 will all be broadcast on the USEFNetwork.com presented by SmartPak. You may watch these events as they happen at USEF Network or www.oldsalemfarm.net. All classes in the Grand Prix Field and Sand Ring are also livestreamed daily at www.shownet.biz.
Visit theOld Salem Farm and Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows Facebook pages for results, photo galleries, and more! Old Salem Farm has joined Twitter and Instagram too – follow us to see exclusive photos and videos, let us know what you like about our events, and share your experiences.
Photos copyright The Book LLC
Old Salem Farm, located just one hour north of New York City, is one of the best equestrian competition venues in North America, as rated by the North American Riders Group in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Host of the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, the prestigious American Gold Cup CSI-W 4*, and year-round competitions, the facility offers a state-of-the-art turf grand prix field, indoor riding arena, and two all-weather footing rings. As a boarding and training facility, Old Salem Farm is second to none and home to top trainer Frank Madden. For more information, please visit www.oldsalemfarm.net or call 914-669-5610.