McLain Ward Saved The Best For Last In The Empire State Grand Prix

North Salem, NY – May 22, 2011 – McLain Ward had four horses entered in the $75,000 Empire State Grand Prix presented by Land Rover of Larchmont/Mt. Kisco at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, but it was up to Rothchild, the last horse to enter the ring, to give Ward a clear round.

Each of Ward’s previous mounts had four faults, and in fact two of them even managed to post the exact time over the course.  It was up to the 10 year old chestnut gelding, Rothchild, owned by Sagamore Farm, to give Ward a fault free performance, which he did with style.

Out of the 23 horse field, only Ward, Mario Deslauriers on Jane Forbes Clark’s Cella and young David Tromp with Bayeart Farm’s Casey, managed to traverse the course without penalty.

“I thought today’s course was very difficult as the results showed,” Ward said.  “I was fortunate to go last in the jump-off.  Mario rode it just the way he should have; he made sure that he gave his horse a chance to go clear.  If he had had a rail down, it would have given me the class.  Instead he forced me to go clear in a fast time and I was able to shave a little time in a couple of spots and edge him out for the win.

“Rothchild is one of my veterans and is a horse I really love.  We were very fortunate to have this ring in such great condition after all the rain we had.  Old Salem is one of the best horse shows in the country and they have done such a fantastic job with the rings.  This is a great win for me and Rothchild and I am very thankful.”

Ward’s double clear rounds over Leopoldo Palacios’ course in a fantastic time of 34.806 gave him the win and rousing cheers from the crowd.  Deslauriers finished in second place with double clear rounds in a time of 36.149.  Tromp was third with eight faults in the jump off and a time of 39.705.

Old Salem Farm offers a $10,000 Leading Hunter Rider award for the rider who accumulates the most points in the Hunter Divisions at the two weeks of the Spring Horse Shows.  This year the Leading Hunter Rider was Holly Orlando, who will take home the title and $6,000 for her efforts.  Patricia Griffith did not have quite enough points to beat Orlando and was awarded second place and a check for $3,000.  Third place and $1,000 went to Lyman T. Whitehead.

Lillie Keenan rode Copernicus Stables’ Sanderson to victory in the Governors Cup, an equitation class for junior riders.  The perpetual trophy is inscribed with some of the most prestigious names in the sport including Conrad Homfeld, Katherine Burdsall and Peter Leone.  Keenan was handed the trophy for her winning score of 188 points by last year’s winner, Katie Dinan.

Dinan then mounted Mobile 4 and proceeded to win the $10,000 Low Junior/Amateur Classic, a member event of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Series.  Posting double clear rounds, her jump off time of 31.455 was a full second faster than the rest of the 21 riders of the original 57 entries to contest the jump off.  This was the third year in a row that Dinan won the Classic at the old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows.

The #15,000 High Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic was won by Olivia Jack aboard Haida Du Castillon.  Also a member event of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame  series, the win in this class gave Jack points toward the Finals.

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.

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.