July 9, 2009 -- Charlie Jacobs of Weston, Ma., rode Secret Love to victory in the $75,000 Hermes Grand Prix CSI 2* to culminate the 32nd Annual I Love New York Horse Show in Lake Placid, N.Y. on July 5.
Delayed one day because of Saturday's rains, the featured event of show jumping's two-week stay in Lake Placid saw 29 horse-and-rider combinations from six countries try to master 16-jump first-round course at the North Elba Showgrounds designed by Show Jumping Hall of Famer Conrad Homfeld. None succeeded in completing the course without penalty until Jacobs, the penultimate entry, took the course on his 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood. Jacobs, principal of the National Hockey League's Boston Bruins, then claimed the win with the day's only penalty-free ride.
"I feel very lucky to have won this class," said Jacobs, 37, a part-time amateur rider. "I came here this morning just hoping to have a good day and have some fun. To beat this field with so many top riders is really more than I hoped for.
"I just got Secret Love about three months ago and I only rode him in one amateur class before coming here to Lake Placid. It went well so I thought I'd give it a try in the open division when we got here. I really couldn't be happier with how it worked out."
Jacobs' brother, Lou, placed second as the fastest of the nine entries who finished with four faults. Also riding late in the class (25th), Lou Jacobs, 45, of East Aurora, N.Y., appeared on target for the day's first clear round on Kachina, but his 11-year-old Selle Français lowered the front end of an oxer (spread fence) at the final jump on course for four faults.
The second-place finish by the older Jacobs earned him the Richard and Diana Feldman Perpetual Challenge Trophy for Excellence given to the rider with the best overall finish in Lake Placid's two Grand Prix events. Prior to his second-place finish in the Hermes Grand Prix, Lou was third in the first week's $75,000 RV Sales of Broward Grand Prix of Lake Placid CSI 2*.
The win by Charlie Jacobs marked the first time that the I Love New York Horse Show's Grand Prix was won without a tiebreaking jump-off since three-time Olympic medalist Joe Fargis of Southampton, N.Y. turned the trick on Cor d'Alme Z in 1993. It also marked a sweep of Lake Placid's two Grand Prix this year for trainer Max Amaya who earned victory when Brianne Goutal of New York, N.Y. rode Ralvesther to the win in the first week's $75,000 RV Sales of Broward Grand Prix of Lake Placid.
Other winners during the I Love New York Horse Show included:
Wednesday, July 1: Laura Chapot rode Bradberry to victory in the Farm & Ranch Magazine 1.45m Jump-off; Jeffery Welles rode Umberto to victory in the Janney Montgomery Scott LLC1.35m Jumper Class; David Tromp rode Topas to the win in the WPTZ News Channel 5 1.30m class and Michelle Spadone rode Coco to the win in the Weeks Family Amateur-Owner Jumper Class.
Thursday, July 2 : Darragh Kenny rode Gael Force to victory in the $30,000 Intercat Inc. Open Jumper Classic CSI 2*; Katrina Woods and Susdal won the Weeks Family Amateur-Owner Jumper Class and Laura Chapot and Bradberry won the J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines North American League (NAL) Open Speed Stake.
Friday, July 3: Marilyn Little-Meredith rode Uppsala to victory in the $7,500 Champlain Valley Equipment 1.45m Power & Speed Stake; Madeline Cox rode Kix to victory in the Weeks Family Amateur-Owner Jumper Class; Laura Chapot rode Capri to victory in the Eastern Hay 1.35m Jumper Class; and Jonathan McCrea rode Primo to the win in the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau 1.40m Speed Challenge.
Saturday, July 4: Jennifer Waxman won the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort Junior Jumper Classic on Shakira and Callie Bass won the Charlotte Bobcats Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic on Zorro's Precision MBA.
Sunday, July 5: Spencer Smith rode Markies to the win in the Paradysz Farm WIHS Children's Jumper Classic (for riders 14 & under) and Natalie Crane and Matilde Line won the Paradysz Farm WIHS Children's Jumper Classic (for riders 15-17) to close The Hooker Family Children's Jumper classes; Grace Rogers and Denmark won The Levy Family Low Junior Jumper Classic; and Francesca Bolfo and Venus TR won the Y106.3 Low Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic; Alexandra Arute won the Kathy Scholl Equitation Championship; Jaime Auletto and Candido Z won the EquiFit WIHS Adult Jumper Classic (riders 18-40); and Patricia Hennessy and Little Tom won the EquiFit WIHS Adult Jumper Classic (riders over 40); Katherine Strauss rode Sassafras Creek to the win in the Clifton Park Rental Center Pony Hunter Classic to close the Bobby & Melissa Murphy Pony Jumper Classes. The closing day of the horse show also featured a full line-up of Sand Castle Farm Short Stirrup Classes.