Leslie Howard, Darien, CT, and her 12 year old black warmblood gelding Raimond W, finally broke out of the bridesmaid spot, winning the $25,000 Grand Prix of North Salem at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows. Raimond W has had multiple placings in 2010, but had not managed to win a Grand Prix of more than $25,000 in prize money. He broke that streak handily today.
The duo entered the ring for the jump-off in true "Leaping Leslie" form. Raimond W turned so well after the first fence that he left out a stride to fence 2, but had covered enough ground that the distance was perfect. They continued around the course clearing every fence quickly and efficiently to stop the timers in 34.253 seconds.
Howard had a huge smile on her face as she exited the ring, obviously very pleased with the effort put forth by this horse that she has described as "naturally slow as molasses".
Michel Vaillancourt designed a course with 16 jumping efforts that took the ebb and flow of the grass field into consideration, with a double combination coming down the hill and a triple combination going up the hill that caused many of the riders trouble.
Out of a starting field of 44, 17 horse and rider combinations advanced to the timed jump-off. The jump-off course was a series of sharp turns and long gallops that truly tested the rideability of these top level horses.
Brianne Goutal and Ralvesther, owned by the Cloverleaf Farm placed second with two fault free rounds in a time of 35.144. Goutal also finished in fifth place with Nice De Prissey, also owned by Cloverleaf, in 36.836 seconds. Kate Levy and her Vent Du Nord placed third in a time of 35.890 seconds. McLainWard finished fourth on his new acquisition, Oh'd Eole, double clear in 36.288 and sixth on Gabby Sloames Miel D'Amaury, also double clear in 37.344 seconds.
It only took one take for Its a Wrap and rider/owner Sloan Brown as they clinched the Adult Amateur Hunter 36-45 division Championship and the Grand Adult Amateur Hunter title.
The dark bay gelding covered the ground and met each fence with precision and obedience to win all the jumping classes in the division. Always hotly contested, It's a Wrap and Brown triumphed over 16 other entries for the title.
Britta Lippert came from Mt. Holyoke College to pilot August Moon to the Championship title in the Adult Amateur Hunters 18-35 for owner Susan Pullare.
Gina Day swept both the Championship and Reserve Championship in the Adult Amateur Hunter 46 and Over division. Day rode Premier to win the Championship title and Rosso Di Sera to win the Reserve Championship title.
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, $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, 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.