The $25,000 New York Welcome Stake, presented by The Hakim Family, was the highlight event today at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Show. Held on the stunning grass Grand Prix Field, the class featured top show jumping talent. Pan American Games double gold medalists Christine McCrea and Romantovich Take One, owned by Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables, sped to the win in the class. The first week of the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows continues through Sunday, May 12, and the second week runs May 14-19.
Today's class had 59 entries compete over a course set by Guilherme Jorge of Brazil. Eight were clear in the first round to advance to the shortened course in the jump-off. Of those eight, there were two riders who qualified two mounts. One of those was Olympic gold medalist Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil, who rode HH Let's Fly, owned by Double H Farm, as the pathfinder in the jump-off. Pessoa and Let's Fly finished with four faults in 42.95 for sixth place. Devin Ryan (USA) and Eagle Valley Partners LLC's Zosja were next in, and they accumulated eight faults in 39.32 seconds for eighth place. Lauren Tisbo (USA) and Tequestrian Farms LLC's Roundthorn Madious were the first to set a winning pace with a clear round in 38.80 seconds. Their time would hold up for third place. Lowering the leading time was the next horse in, E-Muze Yek, ridden by Darragh Kerins (IRL) and owned by Darragh Kerins and Maarten Huygens. They were clear in 38.490 seconds for second place.
McCrea, of East Windsor, CT, and Romantovich Take One, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding by Numero Uno x Karandasj, were next in and couldn't be beat. They took advantage with a quick rollback turn, a fast pace, and a chance at the final Purina oxer to stop the timers in 37.130 seconds with no faults for the win. Following them, there were no other clear rounds. Pessoa and G&C LaGran, owned by Gustavo Mirabal, had four faults in 40.010 seconds for fifth place. Beezie Madden (USA) and Amadora, owned by Abigail Wexner, faulted at one fence as well, but their time of 37.61 was speedy enough for fourth place. Kerins and his second mount, Clear Fox As Well, were also four-faulters in 45.13 seconds for seventh place.
For McCrea, returning to Old Salem Farm after time away from the facility and after this year's Rolex FEI World Cup Finals was extremely positive. Not only was she thrilled with the improved grounds and footing, but she was happy that she could give “Dutchie” a strong, confident ride after a disappointing World Cup Finals.
“We didn't have the best time there, and I thought it would be nice for him to come here, chill out, jump some nice tracks, and get a little bit of confidence back,” McCrea acknowledged. “He felt perfect, and the field was perfect. I'm shocked; there was so much rain yesterday and I thought it was going to be wet, but it was bone-dry, firm, and beautiful.” “This place is beautiful. I grew up riding here as a junior. Then I started going to Kentucky. We came back for the American Gold Cup (last year) and I couldn't believe it was the same place,” she recalled. “The barn is beautiful, but whatever they have done for the footing in the field is perfection. I have to give them a lot of credit for the footing in the sand ring too. Even in the pouring rain yesterday, it was fine. They feel great jumping on it.”
Out of the 59 entries in the class, Romantovich Take One was one of the more experienced horses, and McCrea felt that helped since it was their first time out on the grass field and there were challenging parts of the course. She explained, “He has a lot of experience, so for him I knew it was okay. This week we didn't get to jump in the field, so coming out and jumping this bigger course in the field was a lot. I think for a lot of horses, it caught up with them. I took my young horse and he was very spooky and very eyeballs open! You needed one with a bit of experience, I think, to do well right off the bat. I was lucky to have him.” In the jump-off, McCrea followed Kerins, but didn't get to see all of his jump-off ride. She felt she was quick in the rollback to fence three, but she added a stride to the double combination. “I thought it was better for my horse, even though I think it was slower,” she said of the decision to add a stride. “That horse is very fast anyways. He's faster than most naturally. When you push him a little bit, you're definitely right in there with the fastest ones. Definitely to the last jump, I caught a really forward distance.”
Of her victory today, McCrea said with a smile, “It feels great! I love winning. I was just really happy. It was a nice class and I felt good about it. I didn't feel so great after World Cup personally. I didn't ride the best and he didn't jump the best. It was not good enough. So it felt nice to go in and put in a solid round. Everybody's happier now.” For her victory today, McCrea was also awarded with a $500 gift certificate from Der Dau.
For more information please visit www.oldsalemfarm.net/mayhome and for full results, please visit www.horseshowsonline.com.
Final Results: $25,000 New York Welcome Stake presented by The Hakim Family
Horse, Rider, Owner, R1 Faults/R2 Faults/Time
1. ROMANTOVICH TAKE ONE: 2000 KWPN gelding by Numero Uno x Karandasj
CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble & Windsor Show Stables: 0/0/37.13
2. E MUZE YEK: 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding by For Pleasure x Carthago
DARRAGH KERINS (IRL), Darragh Kerins & Maarten Huygens: 0/0/38.49
3. ROUNDTHORN MADIOS: 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Condios x Clover Hill
LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian Farms, LLC: 0/0/38.80
4. AMADORA: 2003 KWPN mare by Chin Chin x Indoctro
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/4/37.61
5. G&C LAGRAN: 1999 Oldenburg gelding by Lancer II x Grannus
RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Gustavo Mirabal: 0/4/40.01
6. HH LET’S FLY: 1999 Hanoverian gelding by Lordanos x Forrest
RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Double H Farm: 0/4/42.95
7. CLOSE FOX AS WELL: N/A
DARRAGH KERINS (IRL), Darragh Kerins: 0/4/45.13
8. ZOSJA: 2004 KWPN mare by Solitair
DEVIN RYAN (USA), Eagle Valley Partners LLC: 0/8/39.32
9. SANDOR DE LA POMME: 2002 SBS gelding by Vigo D'arsouilles x Darco
MCLAIN WARD (USA), The Wannahave Group: 4/77.39
10. ZANDER: 2004 KWPN gelding Cantos x Saygon
MCLAIN WARD (USA), McLain Ward & Grant Road Partners LLC: 4/78.92
11. PUMPED UP KICKS: 2003 Brandenburg gelding by Levisto x San Juan
LILLIE KEENAN (USA), Chansonette Farm LLC: 4/79.08
12. UTAH: 2001 KWPN gelding by Andiamo x Jus De Pomme
LESLIE HOWARD (USA), The Utah Group: 4/79.28
Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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