McLain Ward and Zander Show How It’s Done in $20,000 Speed Derby of North Salem, Presented by Miller Motorcars

Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy Log Another Victory in
$10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

For Immediate Release

North Salem, NY – May 17, 2014 – It was Derby Day at Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Show, with hunters and jumpers competing in their own derby classes simultaneously on the show grounds. Victory in the $20,000 Speed Derby of North Salem, Presented by Miller Motorcars went to McLain Ward and Zander, who were clear and fast over the challenging course. Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy had yet another victory in their specialty, the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.

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.

Twenty-eight horses and riders attempted Alan Wade’s 17-numbered obstacles on the course for the speed derby. Faults were converted into seconds, so speed was of the utmost importance. The early leader in the class, Jeffery Welles and Prem’ Dollar Boy, owned by Mary Kate Olsen, had a rail, but when added, their time of 100.359 seconds,went to the top of the leaderboard and would eventually finish sixth.

The next to go into the lead was Gabriela Mershad on Mershad Stables LLC’s Udonna. They also had a rail, but lowered the time to 99.334 seconds. Lillie Keenan and Londinium’s clear round took a chunk of four seconds off the winning time to 95.973 seconds, but immediately following her was Darragh Kenny on Oakland Ventures LLC’s Fantasy. They were clear and fast in 92.282 seconds, which would eventually hold up for second place.

Two horses later, it was McLain Ward and Zander, owned by Grant Road Partners LLC. Their smooth, economical trip clocked in at 92.089 seconds to take the lead.

McLain Ward and Zander

McLain Ward and Zander

Ward recalled, “I was lucky enough to have a decent draw. I got to see Darragh go right before me and have a great round. I knew I had to pretty much put the pedal down and try to stay quickly everywhere.”

Ward had to worry, however, when Kenny entered last on G&C Flash, owned by Alexander LLC. Kenny and Flash had the time down to the final jump, but took a rail down to add four seconds and finish in 94.636 seconds for third place.

While Zander is a top grand prix horse, he has not had the experience of derby classes. Ward explained, “This horse has jumped a lot of natural obstacles, but never the banks and grob. It was a little bit new for him, but I felt comfortable and he handled it well. He’s had a great two shows here at Old Salem.”

Ward felt that Zander, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding by Cantos, was fit and ready for the long course. “He’s a horse that shows often enough. That was a real factor in this class. You saw the last fence come down a lot. You certainly have to conserve a little energy where you can. If you go full speed from the first jump, normally it catches you by the last,” he noted.

McLain Ward and Zander in their winning presentation with Ainsley Lothrop and Evan Cygler of Miller Motorcars.

McLain Ward and Zander in their winning presentation with Ainsley Lothrop and Evan Cygler of Miller Motorcars.

Ward feels that the Speed Derby is a special occasion, especially on the grass Grand Prix Field of Old Salem Farm. “We don’t have many derbies; it’s a pretty rare class. This is a particularly exciting class from a horseman’s point of view,” he said. “It’s a lot of different questions and really getting back to the roots of where the sport started. I think it’s wonderful that we have it in this really traditional horse area of Westchester [County].”

