For Immediate Release
North Salem, NY – May 15, 2014 – Sometimes when things fall into place, they really click. For Alexandra Beaumont of Ridgefield, CT, today was when she and her horse Undergrad put the pieces together. It led to their first-ever over fences blue ribbons, but more than that, it took them to the division tricolor and Grand Adult Hunter Championship during the second week of the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows. On the Grand Prix Field, Laura Bowery of Bridgehampton, NY, rode Vanhattan to the fastest round in the $3,000 Open Jumper 1.30m class.
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.
Beaumont and Undergrad, owned by Brook Farm LLC, won two over fences classes, as well as place second and fifth. As is their habit, they also took the blue ribbon in the under saddle to win the Adult Amateur 36-45 Hunter division championship. Reserve champion was Blair Balmer, who rode Deer Hill Farm’s Black Tie to first, first, third, and fifth over fences and second place under saddle.
Beaumont found Undergrad, a six-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Sandro Hit x Donnerhall two years ago, just three months after he had been brought over from Europe by Walk the Line LLC. Originally thought to be a top dressage prospect, Undergrad had passed his 30-day and 70-day stallion testing. He was gelded in the United States, and when Beaumont saw him, she knew she had to have him.
“I did everything you’re not supposed to do,” Beaumont laughed. “I found him, I fell in love with him. My trainers said he was too green. I dreamt about him. I didn’t ever win a (jumping) class until today! I’ve never had a horse that more people and trainers have told me they loved, that I couldn’t get a prize on. He’s always won the hack, and that’s been amazing. He’s just turned six, and he’s learning his job. He’s so green and young. He’s been really close.”
Something clicked this week, and it helped that they were able to get clean lead changes. “He knew his job a little bit more this week. It was him learning to keep his balance in the canter,” Beaumont explained. “Since we’ve owned him, he’s grown almost three inches. I think he’s like a child; he’s a little gawky, and it was a little bit hard for him to figure out where his legs were half the time! He’s just figuring it out.”
Undergrad, who is called “Sheldon” in the barn, has always had a great personality. “He’s like a black Lab. He would come sleep in my room in a dog bed next to me if I let him, without a doubt,” Beaumont said. “He’s really easy in the barn and comical. We try to do what works for him. We get a real kick out of him, and he knows it. He nickers hello and goodbye to me every day. He’s so over-loved it’s crazy. ”
For her success this week, Beaumont gave thanks to trainers Molly Flaherty and Patty Peckham of Arcadia Farm, as well as Jenny Fischer, who piloted him in the Pre-Green 3’3” Hunters.
Bowery Gets Back Into the Show Ring for Victory
Although she had not competed for nine months, Laura Bowery didn’t feel any jitters when she walked into the show ring this week. Having the ride on Vanhattan made it that much easier. She and the 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Manhattan owned by Kerry Anne LLC flew around the speed course, designed by Alan Wade of Ireland in 62.154 seconds to win the $3,000 Open Jumper 1.30m.
Second place in the class went to Wiplala and Richard Neal, who had a time of 63.692 seconds. Finishing in 64.129 seconds, Leslie Howard and Zaragoza were third.
Bowery remarked, “I took some time off; I was coaching a lot in Florida. I was flying back and forth. I focused more on training. Maybe here and there I did a practice class, like training jumpers. It feels great to be back in the saddle. When you’ve been out of it for a little bit, you can second guess yourself, but it felt great.”
Vanahattan had been a winner for years with junior rider Lillie Keenan, and now does the junior jumpers with new owner Kerry McCahill. Since McCahill was out of town, Bowery got the ride. “He’s just coming back after some time off after Florida, so I just wanted to do some small classes with him. He feels great. He has a lot of experience, and he’s shown everywhere,” Bowery stated, “so jumping on the grass, even though it was a little wet, he was a real confident horse. He’s a horse who really gets confidence, his scope, from pace.”
Bowery and Vanhattan won the 1.20m class yesterday, and she set her sights on victory in the 1.30m class. “I did plan on trying to win,” she confirmed. “It’s really good for his confidence. I had a bit of a plan. I didn’t know if it would hold up in such a big class, and I went third. I didn’t watch any go, but I walked it and made my plan. I tend to be best that way.”
Bowery described Vanhattan as a “little bit of a theatrical horse,” saying that he likes to buck and play in the schooling ring. “I know him very well, and I’ve been part of his fan club since Lillie was riding him. He just likes to go with that kind of pace. His confidence and his gameness is good for a junior jumper. What’s a little bit tricky about him is that there is a lot of bravado with him,” she said. “In the beginning that was a little intimidating for my rider. Once you realize that’s just part of his game, it’s kind of funny. Everything feels like it’s going really fast, and he’s a real thinker, so you just have to stay pretty calm with him and just go with him. He’s got a lot of character. He’s very smart. He knows where his feet are all the time, and he’s very balanced. He’s just a really, really nice horse. I feel very lucky to be able to ride him.”
Final Results: $3,000 Open Jumper 1.30m
1 176 VANHATTAN, LAURA BOWERY, KERRY ANNE LLC: 0/62.154
2 727 WIPLALA, RICHARD NEAL, RICHARD NEAL: 0/63.692
3 735 ZARAGOZA, LESLIE HOWARD, LESLIE & PETER HOWARD: 0/64.129
4 433 U2, FRANCESCA BOLFO, FRANCESCA BOLFO: 0/65.162
5 804 BLINK, JACOB POPE, COKER FARM: 0/65.450
6 638 VIVARO B, EZEQUIEL PERALTA, BENJAMIN SIMPKINS: 0/65.924
7 784 BARLA, HANNAH SELLECK, DESCANSO FARM: 0/66.683
8 296 CAPTAIN JACK, JONATHAN MC CREA, CANDY TRIBBLE & WINDSOR SHOW STABLE: 0/69.649
9 924 CASSIUS VON NYMPHENBURG, MATTIAS TROMP, BEYAERT FARM INC.: 0/70.995
10 117 ULTRA D’ ECLIPSE, MAX AMAYA, SILVER OAK FARMS LLC: 0/72.594
Full horse show results can be found at www.horseshowsonline.com. Competition continues tomorrow with the $35,000 Grand Prix of North Salem, as well as $2,500 Hunter Groom’s Class and $2,500 Jumper Groom’s Class.
WATCH LIVE! The $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on May 17, and the $100,000 Empire State Grand Prix on May 18 will 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