Todd Minikus and Uruguay took home the top check in the feature class of the first week of the Old Salem Spring Horse Show by winning the $50,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix on May 12 in North Salem, N.Y., over Darragh Kerins of Ireland on E-Muze Yek and Christine McCrea with Romantovich Take One.
Minikus followed McCrea in the ring for the nine-horse jump-off. "For sure with that horse, she's always very fast,” he acknowledged. “I legitimately thought that maybe we were all going for the red ribbon, and Chris might have closed the door on us. But I took a pretty good chance and long run to the Suncast jump, and I think that's where the difference was.”
Watch a video of Minikus' winning jump-off.
Minikus started riding Uraguay for Legacy Stables toward the end of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (Fla.) after the horse showed successfully in Europe with Dutch rider Albert Zoer and in the United States with Mario Deslauriers.
It was a good week for Minikus, as he began the show with a win in the 1.40-meter open jumper class aboard Tuxedo in a 26-horse jump-off.
McCrea won the $25,000 New York Welcome Stake aboard veteran partner Romantovich Take One.
Watch an interview with McCrea about her winning ride.
In the hunters, Sandy Ferrell claimed the grand championship aboard Stephanie Riggio’s Moshi after winning the combined conformation tricolor. "He tries hard every time he goes in the ring," said Ferrell. "I show him sporadically because Stephanie had so much success in the amateurs. This is his first week back since Florida, and he was fantastic. He has grown up so much over the past year and knows his job. It was nice to ride him and be able to go in the ring and keep winning.”
Lillie Keenan made her mark on both the equitation and the hunter rings, winning the grand junior title aboard Jennifer Gates' Parkland. Keenan, 15, also grabbed the $5,000 Equitation Classic on Heritage Farm’s Clearway.
For full results, visit HorseShowsOnline.com.
In eventing, the Chronicle was on the scene as Canada's Jessica Phoenix celebrated a very happy Mother's Day by winning the CCI*** at Jersey Fresh aboard her experienced partner Exponential.
Watch Eventing Nation's video interview with Phoenix after her win.
In other horse show news, Eduardo Menezes and Calvada bested 36 other competitors as the only clear round in the four-horse jump-off to win the $60,000 Grand Prix of California at the Showpark Ranch & Coast Horse Show in Del Mar. Hope Glynn grabbed the $10,0000 USHJA Hunter Derby win aboard Emma Townsend's CR Haribo over Davlyn Farms' Come Monday, with Christa Endicott up. Get full results on HorseShowTime.com.
Bjorn Ikast was also a big winner in California, coming home with the $25,000 Equine Insurance Grand Prix at the Sonoma Horse Park’s Horse & Hound Spring Show aboard Colorado over Lindsay Ramar with Dance And Jump. View a gallery of photos from the show. Get full results on ShowGroundsLive.com.
In Lexington, Ky., it was amateur Meagan Nusz who topped a two-horse jump-off in the $75,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix aboard Dynamo over Reed Kessler and Mika. Dynamo and Nusz have been together for three years, and she began riding him in the young jumper classes before showing in the amateur-owner divisions and now the open jumpers. "We've done everything," she said. "He's taught me a lot, and I've taught him a lot, and we have a really good bond. I am an amateur moving up, and it's nice to have a horse that gives you confidence. He is a jumper and can get you out of sticky situations, but I never go in the ring feeling overwhelmed or overfaced because I know that I have him."
Junior rider Tori Colvin was the queen of the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at Kentucky Spring claiming the top two spots aboard Inclusive and Listen, both owned by Betsee Parker.
Listen was the first mount Colvin, 15, rode in the handy round, and while she already held the first round lead by 7 points with Inclusive, she knew she needed to be extra handy to ensure that Listen remained in the top ribbons.
"With Listen I knew I had to go all out," Colvin said. "The handy course was good for that. There were lots of places to gallop and places to turn inside and show off your horse. With Inclusive, I went around smoothly, and I was a little bit more careful since he was already winning." Get full results.
Kelley Farmer won the top hunter prize at Memphis In May II in the $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby in Germantown, Tenn., aboard On Q. Get full results.