Final Results: $20,000 Speed Derby of North Salem, presented by Miller Motorcars

1 657 ZANDER MCLAIN WARD GRANT ROAD PARTNERS LLC: 92.089

2 480 FANTASY DARRAGH KENNY OAKLAND VENTURES LLC: 92.282

3 481 G&C FLASH DARRAGH KENNY ALEXANDER LLC: 94.636

4 45 LONDINIUM LILLIE KEENAN CHANSONETTE FARM LLC: 95.973

5 496 UDONNA GABRIELA MERSHAD MERSHAD STABLES LLC: 99.334

6 1091 PREM’ DOLLAR BOY JEFFERY WELLES MARY KATE OLSEN: 100.359

7 248 GANJANA NICHOLAS DELLO JOIO NATHALIE DE GUNZBURG: 100.802

8 489 PICOLO DARRAGH KENNY OAKLAND VENTURES LLC: 100.983

9 494 SINATRA IV MEG O’MARA WALLSTIB STABLES LLC: 101.013

10 425 HH CASALLO QUENTIN JUDGE DOUBLE H FARM: 105.262

11 780 SI BELLA ADAM PRUDENT HENRI PRUDENT: 105.621

12 388 MON GAMIN BRIANNE GOUTAL REMARKABLE FARMS LP: 105.754

Alfano and Jersey Boy Take Yet Another Victory

Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy made it their 27th win in an international hunter derby at Old Salem Farm, taking the top spot in the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. They scored 179 in the first round and sat in second place going into the handy round. With a dominating, 200-point performance in the handy, they easily took the win by 22 points.

Second place went to Amanda Steege on Loxley, owned by Finale Partners LLC. They scored 166 in the first round and had a strong score of 191 in the handy to move up. Jimmy Torano and HH Himself, owned by Double H Farm, won the first round with a 180 and scored 175 in the second round for third place.

Alfano and Jersey Boy, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by White Star owned by SBS Farms Inc., are the most successful pair and one of the most recognizable in the hunter derby classes. While Alfano occasionally competes in the High Performance Working Hunter division, his specialty is the derby.

Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy

Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy

She remarked, “You never have to worry about an option being too high, or a turn being too tight, or an oxer being too wide. You don’t have to give any of that a second thought with him, which is pretty comforting.”

Alfano felt that Jersey Boy liked the “beautiful atmosphere” at Old Salem Farm. While she sat in second place after the first round, she knew she could go for it in the second round. “With him in the handy, I always take any option. He is known for being extremely handy, so I always feel like I can make up some ground in the handy, if I need to, with him,” she said.

Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy in their winning presentation.

Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy in their winning presentation.

It’s never just another win for Alfano. She expressed, “I’m so lucky to have a horse like him. He’s once in a lifetime, and he’s such a special animal. The funny thing is, he has a lot of years ahead of him. He’s only 12 years old. He’s just getting fun to ride now!”

Final Results: $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

1 828 JERSEY BOY JENNIFER ALFANO SBS FARMS INC.

85 86 8 179.00

88 88 24 200.00

379.00

2 1081 LOXLEY AMANDA STEEGE FINALE PARTNERS LLC

80 80 6 166.00

83 87 21 191.00

357.00

3 1005 HH HIMSELF JIMMY TORANO DOUBLE H FARM

86 88 6 180.00

79 73 23 175.00

355.00

4 818 POKER FACE JENNIFER BLISS HARRIS HILL FARM LLC

82 83 2 167.00

77 82 14 173.00

340.00

5 864 CINDERELLA MAN STACIE S SHEPSKI LISA LONGO

79 70 6 155.00

75 82 19 176.00

331.00

6 342 SERAFINO MELISSA FELLER ELISABETH MCFADDEN

76 84 2 162.00

81 73 12 166.00

328.00

7 814 KNOCKOUT JENNIFER BLISS JULIE DE VAULX

74 79 2 155.00

82 75 13 170.00

325.00

8 827 MAGGIE MAY JENNIFER ALFANO BILLIE STEFFEE

71 76 2 149.00

76 81 17 174.00

323.00

9 1085 ZIDANE AMANDA STEEGE SUSAN DARRAGH

75.5 67 6 148.50

78 76 19 173.00

321.50

10 720 ELOQUENCE ALI TRITSCHLER TAYLOR WILLEVER

73 74 147.00

80 78 13 171.00

318.00

11 376 REVELSTOKE HANNAH ISOP CHRISTINE WATKINS

75 75 6 156.00

45 42 13 100.00

256.00

12 77 CRYSTAL CLEAR COCO FATH HILLSIDE FARM LLC

68 77 145.00

43 45 8 96.00

241.00

Grand Amateur-Owner Championship Awarded

Jessica Cherry of Ridgefield, CT, and Blue Note took the championship in the Amateur-Owner 36 & Over Hunter division, sponsored by Hunt Ltd. They were second, second, and third over fences and won the under saddle. They sealed the tricolor with a blue ribbon performance in the handy hunter class, which was a high point for Cherry and her trainer, Jackie McQuade.

