By Marty Bauman of Classic Communications
Lake Placid, New York – July 13, 2015 – Nick Dello Joio rode Pistoya to victory in the $100,000 Woodlea Farms Adirondack Grand Prix to highlight the final week of the 46th annual Lake Placid Horse Shows, Presented by Sea Shore Stables, LLC.
Dello Joio was one of 10 entries from the starting field of 20 to reach the jump-off by riding without penalty over the 16-jump, first-round course designed by Pierre Jolicoeur. After U.S. Olympic veteran Margie Engle started the jump-off with four faults on Indigo, Jonathan McCrea set the mark to beat with a clean ride over the seven-jump tiebreaker course, finishing in 36.719 seconds on Aristoteles V.
His lead held until Mattias Tromp turned in a clean ride in 35.740 seconds on Bloom Z. Two rides later, Dello Joio, who only arrived in Lake Placid three days earlier and was riding Pistoya in competition for only the third time, took over the lead with a clean ride in 35.092 seconds. The last two entries failed to beat his time with 2011 Pan American Games double Gold Medalist Christine McCrea coming close with a clean ride in 35.446 seconds on Wannick WH to place second ahead of Tromp who finished third and her husband Jonathan who was fourth.
Nick Dello Joio on Pistoya. Photo Credit: The Book, LLC.
“Pistoya is not very fast but she has a big stride,” Dello Joio said of the 12-year-old, Selle Francais mare owned by Sarah Willeman’s and Philip Richter’s Turnabout Farm. “It was a last-minute decision for me to come up here and ride her and I thank Sarah and Philip for the opportunity. I’ve always loved it here in Lake Placid and I’m really happy I made the trip.”
Dello Joio’s father Norman, the individual Bronze Medalist at the 1992 Olympic Games, was a Grand Prix winner at Lake Placid in 1981 on Allegro.
Christine McCrea’s second-place finish was enough to make her the winner of the Richard and Diana Feldman Perpetual Challenge Trophy for Excellence that goes to the rider who wins the most overall money in Lake Placid’s three Grand Prix events.
Christine McCrea receives the Richard and Diana Feldman Perpetual Challenge Trophy for Excellence. Photo: The Book, LLC.
Prior to the Grand Prix, Ailish Cunniffe rode Perfect De Coquerie to victory in the $10,000 FarmVet Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. Cunniffe was one of six entries from the starting field of 17 to reach the jump-off and she turned in the fastest fault-free ride of 39.915 seconds in the jump-off to claim the win in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series class.
Ailish Cunniffe receives her awards. Photo: The Book, LLC.
Also, Addison Gierkink rode Lady Macbeth DH to victory in the $7,500 Lake Placid Lodge Low Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic; and Amanda Gellis rode Bull Run’s Charly Brown to victory in the $5,000 Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort Adult Jumper Classic.
On the horse shows’ final day, T.J. O’Mara of Rumson, NJ topped a field of 18 finalists in the Kathy Scholl Equitation Classic. Culminating three weeks of hunter-jumper horse show competition in the Adirondacks, the Kathy Scholl Equitation Classic is open only to those who finished in either first or second place in the Pessoa U.S. Hunter Seat Medal, ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay, Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search, National PHA, or WIHS equitation classes. The Classic is held in the all-grass Richard M. Feldman Grand Prix Field at the North Elba Show Grounds.
“I like this class because it brings together the top riders and features the top level of competition from the three weeks of horse shows here,” said O’Mara. “It gives you a real feel of being in a final and helps get you ready for what you’ll see in the national finals in the fall.”
T.J. O’Mara winning the Kathy Scholl Equitation Classic. Photo: The Book, LLC.
O’Mara, who placed third in each of his first two years qualifying for the Classic in 2013 and 2014, received the highest score of 91 for his ride over the first-round course that featured 10 fences with one double and one triple. He was one of four called back for the second round along with Katherine Bundy of Westport, CT who had a first-round score of 90, McKayla Langmeier of East Granby, CT who had a score of 89 and Ashton Alexander of Ocala, FL who had a score of 88.
O’Mara took top honors again in the second round to secure his win. Langmeier moved up to finish in second place with Bundy finishing third and Alexander fourth.
Saturday’s other highlights included wins by Teagan Long on Pollux De Shalimar in the $7,500 Price Chopper Low Junior Jumper Classic; by Ned Cunniffe on Dollydoo in the Children’s Jumper Classic; and by Heather Senia on Fortune Hunter in the USHJA $5,000 National Hunter Derby.
Teagan Long and Pollux De Shalimar won the $7,500 Price Chopper Low Junior Jumper Classic. Photo: The Book, LLC.
Heather Senia and Fortune Hunter after winning the USHJA National Hunter Derby. Photo: The Book, LLC.
Other Feature Class Winners at the Adirondack Horse Show include:
Tuesday, July 7 – Laura Chapot on Zealous in the $5,000 Lake Placid CVB 1.40 Jumper Class; Laura Chapot on Umberto in the $1,500 Beacon Hill Horse Transportation 1.35m Jumper Class; and Linda Langmeier on Rafino in the $1,200 Adirondack Life 1.30m Jumper Class.
Wednesday, July 8 – Laura Chapot on Umberto in the$1,500 WPTZ News Channel 5 1.35m Jumper Class; Laura Chapot on ISHD Dual Star in the$30,000 Equestrian Services International Jumper Classic; and Laura Chapot on Umberto in the $1,500 WPTZ News Channel 5 1.35m Jumper Class.
Thursday, July 9 – Laura Chapot on Bradberry in the $5,000 High Peaks Resort 1.40m Jumper Class; Laura Chapot on Bec Hugo in the $1,500 Sidelines 1.35m Jumper Class.