North Salem, New York – Samantha Ruttura, 28, of Lloyd Harbor, NY, and her own Quinn were named Grand Adult Amateur Hunter Champions after topping the 18-35 Division on Thursday at Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, running through May 22 at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY.
Ruttura is coming off a season of change with a new trainer, new horse, and newly restored confidence. She recently made a move back to the Northeast, after spending several years in Tennessee and Florida, to begin training with Louise Serio.
After suffering a sports injury not related to riding over the winter, she found that she was lacking confidence in the show ring. Serio set out to find her a horse that would help her bounce back and added Quinn to her string.
“I needed something to bring me back, and Quinn did that. He comes out the same every time,” said Ruttura. “I am still getting to know him, but he's sweet, quiet, and has such a good brain. I never dreamt that we would have done this at our first horse show together.”
Week one of the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows was Ruttura's first time in the show ring with Quinn, and the eight-year-old Brandenburg gelding had three wins over fences and a third place ribbon under saddle for their division and grand championships.
“He is very straight-forward and excited to go in the ring every time,” said Ruttura. “I think he really enjoys what he's doing, and he's a dream to ride. It puts a smile on my face every time.” Ruttura hopes to move Quinn up to the 3' hunter derbies over the summer and be competing in the 3'3” amateur division by the start of the 2017 winter season.
Ruttura was a regular competitor at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows in her early yeas as an amateur, but this year marks her first time back after moving home to New York.
“This has always been one of my favorite horse shows, and it's nice to come back and do so well,” she said.
“The facility is beautiful, and the prizes are great. It makes you feel appreciated when a show cares enough to have nice prizes for the winners. Years later when I pull out a bag with Old Salem Farm on it, it stirs up memories about how great my horse was that day or how much fun I had.”
Reserve champion honors in the Adult Amateur Hunter 18-35 Division were presented to Kaile Rudy and her own Coltrane after winning the under saddle and topping one over fences class. They were also second, third, and fourth over fences to take reserve.
The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows offer more than $500,000 in divisions ranging from ponies and equitation to Under 25 and top FEI competition. General admission to Old Salem Farm is free Wednesday through Friday during the Spring Horse Shows.
On the weekend of May 21-22, which features the $130,000 Empire State CSI 3* Grand Prix, presented by The Kincade Group, on Sunday, May 22, admission is $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and children under 12.
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.