Reserve champion in the division was Dashing, ridden and owned by Clementina Brown. They placed first, second, fifth, and fifth over fences and were third under saddle.

Jessica Cherry and Blue Note

Jessica Cherry and Blue Note

Cherry said, “We used to struggle with the handy courses, so it’s particularly gratifying to win the handy with Jackie here today. Certain tight turns could be difficult for us. It took a little while to get a lead change and get the right balance. But he seems to have figured that out.”

McQuade, who has been helping Cherry for a year, added, “I’m super pleased with her. I’m especially pleased at the handy because I like brilliance and tight turns. I like to give everybody a run for their money, and she really did. She stepped up to the plate. We had our plan, she was organized, she was prepared.”

Cherry found Blue Note, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, as a four-year-old. “He has been my pride and joy. He’s really a spectacular horse, and it’s an honor to ride him. It has been since the time he was a baby.”

With a good brain since he was a little, Blue Note has been an ideal amateur hunters. Cherry remembered, “As a very green horse, we rode him in a big field, and there was a birthday party going on across the street. He didn’t bat an eye and jumped every jump.”

Cherry noted Blue Note’s consistency as an attribute. She continued, “He’s a great jumper, and he’s got a great attitude. He loves his job.”

Living so close to Old Salem Farm, Cherry felt a particular sense of pride in winning the grand championship here. “It’s such a beautiful show, and it’s a beautiful day today. We’re right around the corner, and we love supporting this show,” she said. “We’ve been coming here for many years, so it’s especially gratifying when it’s on your home turf, so to speak.”

Jessica Cherry and Blue Note with trainer Jackie McQuade.

Jessica Cherry and Blue Note with trainer Jackie McQuade.

The $5,000 Leading Hunter Rider Award was given today, with the best three professional hunter riders over the past two weeks honored. Louise Serio took the top prize of $2,500 for the second year in a row, while Holly Orlando received $1,500 for second place and Jennifer Alfano was given $1,000 for third place.

CORRECTION: In yesterday’s press release, the name of the winner of the $2,500 Hunter Groom’s Class was incorrect. In the $2,500 Hunter Groom’s Class, Mauricio Zermeño and Alexandra Beaumont’s Undergrad took the top prize.

Full horse show results can be found at www.horseshowsonline.com. Competition concludes tomorrow with the highlight event, the $100,000 Empire State Grand Prix presented by The Kincade Group, Merrill Lynch at 2:30 p.m. as well as the presentation for the $20,000 Leading Jumper Rider Award and Grand Pony Hunter Championship, among many other awards.

WATCH LIVE! Tomorrow’s $100,000 Empire State Grand Prix on May 18 will be broadcast on the USEFNetwork.com presented by SmartPak. You may watch as it happens at USEF Network or www.oldsalemfarm.net. All classes in the Grand Prix Field and Sand Ring are also livestreamed daily at www.shownet.biz.

Visit the Old Salem Farm and Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows Facebook pages for results, photo galleries, and more! Old Salem Farm has joined Twitter and Instagram too – follow us to see exclusive photos and videos, let us know what you like about our events, and share your experiences.

Photos copyright The Book LLC

Old Salem Farm, located just one hour north of New York City, is one of the best equestrian competition venues in North America, as rated by the North American Riders Group in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Host of the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, the prestigious American Gold Cup CSI-W 4*, and year-round competitions, the facility offers a state-of-the-art turf grand prix field, indoor riding arena, and two all-weather footing rings. As a boarding and training facility, Old Salem Farm is second to none and home to top trainer Frank Madden. For more information, please visit www.oldsalemfarm.net or call 914-669-5610.