Edited Press Release
North Salem, NY – May 15, 2022 – Irish athletes were the ones to beat in Sunday’s $125,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix presented by The Kincade Group. Pathfinder Jonathan Corrigan and Jordan Coyle were the first two riders to jump clear over the 16-effort, 1.55m course designed by fellow countryman Alan Wade, putting early pressure on their competitors. Only nine of 33 entries ultimately returned to jump off during the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows Week 1 finale, where Coyle blazed through the timers in 34.990 seconds with Celtic Park LLC’s Centriko Volo, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding, to take the win.
The Grand Prix’s opening ceremonies included an official ribbon cutting for the new International Arena, with Old Salem Farm owner Scott Hakim and McLain Ward, five-time U.S. Olympian and the Spring Horse Shows Co-Chair, acknowledging everyone’s hard work and dedication behind the scenes.
“I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank our spectators, people in our VIP tent, and the vendors above the ring for being here this afternoon,” Hakim said during the ceremony. “We feel your support, and we greatly appreciate it. I also want to thank the people behind me and in front of me (in the ring), up in the office, everyone who came together for this show. This was a big job, and we rose to the occasion. I’m very proud to have gotten here as a team.”
“Like Scott said, it’s wonderful to see everyone out here supporting us,” Ward said. “First and foremost, I want to thank all of the personnel here at Old Salem Farm – most importantly, (Scott) and your family for believing in this idea, which has been batted around for a number of years. This is a very unique facility and, in my mind, one of the best places in the world. Finally, last year, we decided to embark on this new adventure. It might have started with an idea, but the reality is, it takes an army to make it happen. Thank you all – our spectators, vendors, exhibitors, and Old Salem Farm crew behind the scenes – for being here and for believing in us.”
The International Arena was the vision of Hakim, Ward, show manager Allen Rheinheimer, and show coordinator Vandy Lipman, but the project could not have been completed without Mike Polatta, Ari Sherizan, Glen Ticehurst, Bobby Waltz, and Lawton Adams and Karen Leeming of Footing First.
Corrigan was the first to enter the International Arena and finish double-clear aboard Fair Play, Andrea Vogel’s 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, with a time of 37.980 seconds. Their time didn’t hold long, as Coyle immediately followed with Centriko Volo and stopped the clock at what was an unbeatable 34.990 seconds.
“I didn’t think my time would hold against the riders after me, but I’m lucky that Centriko is actually very fast,” Coyle said. “He doesn’t look fast, but the way he jumps makes him faster. He’s like a millimeter above the jumps when he goes clear, so he doesn’t waste time going too high. And with verticals, you can go as fast as his legs will take him. The more delicate a jump, the more carefully he takes it.
“His biggest advantage is how careful he is,” he added. “Going from the vertical to the double (combination), I could really gallop and leave out strides where other people had to be more conservative. If I can get him going very fast, he’ll actually jump everything better. For me, Alan (Wade) is the best course builder in the world. His courses don’t feel technical or overly big, but somehow, it’s very hard to jump clear. I chickened out and added a stride (on the final stretch), to be honest. On a different horse, I might have left out one more stride, but Centriko is still a little green at this level and a little unsure. I already felt like I was pretty fast and wanted to go clear, and he’s just an unbelievable athlete to jump. It was a good day for the Irish.”
Corrigan ultimately landed in fourth place after Mark Bluman (COL) and Heather Caristo-Williams (USA) shaved off time during their rounds. Bluman and Over the Top Stables LLC’s Marilyn, a 9-year-old Oldenburg mare, claimed second place in a time of 35.390 seconds. Caristo-Williams earned third with her time of 37.180 seconds aboard Marciano MVF, an 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Stephanie Bulger.
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