North Salem, NY – May 7, 2014 – The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse shows awarded their first hunter championships of the season today, and taking the Grand Hunter Championship was Candid, ridden and owned by Jennifer Alfano of Buffalo, NY. In the Grand Prix Field, jumpers had plenty of entries as Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Picolo won over 53 others in the $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m class.
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.
Candid's performance in the Green Conformation Hunters garnered him the overall Grand Hunter Championship. On the first day, Candid and Alfano were first and third over fences and took the top ribbon in the under saddle and model classes. They finished with two more blue ribbons over fences. The reserve champion in the division was Winston, ridden by Brooke Baldwin-deGrazia and owned by Lannie Lipson. They won an over fences class and took four second places and a third in the rest of the division.
Alfano found Candid, who is called “Sheldon” after the TV character on “The Big Bang Theory,” a year ago through Terry Brown. The six-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Quintender was the third horse that she purchased just for herself.
“I actually own him myself, which is really fun,” she affirmed. “Terry finds great horses. I had bought another horse from her for myself, and I sold him in a week! I was really sad because I really liked him! Then she said, 'I have another one for you.' [Candid is] a really fun horse, and he's gotten really consistent. He's very aware of his surroundings. He's not spooky at the jumps, but he's aware of everything that's happening, so I think it gives him a really good presence in the ring.”
Although Candid is an investment, Alfano does hope to keep him through the rest of the year. “Eventually I'll sell him, but I would love to keep him through his First Year year, just because I'm really having a good time. I'm not sure I'll own one as nice as him again! I'm enjoying it.”
This is Alfano's first time competing at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows. “I like it,” she said. “Everything has been nice. The jumps are beautiful, and the ring looks really pretty. So far we're having a really good time!”
In a class of 54 entries, Darragh Kenny and Picolo, an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Diamant de Semilly owned by Oakland Ventures, took the top spot in the $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m class with a clear round in a time of 32.493 seconds. Second place went to Balboa 6, ridden by Leslie Howard for Martin Guerra. Their time was 32.709 seconds, while McLain Ward rode Blue Chip Bloodstock's Dulien van de Smeets to third place in 32.919 seconds.
Picolo has continued his success that started near the end of this winter's FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, where they had top three performances in FEI world ranking classes. Kenny noted, “He's very, very competitive, and he's really fun. He was second in a $100,000 grand prix last summer, and I'll start to graduate him up to bigger classes again. He was a little bit sick during the winter; he had ulcers. We've taken our time getting him right. He was just right at the end of Florida and showed week 11. After that, he went and had a good break out in the field before we came here.”
Kenny said that Picolo's personality and easygoing nature is what makes him stand out. “He's my pet. Actually, he's everybody in the barn's pet,” he expressed. “They all love him. He's just a fun horse to have around. Anyone can ride him, he's so easy. He goes in a soft rubber snaffle. You don't put any boots on him. Everybody can flat him, anyone can jump him.”
The opportunity to show on the grass Grand Prix Field at Old Salem Farm was one that Kenny took advantage of, along with many top show jumpers. “It's a fantastic preparation. For me, I really love coming to this horse show. I think it's a great preparation for Spruce Meadows. You get out on the grass, and there are good hills. And for all of my clients, it's great. They get used to it. It's a very different thing to ride on a hilly ring with grass than a flat, sand ring. The jumps come up faster and come up at different angles. It changes how the horses jump the jumps.”
Kenny and Picolo will be back in action for Friday's $35,000 New York Welcome Stake. Tomorrow's horse show highlights include Grand Adult Amateur Hunter Championship and another $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m class.
Final Results: $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m
1 PICOLO DARRAGH KENNY OAKLAND VENTURES LLC: 0/0/32.493
2 BALBOA 6 LESLIE HOWARD MARTIN GUERRA: 0/0/32.709
3 DULIEN VAN DE SMEETS MCLAIN WARD BLUE CHIP BLOODSTOCK: 0/0/32.919
4 FANTASY DARRAGH KENNY OAKLAND VENTURES LLC: 0/0/35.277
5 VALDATO CARA RAETHER TRELAWNY FARM LLC: 0/0/35.717
6 HH ASHLEY MCLAIN WARD DOUBLE H FARM: 0/0/36.000
7 BOOMRANG NICHOLAS DELLO JOIO EM HORSES: 0/0/36.380
8 WHITNEY RAMIRO QUINTANA ST. BRIDES FARM: 0/0/36.819
9 ZERNIKE K BRIANNE GOUTAL REMARKABLE FARMS LP: 0/0/37.107
10 QUATTRO QUEEN JUDY GAROFALO TORRES JUAN TORRES/WEE ENTERPRISES: 0/0/37.160
11 CALISTA PAUL O'SHEA 0 GOTHAM ENTERPRIZES LLC: 0/0/37.778
12 LAPACCO WESLEY NEWLANDS WESLANDS FARM: 0/0/39.609