NORTH SALEM, N.Y.— Equestrian legends Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden and McLain Ward bookended wins during the first week of competitions at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows in North Salem. The show opened on Tuesday, May 9, and professional jumping competitions began on Wednesday, May 10.
Ward, who is currently ranked No. 2 on the Longines FEI World Rankings, rode to a win on Wednesday, in the $10,000 Open Jumper 1.40-meter jump aboard Balando, owned by Signe Ostby.
Ward, who is a Brewster resident, piloted Balando, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, to clear the speed round in 54.38 seconds. The time was enough for the win over a field of 56 competing riders.
Just over a second off the pace set by Ward, Andrew Ramsay (USA) stopped the clock in 55.59 seconds for second place riding Stranger 30 for the Stranger Group. Devin Ryan (USA) took third in 57.916 seconds riding Eddie Blue, owned by LL Show Jumpers LLC. Ramsay also placed fourth riding Cocq a Doodle, owned by The Doodle Group, in 58.134 seconds, while Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) rounded out the top five riding Raia d’Helby for Starlight Farms LLC in 59.581 seconds.
On Thursday, 2016 U.S. Olympic-team-silver-medalist Madden took the blue ribbon in the $10,000 Open Jumper 1.45 meter riding Con Taggio, owned by Abigail Wexner. Madden bested with a double-clear effort that gave them the lead with a time of 40.344 seconds, which stood for the win.
Fractions of a second behind Madden, Ian McFarlane was second in 40.895 seconds riding Cora 572, owned by Buribbons LLC. North Salem resident Georgina Bloomberg was third riding Calista for Gotham Enterprizes with a time of 41.388 seconds. Ramsay took fourth in 41.801 seconds riding California 62, owned by The California Group, and Mario Deslauriers rounded out the top five in 43.260 seconds riding his own Can Cun 2.
Ward, a two-time U.S. Olympic team gold medalist, topped the $35,000 New York Welcome Stake riding longtime partner HH Carlos Z, on Friday, May 12. HH Carlos Z is owned by Double H Farm of Ridgefield, Conn. The pair won top honors over a field of 62 horses with a cleared time of 36.23 seconds from the 28th position in the original order.
Less than one second slower than Ward, Jonathan McCrea rode Special Lux to second place in 36.61 seconds for owners Candy Tribble & Windsor Show Stables. Ryan claimed third-place honors riding his own Cooper after stopping the clock at 37.37 seconds. Ramsay was fourth riding Stranger 30 in 37.43 seconds for the Stranger Group, and Cloe Hymowitz rounded out the top five in 37.92 seconds riding Cylana, owned by Rose Hill Farm.
Earlier in the day on Friday, U.S. Olympic team gold medalist Peter Wylde topped the $6,500 Open Jumper 1.35m riding Canamera 2. The pair were double clear and quick to top a starting field of 58.
Wylde and Canamera 2 stopped the jump-off clock at 34.315 seconds for the win. Ward claimed second riding his own Bellefluer PS Z in a time of 35.260 seconds. Aiden Killeen of Ireland jumped to third aboard IDream for owner Andrea Vogel in 35.422 seconds. In fourth, Jonathan McCrea rode Wannick WH to a time of 36.060 seconds for Candy Tribble & Windsor Show Stables, while Madden rounded out the top five riding Darry Lou for Wexner in 36.777 seconds.
Sydney Shulman, 22, of Greenwich, Conn., had the speed to top the $15,000 Old Salem Farm Speed Derby, on Saturday. She rode Quidam 13, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, owned by her mother Jill Shulman.
Shulman and Quidam 13 finished the faults-converted speed derby track fault-free in 75.705 seconds for their first derby win. McLain Ward and Balando, finished second with a clear trip in 76.259 seconds for second place. Adrienne Iverson of Canada was third in 79.870 seconds riding Analyze This for owner Kimberly Jakubowski, and Sternlicht (USA) took fourth riding Raia d’Helby, with one rail for a final time of 81.683 seconds. Ward also rounded out the top five aboard his own Bijou du Pont Rihen on four faults for a final time of 82.315 seconds.
Shulman and her mother Jill’s Back Country Farm has 28 horses competing at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows and Sydney felt right at home.
“I grew up showing here,” Shulman said. “I showed my first small pony here, and it is like our own home show. We love it here!”
Madden claimed victory in the $50,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix, riding Breitling LS on Sunday, May 14, at the 2017 Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows.
Madden, who hails from Cazenovia, NY, bested a field of 48 horses for the win over a course designed by Ken Krome of Westminster, Md. Madden cleared the second round fastest at 37.34 seconds.
Ramsay piloted Cocq a Doodle to a double-clear effort and finished in 38.55 seconds to earn second place for The Doodle Group. Charlie Jacobs was third aboard Cassinja S, owned by CMJ Sporthorses, LLC, just a fraction of a second behind Ramsay in 38.77 seconds. Sternlicht was fourth riding Toulago for Starlight Farms, LLC, in 40.08 seconds, while Bloomberg rounded out the top five riding Manodie II H, owned by Gotham Enterprizes, with a jump-off time of 43.79 seconds.
“Anytime you win it is special because this is quite a humbling sport; you can win one day and be on the ground the next,” said Madden, who was a member of the 2016 silver medal-winning team at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
As Week I of the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows comes to a close, FEI World Ranked riders will now turn their focus to their competition during Week II, which offers the $130,000 Empire State Grand Prix.
Spectators are welcome at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows. General admission to Old Salem Farm is free Wednesday through Friday. On the weekend of May 20-21, admission is $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and children under 12. Tickets are available at OldSalemFarm.net.