U.S. Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward of Brewster, NY, rode Noche de Ronda, a new and promising mare in his string, to win the $10,000 Old Salem Farm Speed Stake CSI3* on Wednesday, May 15, at the 2019 Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, running through May 19 at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY. In the hunter ranks, Playmaker, ridding by Hannah Isop and owned by JT Farm, was named Grand Hunter Champion during World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Week.
The speed of 30 horses was tested over tracks designed by Ken Krome (USA) with 11 finishing clear over the fences. Ward’s time of 64.24 seconds was more than a full second faster than his student Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) who finished the runner-up in 65.37 seconds riding Pembroke, owned by Starlight Farms.
“Maarten Huygens found this horse for me and we purchased her during the winter season in Florida,” said Ward of the 10-year-old Oldenburg mare (Quintender x Loves Corinth) owned by himself, Bob Russell and Marilla van Beuren. “Marilla is a lifelong horsewoman and dear friend of my family who really wanted to own a nice grand prix horse.
“The mare is still not fully developed, but we are bringing her along and Manuel Lecuona (MEX) did a very nice job producing her and jumped her up to the 1.45m grand prix level,” continued Ward, 43. “She’s a huge jumper and I think she can jump anything, so I have high hopes for her to be a very successful grand prix horse. Today, I was really thinking about teaching her to turn and move along. She has a big stride and the distances were just showing up nice.”
Ward hails just down the road from Old Salem Farm and has experienced much success at the venue, but also considers it a cherished part of the local community.
“Old Salem Farm is a spectacular property and the Hakim Family has done a wonderful job developing it to what it once was and much more,” he noted. “To have something like this right down the road is particularly special for me and this area.”
Rounding out the top three in the first international event of the week, Natalie Dean (USA) rode Don’s Diamant to a time of 65.48 seconds for owner Marigold Sporthorses, LLC. Georgina Bloomberg (USA), whose own Gotham North is based in North Salem, NY, took fourth riding Quibelle in 66.73 seconds, while Lauren Tisbo (USA) finished fifth on Casco 11 in 66.99 seconds for owner Tequestrian Farms, LLC.
Playmaker Named Grand Hunter Champion at Old Salem Farm
After superb catch rides from Hannah Isop of Pawling, NY, Playmaker, owned by JT Farm based in South Salem, NY, received the Grand Hunter Champion title during the stiff competition of World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Week at Old Salem Farm.
“I got a very lucky phone call from [owner] Ellen [Toon] this week!” said Isop, who had not sat on the horse before the start of this week’s horse show. “He’s an impressive horse so I wasn’t surprised at all with his results. His jump gives you a great feeling, but he is very straight forward and I was happy to be able to go in and give him a nice ride and let him show off.”
An injury at the end of the 2017 season sidelined Playmaker for a year, but he made his return to the show ring this spring and is back on top. The nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Cassini swept the over fences classes in the 3’3” Performance Hunter Division to earn Grand Hunter honors and will compete in the 3’3” Amateur-Owner 36 & Over Division later in the week with Toon riding.
“We brought him back slowly and spent a lot of time on the flat to make sure he was comfortable,” said Toon of the horse’s recovery. “Hannah was fabulous with him this week and my husband Jimmy has done an amazing job bringing him back.
“I am really excited because he is a super nice horse and a beautiful jumper,” continued Toon. “He comes into the ring and catches your eye from the start.”
From Wednesday’s professional hunter divisions, the $5,000 Voltaire Designs Leading Hunter Rider title was decided with Holly Orlando collecting the 2019 award after two weeks of competition. Additionally, Orlando is currently leading the $5,000 Mane ‘n Tail Hunter Rider Challenge with the high-point title from 3’6” Performance, 3’3” Green, 3’6” Green, Green Conformation, High Performance Conformation, and High Performance Hunter competition during the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows. Points earned at Old Salem Farm will be carried over to The Hampton Classic, running August 25 through September 1, 2019, with the $5,000 award being presented on Friday August 30, in Bridgehampton, NY.
International jumper competition continues on Thursday with the $35,700 Welcome Stake of North Salem CSI3*, presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate, while the Grand Adult Amateur Hunter Champion will be crowned in the Hedge Ring.
Spectators are welcome at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows with free general admission to Old Salem Farm Tuesday through Friday. On the weekend of May 18-19, admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and children 10-15, and free for children under 10.
Stay up to date on Old Salem Farm at www.oldsalemfarm.net, and on social media with Old Salem Farm on Facebook, and @oldsalemfarmny on Twitter and Instagram. Follow for an exclusive and behind-the-scenes look at the Old Salem Farm experience, and join the conversation using #OldSalemFarm and #OSFlove.
Final Results: $10,000 Old Salem Farm Speed Stake CSI3*
1 NOCHE DE RONDA: 2009 Oldenburg mare by Quintender x Loves Corinth
MCLAIN WARD (USA), McLain Ward, Bob Russell, and Marilla van Beuren: 0/64.24
2 PEMBROKE: 2008 Holsteiner mare by Clarimo x Casall
ADRIENNE STERNLICHT (USA), Starlight Farms LLC: 0/65.37
3 DON’S DIAMANT: 2008 KWPN stallion by Diamant de Semilly x Phin Phin
NATALIE DEAN (USA), Marigold Sporthorses, LLC: 0/65.48
4 QUIBELLE: 2009 Hanoverian mare by Quaid x Stakkato
GEORGINA BLOOMBERG (USA), Gotham Enterprizes LLC: 0/66.73
5 CASCO 11: 2009 Holsteiner gelding by Caspar x Colman
LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian Farms LLC: 0/66.99
6 HH CALLAS: 2007 Oldenburg mare by Albatros x Quattro B
MEGAN MCDERMOTT (USA), Double H Farm: 0/68.23
7 JELEENA DE MUZE: 2009 BWP mare by Tornedo FCS x Chin Chin
LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian Farms LLC: 0/71.82
8 COOLMANN 7: 2007 Holsteiner gelding by Calido I x Acord II
ASHLEY BAKER (USA), Grand Slam Farm: 0/72.06
9 PEWIT NONO: 2009 AES mare by Luidam Elite x Ginster
JONATHAN MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables: 0/73.03
10 CAPTAIN COOPER: 2007 KWPN gelding by Namelus R x Corland
HILARY MCNERNEY (USA), Hilary McNerney: 0/73.28
11 GAMKO S: 2006 BWP gelding by Heartbreaker x Carthago
VICTORIA BIRDSALL (USA), Iron Horse Farm: 0/74.48
12 CHACCOLETTE: 2009 Oldenburg mare by Chacco Blue
LILLIE KEENAN (USA), Chansonette Farm LLC: 1/77.05