Pessoa Wins $30,000 Old Salem Farm Great Oak Grand Prix for Second Consecutive Year with Eclat Du Cerisier at 2023 Old Salem Farm September Horse Shows

Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Eclat Du Cerisier won Sunday’s $30,000 Old Salem Farm Great Oak Grand Prix © SEL Photography

Edited Press Release

North Salem, NY – September 17, 2023 After winning the $30,000 Old Salem Farm Great Oak Grand Prix with Chili in 2022, Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) successfully defended his title at the 2023 Old Salem Farm September Horse Shows on Sunday, riding Eclat Du Cerisier to the top of the leaderboard in a double-clear time of 40.258 seconds.

The Old Salem Farm September Horse Shows, September 12-17, September 19-24 and September 27-October 1, host competitions for riders of all levels and ages, ranging from young children on ponies to top Grand Prix stars aboard their up-and-coming mounts.

Course designer Ken Krome presented 37 entries with a 16-effort, 1.40m track for the $30,000 Old Salem Farm Great Oak Grand Prix, with 12 successfully returning for the jump-off. Pessoa once again proved to be the fastest with his 40.258-second time aboard Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC’s Selle Français stallion Eclat Du Cerisier, a 9-year-old Pessoa has been developing for the last two years.

“He’s starting to do the bigger classes now and trying to be more competitive at the 1.45-1.50m,” Pessoa said. “He jumped the Hampton Classic 2* Grand Prix two weeks ago. Although he had an unlucky rail there in the first round, he jumped really well here this week. He’s a fairly easy ride. Sometimes getting him to adjust can be a little hard, but he’s very simple and straightforward. He’s honest and brave, and today, he was really game to go in the jump-off. We stuck to our plan, and while the margins were a bit close, we luckily came out on top.

“It was a nice class to be part of,” Pessoa added. “The course was well built. We had 12 go clear, which was nice. The point of these grand prix classes is not to make them too hard so we can give our younger horses some mileage for better money. The jumps here (at Old Salem) are great, the footing is super nice, and it’s a great opportunity to give our younger horses some mileage before they reach the top level. I especially like being only a few minutes from my house.”

Pessoa and Eclat Du Cerisier © SEL Photography

Filip De Wandel (BEL) and Manhattan Van’t Leeuwerikenhof, Five Way Farm LLC’s 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, finished second with a time of 40.756 seconds. Third went to Michael Murphy (USA), who tripped the timers in 40.830 seconds aboard Esperanza Imports LLC’s 8-year-old Warmblood mare Moneypenny.

Earlier in the day, Aidan Kennedy of Walpole, MA, claimed a 1-2 finish in the Medium/High Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic presented by Eastern Hay with his own Highlight Van Molga (0/0/35.229) and Barney Rubble (0/0/37.392). This victory also helped Kennedy and Highlight Van Molga secure the Medium/High Junior/Amateur Jumper Championship presented by Eastern Hay.

Filip De Wandel (BEL) and Manhattan Van’t Leeuwerikenhof took second in the $30,000 Old Salem Farm Great Oak Grand Prix © SEL Photography

Other jumper champions included Maison McIntyre of New York, NY, and Clover M Sporthorses LLC’s Little Lion Man, who won both the Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic (finishing double-clear in 41.370 seconds) and the overall division championship.

Final hunter champions for Week 1 included Sophie Higgins of New York, NY, and her own Surely in the Junior 3’3” Hunter 16-17 division. Maggie Lawrence of Saint James, NY, and Jennifer Lawrence’s Over The Moon earned the Combined Junior Hunter 15 & Under Championship. The Children’s Hunter Horse championships went to Emily Bushnell’s Belvedere, ridden by Riley Conigliaro of Bedford, NY, in the 14 & Under age group, and Orpen Horses’ HCH Dubai, ridden by Annie Harrigan of New Canaan, CT, in the 15-17 age group.

Michael Murphy (USA) and Moneypenny earned third in the $30,000 Old Salem Farm Great Oak Grand Prix © SEL Photography

Old Salem Farm competition will return on Tuesday, September 19, to kick off the second week of the September Horse Shows.

Located just one hour north of New York City, Old Salem Farm has a long history of hosting world-class horse shows. Over the years, Old Salem Farm has hosted the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, United States Olympic Team Selection Trials, FEI World Cup™ qualifiers, FEI North American Youth Championships and ASPCA Maclay Regional Finals.

The Old Salem Farm September Horse Shows kicked off with a USEF ‘National-4’ rating for hunters and jumpers September 12-17, followed by USEF ‘National-2’ September 19-24 and September 27-October 1. Each week’s action starts daily at 8:00 a.m. with classes running simultaneously in three beautifully manicured rings throughout the day. Opening Week highlights included the $10,000 Old Salem Farm Welcome Stake on Friday, September 15, and the $30,000 Old Salem Farm Great Oak Grand Prix on Sunday, September 17.

Weeks 2 (September 19-24) and 3 (September 27-October 1) feature more familiar Old Salem Farm highlights, including the $10,000 Old Salem Farm Jumper Classic each Sunday. There will also be an Old Salem Farm Hunter Derby taking place each Friday (September 15, September 22 and September 29). Week 2 will also include the Zone 2 Maclay Regionals National Horse Shows 3’3 Hamel Area Championship and THIS Adult Medal Area Championship on Saturday, September 23.

The ambiance at the Old Salem Farm September Horse Shows is unlike any other venue in the country. Old Salem Farm’s food vendors provide “meals to go” and delicious snack options.

Local artisans and farmers from local farms joined the Old Salem Farm September Horse Shows as part of the Artisan Marketplace and Farmer’s Market on September 17, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Participating businesses included Adalie Soap, Bead Free Forever, The Bee Love Project, Dig Farm, Dual Sky Creations, Elana Levy Pottery, Fairy Juice Bar, Handmade by Nancy, Mey Marple Photographer, OhHo Botanicals, Rochameaufarm, Two Chicks Candle Company, Westchester Pizza Truck and WirePaperScissors.

For more information on Old Salem Farm and its full schedule of equestrian events, please visit www.OldSalemFarm.net.