Kate Levy Had All The Luck At The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows

North Salem, NY – May 15, 2011 – Mother Nature gave us beautiful weather for the first week of competition at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, but she could not make it happen on the morning of the Grand Prix, where she gave us some torrential rain in the early hours.

Taking it all in stride, both show management and competitors made adjustments and as the rain came to a close, competition went on as usual.  The only concession to the rain was the movement of classes from the Grand Prix field to the Sand Ring.

Twenty four horse and rider combinations entered the ring for the first round of competition, with eleven making it through the large course fault free.  Eventual winner Kate Levy and her Vent Du Nord were the tenth of that eleven to post a fault free performance.  She joined the good list which included McLain Ward with three mounts, Mario Deslauriers with two, Georgina Bloomberg, Candice King, Katie Dinan, David Tromp and Hillary Simpson.

Seven riders took to the ring before Candice King and Skara Glen’s Davos posted a clear round.  Their time of 50.241 reflected a very modest pace.  One horse later, Levy, South Salem, NY, posted the only other double  clear round of the class.  Her time of 49.328 was just good enough to take the victory.

“I was really lucky today”, said a very happy Levy.  “Anytime you win you have to be a little lucky.  I just thought that I was in the jump off with McLain with three horses and Mario with two, so I didn’t think that I would be in the top five."  

“I went late in the jump off and there was only one horse that had jumped clear, and Candice had been neat but had not really gone all out as far as the time went.  The course was tall in places and rode a little difficult.  Luckily I knew what I had to do.  I thought I would be second at best in I managed to go clear, mainly because I assumed that McLain, who was last in the ring, would win."  

“I was even luckier that he had a rail at the last fence”, joked Levy.  “The weather had a little bit of an effect on my horse.  This is his second time out after a month and a half off and he was feeling a bit up in the first round, mainly because it was a little cooler today.  That helped us in the jump off because he still had a lot of gas.  He is a really talented horse and I am so lucky to have him.  Today was a bit of a lucky break.”

Candice King finished in Second place with Skara Glen’s Davos by virtue of her double clear rounds in a time of 50.241.  Mario Deslauriers and his World Equestrian Games mount, Urico, finished in third posting a four fault second round in a time of 46.451.  McLain Ward was fourth with Vocas, four faults in 47.012,  and fifth with Pjotter Van de Zonnehoeve, four faults in 48.771.  Deslauriers finished sixth with Vicomte D, four faults in 48.775 followed by Ward in seventh with Oh’ d’Eole also carrying four faults in 48.928.  David Tromp finished eighth with Casey, Louis K2 and Georgina Bloomberg were ninth, Katie Dinan and Amoroso finished tenth and Hillary Simpson and Nopus Du Gue Joubert, with eight faults, finished eleventh.

The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows benefit the Old Salem Farm Foundation.  The goal of the Old Salem Farm Foundation is to use the Spring Horse Shows as a vehicle to help support charitable organizations and create an opportunity for Corporate Sponsors and Equestrian Athletes to benefit the community during the annual sporting event. The Old Salem Farm Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.

This year, the Old Salem Farm Foundation is providing support to several charities including Voss Foundation, Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, ASPCA and Just World International.

Voss Foundation is dedicated to providing access to pure, clean water to rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. At the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, Voss Foundation will present a gallery exhibit of limited edition photographs taken by world-renown photographer Stuart Franklin which will be on display in the Main Bar throughout the duration of the horse shows. The photographs will be available for purchase through a silent auction, and all proceeds will help support Voss Foundation's 2011 initiatives.

In addition, the Old Salem Farm Foundation will be supporting Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, whose mission is to provide the therapeutic benefits of horseback riding and other equine-assisted activities to physically, emotionally, and developmentally challenged individuals at facilities and stables in Connecticut and New York.

Also receiving support from the Old Salem Farm Foundation is JustWorld International, a charitable organization dedicated to providing basic education, nutrition, health and hygiene programs, and vocational training for children in impoverished communities in Honduras, Cambodia, Guatemala, Brazil, and Senegal.

The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows partnering with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to hold a special Animal Adoption Day on Saturday, May 14.  The ASPCA's Mobile Adoption Van, full of loving dogs and cats available for adoption, were on-site at the horse show.

The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows offer more than $220,000 in prize money and is highlighted by the $40,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix on May 15, $25,000 North Salem Grand Prix on May 20, and the $75,000 Empire State Grand Prix, presented by Land Rover, Mt. Kisco and Larchmont, on May 22.  The shows also feature a $20,000 Speed Derby of North Salem on May 21, $15,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, a member event of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame on May 22, $10,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby on May 21 and $10,000 Leading Hunter Rider Award, which will be announced on May 22.

Over the years, Old Salem Farm has played host to major competitions including Selection Trials for U.S. teams for World Championships and Olympic Games. Old Salem Farm boasts a state-of-the-art stabling facility, its historic pristine grass Grand Prix field as well as outstanding show and schooling rings, all surrounded by one of the nation’s most quaint and picturesque settings.

Old Salem Farm is located one hour north of New York City. In addition to hosting more than 20 horse shows besides 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! Exceptional horses are also available for sale or lease.

Admission to the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows is $20.00 per carload on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Seating in the Patron Tent, which overlooks the Grand Prix field, is available Wednesday – Sunday, with a catered luncheon on Saturday and Grand Prix Sunday. For reservation information, please visit www.oldsalemfarm.net.

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

Photo: Kate Levy aboard Vent Du Nord