North Salem, NY – May 10, 2014 – Equitation and hunters were the main draw in the schedule today at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Show. Some of the best junior riders in the country went head to head in the $5,000 Equitation Challenge, presented by EquiFit, inc. Geoffrey Hesslink of Shelburne, VT, rode Belano V to the top of the standings over 26 entries. The Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship was awarded to Bridget Hallman of Oyster Bay, NY, riding Do Tell.
The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows run May 6-11 and May 13–18 at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY. The shows feature over 130 hunter and jumper classes each week, bringing together top competitors, including Olympic show jumpers, from across the country to compete for almost $500,000 in prize money.
The $5,000 Equitation Challenge presented by EquiFit, inc. had 25 entries. The top 12 returned for a second round. Hesslink and Belano V, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Untouchable owned by Heritage Farm, scored an 84 in the first round and sat in third place going into the second round. Their top score of 87 put them into the lead with a total of 171.
Hesslink described, “The first round was good. The biggest thing that Andre said was the time allowed. I tried to be as efficient as I could. I made one little mistake in the first round. In the second round, I wasn't on top, so I thought I'd just go for it and see what happens.”
Second place went to Megan MacPherson on Class Action. They led the first round with an 86 and scored 84.5 in the second round for a total of 170.5. Third place went to Yasmin Rizvi and Aslan with a total of 167, Clearway and Caitlin Boyle were fourth with 166.5, and placing fifth was Alexandra Maracic on Pioneer with a 166.
Hesslink is 18 years old and is a senior at Champlain Valley Union High School. Of today's class, he said with a smile, “I aged out last year, and this is my first time as an amateur doing the equitation. I was going into it thinking, 'We'll see how it goes.'”
As a working student for Heritage Farm, Hesslink has been riding and learning for the past year from the trainers there, including Andre Dignelli. He has had the ride on Belano for a year as well. “I know him really well. He came over last spring, and he was a good jumper. He still has a lot of jump in him,” he said.
The Equitation Challenge was over a course designed by Paul Jewell and included a liverpool, water jump, and natural logs. Hesslink said, “Belano is really confident about all the natural obstacles, and he's really easy and great to do over the water. I knew going into it that I could rely on him to jump those obstacles with ease. Those weren't even a problem.”
Hesslink said of his win, “I've been waiting for this for a long time. I've been working with Andre for a year. I've been a working student, and it's been a really great opportunity. I've learned so much. This is just paying off from all of the work. Andre has worked with me, and he's given me so much. I feel like this is the end result of it, and it's a really great feeling.”
Final Results: $5,000 Equitation Challenge presented by EquiFit, inc.
1 BELANO V, HERITAGE FARM, INC., GEOFFREY HESSLINK
2 CLASS ACTION, MERIDIAN PARTNERS LLC, MEGAN MAC PHERSON
3 AZLAN, PEACOCK RIDGE LLC, YASMIN RIZVI
4 CLEARWAY, HERITAGE FARM, INC., CAITLIN BOYLE
5 PIONEER, HERITAGE FARM, INC., ALEXANDRA MARACIC
6 SANCHO, VALERIE RENIHAN, KATE ROSS
7 JEFFERSON, BRETT BURLINGTON, KELSIE BRITTAN
8 COCO, FURTHER LANE FARM, SOPHIE MICHAELS
9 LINKIN, AUDREY KELLER, SAMANTHA COHEN
10 HELIO ROUGE, ALI TRITSCHLER, ALI TRITSCHLER
11 KASKADE, WALSTIB STABLES LLC, TJ O'MARA
12 ALCHEMY, ADAM RITTENBERG, ADAM RITTENBERG
Amateur-Owner Hunters Award Grand Championship
Hallman and Do Tell picked up the championship in the 3'6” level of the Amateur-Owner Hunters sponsored by Hunt Ltd to take the overall grand award. They placed first, first, and second over fences and fifth under saddle. The reserve champion in the Amateur-Owner 3'6” Hunters was Tradewind, ridden by Katie Robinson for Deeridge Farms. They were first, third, and fourth over fences and won the under saddle.
Hallman found Do Tell, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, five years ago from Ivan Rakowsky. She relies on him now as a steady partner. “He's really come around. He's such a great boy and is so reliable. We know what to expect of each other. I showed once in the Adults and then moved up to the Amateurs when he was a First Year horse. I took my time with him, like I do with all of [my horses]. He was so good when I first got him that we went right into the Amateurs,” she recalled. “He's so soft, and you just drop the reins and gallop to the jumps. I get on him now and it's comfort. In the big ring, you can gallop and he loves that.”
Do Tell hadn't shown in a couple months, something Hallman does often to keep her horses happy. “In the first class, we were a little rusty,” she acknowledged, “but then we came back and we got it. I know he's always going to jump in great form. I just have to stay out of his way because he's got the job down pretty well.”
