North Salem, NY - May 21, 2011 – Patricia Griffith had a new mount this year for the $10,000 USHJA Hunter Derby at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, but the result was the same as last year, a win. Sienna, the horse that Griffith piloted around the two rounds of competition this year, is a lovely 16.2 hand chestnut mare, owned by Lexi Maounis of Jupiter, FL, herself a junior rider and student of Griffiths.
“We got her in August of last year,” said Griffith. “She had won a Derby in Texas and she is just an awesome horse. She is perfect for these classes because she is brave and fun and careful. She is really good at these classes. She did the Derby in Palm Beach and again, she was great, she got a little green at night under the lights, but I’ve ridden her in a few Derby’s now and I can always count on her for a good ribbon.
“When you are riding her, she is not a chestnut mare, but in the barn she definitely lets you know she is boss. When you tack her up, you have to know her and treat her like she wants to be treated. We let her be a total princess, but she is always all business in the ring.
Griffith continued “The first round it was raining and it was a little muddy and she didn’t fire as clean as she normally does. She had a few rubs, which I was surprised about because in the schooling area she was really trying. I think I just underestimated it, I didn’t jump that high and maybe I should have jumped a few bigger ones. When I got out in the ring, she just didn’t put on a show like she normally does, and then in the second round she was right where I wanted her.
“I haven’t shown her since the Derby in Palm Beach, Lexi has been showing her in the Junior Hunters, so when I headed for the bigger jumps today, she was a bit surprised and just didn’t fire over them like she usually does. She is really a special horse. I am going to keep riding her in the Derby’s, she is qualified for the Final in Kentucky, which I am really excited about. Not only is the mare really nice, but the Maounis’ are wonderful people. They know how special this horse is and they love her and Lexi rides her beautifully.”
While some might have decided that the world was going to end today, for Nicholas Dello Joio, it was a stellar day. Not only did he get to celebrate his 22nd birthday, but he also got a special birthday present from his mount Ragner T, win in the $20,000 Speed Derby of North Salem.
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,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 offer more than $220,000 in prize money and is highlighted by the $75,000 Empire State Grand Prix, presented by Land Rover, Mt. Kisco and Larchmont, on May 22. The shows also feature a $15,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, a member event of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame on May 22 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 Sunday. Seating in the Patron Tent, which overlooks the Grand Prix field, is available Sunday, with a catered luncheon on 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.
For more information on Voss Foundation, please visit www.thevossfoundation.org.
For more information Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, please visit www.pegasustr.org.
For more information on JustWorld International, please visit www.justworldinternational.org.