Beat Mändli (SUI) is experiencing the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows for the first time this week and got off to an impressive start. He and Grant Road Partners, LLC's Zander topped a 12-horse jump-off to win the $35,000 New York Welcome Stake, presented by Old Salem Farm.
The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows run May 5-10 and May 12-17 at the picturesque 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 all corners of the country to compete for more than $500,000 in prize money.
With the jumps climbing higher and the prize money increasing as weekend competition arrives at Old Salem Farm, 51 entries turned out for the $35,000 Welcome Stake under clear, sunny skies. Mändli had only rode on The Grand Prix Field once earlier in the week, but he and Zander were flawless over the surface and course, which was set by designer Michel Vaillancourt of Aiken, SC.
"He obviously likes the field. Two days ago he jumped very well, and I felt comfortable," Mändli said of the 11-year old KWPN gelding he got the ride on this winter. "I got him in Wellington in February and just played around a little bit to start to get to know him – this is the biggest class I've jumped with him in. You always have high expectations, but it worked out perfect today."
Mändli and Zander stopped the jump-off timers at 37.883 seconds with a clear round for the win. Behind them by two seconds, Maggie McAlary (USA) and Double H Farm's HH Ciske Van Overis claimed second in 39.917 seconds. Third was awarded to Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner's Breitling LS with a time of 40.212 seconds. McAlary also jumped to fourth with HH Donnatella for Double H Farm in 40.254 seconds. Filip De Wandel (BEL) rounded out the top five in the irons of his own Gentley on four faults in 38.476 seconds.
The winning pair is now focused on Sunday's $50,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix, presented by The Kincade Group, and Mändli has his mount's experience on his side. Zander won the Welcome Stake and $50,000 Grand Prix at Old Salem Farm in 2013 with Mclain Ward in the tack and has proved he may be on form for a repeat.
"He really tried for me on that inside turn to the second to last fence and was better than I thought he would be," said Mändli. "The weather is beautiful, the field is perfect and I'm very happy."
Based in Belgium, Mändli was was pleased to bring a string of horses to Old Salem Farm together with owners Katie Dinan and Grant Road Partners, LLC. “We need to have these shows in order to bring the horses up to the bigger level,” he said. “You grow up with them and they learn – it's super important.”
Earlier in the day, Quentin Judge continued the Double H Farm domination of the Grand Prix Field during Week 1 with a blue in the $6,500 Open Jumper 1.35m aboard HH Fyloe. Mclain Ward finished second aboard Azibantos for Group C, LLC, and third with Double H Farm's HH Best Buy.
Competition continues tomorrow at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows with the presentation of Grand Amateur-Owner Hunter Champion, and the $15,000 Old Salem Farm Speed Derby on the Grand Prix Field. Outside the ring, a host of spectator favorites return to Old Salem Farm, including face painting from 12-3pm in front of the main barn and a Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Social, sponsored by Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Program, by the food vendors from 2-3pm.
Final Results: $35,000 New York Welcome Stake
1 ZANDER BEAT MÄNDLI GRANT ROAD PARTNERS, LLC 0/0/37.883
2 HH CISKE VAN OVERIS MAGGIE MCALARY DOUBLE H FARM 0/0/39.917
3 BREITLING LS BEEZIE MADDEN ABIGAIL WEXNER 0/0/40.212
4 HH DONNATELLA MAGGIE MCALARY DOUBLE H FARM 0/0/40.254
5 GENTLEY FILIP DE WANDEL FILIP DE WANDEL 0/4/38.476
6 CORTES 'C' BEEZIE MADDEN ABIGAIL WEXNER 0/4/38.949
7 LIRATUS DEVIN RYAN DEVIN RYAN 0/4/39.635
8 ESPRIT SLOANE COLES THE SPRINGLEDGE GROUP 0/4/40.489
9 HH AZUR MCLAIN WARD DOUBLE H FARM 0/4/41.066
10 CASSINJA S CHARLES JACOBS CMJ SPORTHORSE, LLC 0/4/43.530
11 PLUME DE LA ROQUE BEN ASSELIN ATTACHE STABLES 0/8/43.545
12 FLAMING STAR CHARLES JACOBS CMJ SPORTHORSE, LLC 0/17/54.781
Final Results: $6,500 Open Jumper 1.35m
1 HH FYLOE QUENTIN JUDGE DOUBLE H FARM 0/0/29.991
2 AZIBANTOS MCLAIN WARD GROUP C, LLC 0/0/30.131
3 HH BEST BUY MCLAIN WARD DOUBLE H FARM 0/0/30.739
4 CARINA VICTORIA COLVIN HERITAGE FARM, INC. 0/0/31.316
5 CALIFORNIA 62 KIRSTEN COE ILAN FERDER 0/0/31.884
6 BETTER TIMES VICTORIA COLVIN HERITAGE FARM, INC. 0/0/32.256
7 CARTIER SAVANNAH TALCOTT AMERICAN EQUESTRIAN ASSOCIATES II, LLC 0/0/32.267
8 JEWEL'S CARAT PETER LEONE JEWEL COURT STUD USA, LLC 0/0/32.988
9 CELINA BEAT MÄNDLI GRANT ROAD PARTNERS, LLC 0/0/33.520
10 COMMISSARIO MICHAEL HUGHES NUVOLARI HOLDINGS, LLC 0/0/34.590
11 BROKEN HEART JEFFERY WELLES HERBERT SAMBOL 0/0/34.651
12 JOLIE LE COER S GEORGINA BLOOMBERG GOTHAM ENTERPRIZES 0/0/34.717
Source: Press release from The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows.
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