North Salem, New York – Madison Goetzmann, 16, of Skaneateles, NY, rode to victory in the $5,000 Equitation Challenge aboard West Hill's Play It Again on Saturday at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, running May 10-15 and May 17-22 at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY.
Goetzmann, who trains with Stacia Madden of Beacon Hill Show Stables, was sitting fourth on an 86 before the top 12 riders in the Equitation Challenge returned for the second round.
“Whenever we riders are coming back a little behind, [Stacia] always gives us confidence, but also a push to win,” said Goetzmann of her trainer. “That is exactly what she did today – she told me to be very smooth, but also to stay calm and collected.”
Madden's advice proved correct as Goetzmann scored an 89 in the second round for the win. T.J O'Mara claimed second on a pair of 87s, while Vivian Yowan took third with an 88 and 85.5. Lilly Higgins scored an 83 and 90 for fourth, and Ellyn Fritz capped the top five on scores of 82 and 85.
“I really loved the course,” said Goetzmann. “It suited my horse well. He's very slick and efficient, so I just really needed to focus on consistency and smoothness throughout the whole round. The first round was very good. I maybe left the first line a little long which resulted in a lower score, but the second round was one of the best rounds I’ve ever had on him. We really were in touch for the whole thing, and he shined throughout both rounds.”
With two junior years left, Goetzmann has her sights set on placing well in equitation finals this year, with a specific dream to win the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals.
Goetzmann is no stranger to equitation success at Old Salem Farm after placing second in the Equitation Challenge in 2015 behind winner Victoria Colvin.
“Old Salem is honestly one of my favorite shows. I love just the environment,” she said. “I would like to thank Beacon Hill and Stacia Madden, but also my mom Sheila and dad Eric for supporting me throughout all of this.”
Old Salem Farm will host the $50,000 Old Salem Farm CSI 2* Grand Prix, presented by The Kincade Group, on Sunday at 2 pm to highlight competition on the Grand Prix field, while Grand Pony, Children's, and Junior Hunter Champions will be crowned in the hunter rings.
Meanwhile, family activities, including face painting and pony rides by Pied Piper, will begin at 11 am.
Stay on top of all things Old Salem Farm this spring with all-day live streaming of the Grand Prix Field Friday through Sunday at www.oldsalemfarm.net.