Full of personality, Do Tell has his quirks. Hallman explained, “He's very quirky in the barn about a lot of things. He's gotten better over the years, but you do things his way. He's not mean at all, but he gets scared and upset. He doesn't like fly spray, and you have to put the blankets on a certain way. There is a long list of rules that comes with him! I like things done a certain way and so does he, so we go well together. To ride, he's really great and I can take him anywhere. He's a delight to ride.”
Do Tell is called “Warren” in the barn. Hallman laughed, “It fits him, he's like an old man now! I have a bunch of young horses now. Getting on him now is like putting on a pair of old, comfortable shoes. You know they're going to look great, feel great, and they go with everything.”
In the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3'3” Hunters, Stephanie Bulger rode Mariano to the championship. They were first and third over fences and won the under saddle. The reserve champion was So You Say, ridden by Katie Robinson for Deeridge Farms. They placed first, second, and sixth over fences.
The Amateur-Owner 36 & Over 3'3” Hunter division championship went to Winner, ridden by Daryl Portela for Isalou, Inc. They picked up first, second, and sixth place ribbons over fences and first in the under saddle. Katie Robinson won her second reserve championship of the day with Sutton Place, who was first, second, third, and fourth over fences and third under saddle.
Jumper Classics Fill the Day
There were four jumper classics held today as well. In the $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Children's Jumper Classic, Sheer Levitin and Penelope Z galloped to the win in the jump-off with a time of 28.303 seconds. Madeline Placey and Zentina B were second in 29.658 seconds, while Madison Charlton and Petit Flipper were third in 29.734 seconds.
The $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Jumper Classic had Susan Strecker on Vancouver leading the victory gallop after the completed the jump-off clear in 28.457 seconds. Just behind them in second place was Nobelsse Oblige and R Meggin Patterson in 28.981 seconds. Laura Faulkner rode Pompadour to third place in 29.385 seconds.
For the second year in a row, Brianne Link won the $5,000 Low Junior Jumper Classic presented by Der Dau. This year, she rode Zet-Es-Zem to the win with double clear rides in 28.151 seconds. Michael Hughes and Splash were second in 29.190 seconds, while Yasmin Rizvi and Vivell-C were third with four faults in 30.235 seconds.
The fastest in the jump-off for the $5,000 Low Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic were Wannabe and Nicole Lakin. They stopped the timers in 29.868 seconds for the win. Christina Fried and Fortuna were second in 29.871 seconds, while Kenzie Snyder and Waterloo placed third with a time of 29.945 seconds.
Final Results: $2,500 Marshall & Sterling Children's Jumper Classic
1 706 PENELOPE Z SHEER LEVITIN: 0/0/28.303
2 83 ZENTINA B MADELINE PLACEY: 0/0/29.658
3 130 PETIT FLIPPER MADISON CHARLTON: 0/0/29.734
4 94 MAXWELL ADAM RITTENBERG : 0/0/30.950
5 463 UMARE REBECCA PATTERSON: 0/0/30.984
6 452 ASLAN CAITLYN CONNORS: 0/0/31.003
7 969 OCEANE DELLEVILLE LINDSEY GREENHILL: 0/0/31.337
8 987 LUXEMBORG NORA JODREY: 0/0/31.834
$2,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Jumper Classic
1 484 VANCOUVER SUSAN STRECKER: 0/0/28.457
2 462 NOBLESSE OBLIGE R MEGGIN PATTERSON: 0/0/28.981
3 302 POMPADOUR LAURA FAULKNER: 0/0/29.385
4 431 FENWAY AHMED ALALI: 0/0/29.987
5 488 SAN SOUCI MATTI FISHER: 0/0/31.260
6 897 PREGO LUCY MITCHELL-INNES: 0/0/31.533
7 394 WIRINA JENNIFER ROWLAND: 0/4/28.977
8 922 UNE ETOILE DE L'ECLYPSE HEATHER FLYNN: 0/4/29.818
$5,000 Low Junior Jumper Classic presented by Der Dau
1 842 ZET-ES-ZEM BRIANNE LINK: 0/0/28.151
2 381 SPLASH MICHAEL HUGHES: 0/0/29.190
3 18 VIVELL-C YASMIN RIZVI: 0/4/30.235
4 36 ORNELLA R DAISY FARISH: 0/4/31.035
5 643 CATHLET ISABELLA RUSSEKOFF: 1/79.111
6 112 ULTRA D' ECLIPSE KELSIE BRITTAN: 1/79.224
7 895 DAVID SAM JOHNSTON: 2/80.528
8 993 BROSNAN TJ O'MARA: 3/81.550
$5,000 Low Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
1 114 WANNABE NICOLE LAKIN: 0/0/29.868
2 384 FORTUNA CHRISTINA FRIED: 0/0/29.871
3 847 WATERLOO KENZIE SNYDER: 0/0/29.945
4 845 LARACON AMANDA GUNTHEL: 0/0/32.151
5 324 CARPATHIA K TIFFANY FIELD: 0/0/33.108
6 359 AMBITIOUS CODY PARKER: 0/4/28.841
7 473 ANNIE 66 ALISON LEONE: 0/4/29.367
8 358 BULL RUN'S BECKY BLUE MADELINE MCDERMOTT: 0/4/30.236