July 11, 2010 -- A dramatic win by Darragh Kenny of Ireland in the $75,000 Hermés Grand Prix CSI 2* for the Whitney Perpetual Challenge Trophy highlighted the 41st Annual Lake Placid Horse Show July 4.
Only five entries from the starting field of 24 succeeded in completing the 16-jump, first-round course designed by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany without penalty. They returned for the nine-jump, jump-off at the North Elba Showgrounds.
First to go was Callan Solem of Chester Springs, Pa., who set the mark to beat by finishing fault-free in 47.00 seconds on VDL Torlando. Solem's ride was interrupted when wind blew over a fence, forcing her to break stride and wait while the fence was re-set. Two rides later, Kenny, 22, moved Solem out of the lead with a clean ride in 46.39 seconds on Gael Force, a 12-year-old Irish horse owned by Missy Clark and North Run and formerly ridden by Solem.
Kenny returned immediately on Armani, the Jeffery Welles mount with whom Kenny had been paired for less than 48 hours following a fall in Friday's $30,000 Intercat, Inc. Open Jumper Classic CSI 2* in which Welles injured his knee and back. Kenny's time on Armani beat his time on Gael Force, but a rail down at the last fence cost him the win on the mount owned by Abigail Wexner and Triton Ventures.
The final two entries failed to crack the top two, with Jimmy Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., taking third place on Vince by turning in the only other clean ride with a time of 48.32 seconds. Fourth place went to David Tromp on Casey with four faults in 43.89 seconds with Kenny and Armani, the 2006 winner of the class with Welles, taking fifth.
"Gael Force has been unbelievable for me since the first time I rode him last year," said Kenny. "You're only as good as the horse you're on, and I am truly fortunate to ride with Missy and John who do so much to make sure the horses are always ready.
"I also have to say how thankful I am to Jeffery and Abigail that they would trust me to ride their best horse. I feel so badly for Jeffery who had to miss out after taking that fall on Friday. I consider it a privilege to ride such a quality horse."
Solem was understanding of her bad luck in having to stop and re-start during her jump-off round. "When I saw the planks down, I slowed down a little but kept going till I heard the tone," she said. "The judges are so good and I think they handled it really well, but it is a difficult situation. I know he has a lot more classes in his future, and I'm not going to complain about second place in a class like this."
Also winning feature classes at the Lake Placid Horse Show were Amber Henter on Olinda in the Pepsi Bottling Co. High Junior Jumper Classic and Jennifer Waxman on Shakira in the Mirror Lake Inn High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. Both Classics are member events of the Cavalor Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series.
Other winners throughout the week included Kate Levy of Katonah, N.Y., on Vent Du Nord in the Whiteface Mountain 1.45m Jump-off; Darragh Kenny on Celano in the Fulchino Family 1.45m Power and Speed Class; Christine McCrea on Romantovich Take One in the $30,000 Intercat, Inc. Open Jumper Classic CSI 2*; Margie Engle on Hidden Creek's Pamina L in the J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Speed Stake; Darragh Kenny on I Va To Du Rouet in the 1.35m Lake Placid Summit Resort Hotel & Suites Jumper Class; Charlie Jacobs on Quidditch II in the Deeridge Farms High Amateur-Owner Jumper Class; Charlotte Jacobs on Kartouche VD in the High Junior Jumper class; Kevin Babington on Correlli in the 1.30m WPTZ News Channel 5 Jumper Class; Darragh Kenny on Bazooka De Muze in the Lake Placid Lodge 1.30m Speed Stake; Saly Glassman on Lorado 28 in the Deeridge Farms Low Amateur-Owner Jumper class; Nickie Wingaard on Rokeby Flip in the Low Junior Jumper class; Charlie Jacobs on Leap of Joy in the Deeridge Farms High Amateur-Owner Jumper Class; Charlotte Jacobs on Kartouche VD Watering in the High Junior Jumper Class; and Darragh Kenny on I Va To Du Rouet in the 1.40m High Peaks Resort Open Speed Challenge; Katherine Edgell on Miss Kitty and Martha Nevins on Pablo Honey in the Crowne Plaza Resort North American League (NAL) Adult Amateur Jumper Classics; Gabriela Mershad on Van Gils Gust in the Adirondack Life Low Junior Jumper Classic; and Joy Slater on Silvester in the Sidelines Low Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.
The horse show also featured the Juliam Farm Lead Line class for its youngest competitors and all champions were honored in the C.M. Hadfield's Saddlery Parade of Champions.