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Darragh Kenny goes wire to wire for third consecutive victory at Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Darragh Kenny and Prof de la Roque. Photo by The Book LLC.It's been a good week for Darragh Kenny. He captured his third victory at the 2014 Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows in the $35,000 New York Welcome Stake, this time on Postage Stamp Farm's Prof de la Roque. The pair went first in a 14-horse jump-off to win over McLain Ward, who placed second and third on Zander and HH Cannavaro, respectively.

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 $35,000 New York Welcome Stake had 48 entries, and 14 were clear to the advance to the jump-off over a course set by this week's designer, Guilherme Jorge of Brazil. Kenny and Prof de la Roque were the pacesetters in both the first round and the jump-off. In the jump-off, they were clear and quick in 34.246 seconds. It proved to be a time no one could beat while leaving all of the jumps up.

McLain Ward had a good day, placing second and third. He had a third mount in the jump-off as well, HH Ashley, who placed tenth. On his first horse Zander, owned by Ward and Grant Road Partners, he was just off the pace in 34.997 seconds. He and HH Cannavaro, owned by Double H Farm, had a time of 35.249 seconds. Fourth place went to Kenny on Sans Souci Z, owned by Caroline Lloyd, who finished in a time of 35.402 seconds. Kirsten Coe and Czardas 30, owned by Ilan Ferder, was fifth in 36.648 seconds.

Kenny has had the ride on Prof de la Roque, an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Kannan, for almost a year thanks to owner Annabelle Gundlach. "I'm just very, very lucky because we actually bought him for [Annabelle] to ride, and he turned out even better than we thought," he remarked. "She was nice enough to give me the ride on the horse. I'm lucky right now that I have a couple of good horses, but at the time I really didn't have that many good horses. It was extremely nice of her to let me use the horse. He's turned out to be great."

Kenny wasn't expecting to win when he went first in the jump-off, but stuck with his plan to "go as quick as I felt comfortable with and as quick as the horse felt comfortable with." While he has speed, Kenny said that it's the horse's turning ability that helped him to the win. "He's really a talented horse. From (jumps) one to two, I did an inside turn that really was very difficult, but he has so much bounce off the ground, you can get really deep at the jumps and he just jumps even higher. I did the inside turn, and I think that's where I was faster, to be honest. Nobody else did it until McLain went last with Ashley. He tried to do it, and she just drifted a little bit on him. I went with my next horse and went around (the jump), and as I was going around, I was thinking to myself, 'Wow, this is definitely slower!'"

He added, "I turned back really tight to the double (combination) with the oxer jumping in, and he tried really, really hard. He didn't need to jump the back rail. He could have knocked it down, and it would have been my fault. He's a winner."

Kenny has built a solid business of his own recently, and he gave credit to the people at his farm as well as the owners who have supported him. "The staff that I have right now is amazing. I couldn't ask for better. The people that I have backing me are fantastic. The sport is so difficult anyways; it makes it so much easier to have people behind you that trust you and that let you do what you think is best," he said. "To have people that trust you and let you have that chance is amazing. I just try and do the horses justice."

Leslie Howard and Whistler, owned by Jane Clark, took home the win in the $7,500 Open Jumper 1.35m class this morning. They were the fastest of 40 entries in a time of 29.054 seconds in the jump-off. Brianne Goutal and Remarkable Farms LP's Mon Gamin were second in 31.661 seconds. Jeffery Welles and Prem' Dollar Boy, owned by Mary Kate Olsen, were third with a time of 31.708 seconds.

Kenny is also leading the $20,000 Jumper Rider Challenge, sponsored by Houlihan Lawrence. He has 175 points, with McLain Ward in second with 165 points. Cara Raether is third with 105 points, and Brianne Goutal is in fourth with 87 points.

Full horse show results can be found at www.horseshowsonline.com.

Final Results: $35,000 New York Welcome Stake

1 422 PROF DE LA ROQUE, DARRAGH KENNY, POSTAGE STAMP FARM: 0/0/34.246

2 589 ZANDER, MCLAIN WARD, WARD & GRANT ROAD PARTNERS: 0/0/34.997

3 586 HH CANNAVARO, MCLAIN WARD, DOUBLE H FARM: 0/0/35.249

4 941 SANS SOUCI Z, DARRAGH KENNY, CAROLINE LLOYD: 0/0/35.402

5 310 CZARDAS 30, KIRSTEN COE, ILAN FERDER: 0/0/36.648

6 613 VALDATO, CARA RAETHER, TRELAWNY FARM LLC: 0/0/37.136

7 819 CASEY, MATTIAS TROMP, BEYAERT FARM INC: 0/0/40.402

8 276 METROPOLITAN, GEORGINA BLOOMBERG, GOTHAM ENTERPRIZES LLC: 0/0/42.284

9 346 ZERNIKE K, BRIANNE GOUTAL, REMARKABLE FARMS LP: 0/4/34.072

10 591 HH ASHLEY, MCLAIN WARD, DOUBLE H FARM: 0/4/36.291

11 1018 HH WHISKY ROYALE, QUENTIN JUDGE, DOUBLE H FARM: 0/4/37.546

12 348 WIRMA, BRIANNE GOUTAL, REMARKABLE FARMS LP: 0/4/38.477

Final Results: $10,000 Open Jumper 1.35m

1 158 WHISTLER, LESLIE HOWARD, JANE CLARK: 0/0/29.054

2 344 MON GAMIN, BRIANNE GOUTAL, REMARKABLE FARMS LP: 0/0/31.661

3 994 PREM' DOLLAR BOY, JEFFERY WELLES, MARY KATE OLSEN: 0/0/31.708

4 593 WAY OF LIFE, MCLAIN WARD, ANSGAR HOLTGERS: 0/0/32.003

5 435 KISMET 50, CANDICE KING, BELLISSIMO LLC: 0/0/32.031

6 688 LA FLEUR, ALLISON PRAS, ALLISON PRAS: 0/0/32.062

7 166 PJOTTER VAN DE ZONNEHOEVE, CANDICE KING, LOUISBURG FARM: 0/0/33.023

8 831 ZAPPA, GRANT WILSON, EMMANUELLE MILLE: 0/0/33.548

9 839 KM WHAT EVER RV, JEFFERY WELLES, NOD HILL FARM: 0/0/33.762

10 896 BLINK, JACOB POPE, COKER FARM: 0/0/34.820

Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media, Inc

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