IRELAND’S Paul O’Shea and his mount Imerald Van’t Voorhof showed their consistency at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Show on Sunday, when taking the top spot in the $125,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix presented by The Kincade Group, for the second consecutive year.

There were 33 entries, representing seven different countries, in the class, which was the highlight of the New York show, with only seven of the combinations jumping clear over the 1.50m track set by Alan Wade to make it into the jump-off. O’Shea was second last to jump over the shortened course and he rode his 16-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding clear in a time of 37.25 seconds, which ended up the fastest of the double clears to secure them the win for the second time in a row to claim the top prize of $41,250. This knocked previous leader Carly Anthony (USA) into second place riding Heavenly W (37.50), while another Irishman, Offaly’s Darragh Kenny, rode the 17-year-old Holsteiner stallion VDL Cartello into third place (38.20).

Ireland were a force to be reckoned with in this Grand Prix, taking four of the top eight places, with Jordan Coyle on Jorisca placing fifth and Philip McGuane on Orphea HQ finishing eighth.

“We just gave it everything we had,” O’Shea said afterwards. “I wasn’t able to watch any of the other riders go, so we just had to stick to our plan, which was to give it everything we could. Imerald jumped fantastic.

"He’s good against the clock and very good at the turns because of his experience. He’s always looking for the next fence, so it’s a lot easier with a horse like him.

"Mark Bluman was after me, and he’s extremely fast, so I was definitely worried about that. I just did what Imerald could do comfortably and hoped it would be enough.

“I am showing next week, but Imerald won’t be,” he added. “We only jump him about once a month now. He’s only done four Grand Prix this year, but he’s won two of them. We’re very delighted with him. He’s such a great horse.”

Irish ribbons

Ireland was well-represented in the ribbons at week one of the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Show (May 7th-12th), where Jonathan Corrigan took a first and a second in last Wednesday’s $2,000 1.25m Open Jumper class on board Idream and Rembrandt respectively. The day’s $4,000 1.35m Open Jumper class saw a great result for the Irish, with Kenny finishing first with Billy Legend, Nicky Galligan in second on Cash Money and fourth with Iraya. Coyle placed sixth with Kan Niet Mooier GR, while Kenny also placed eighth with both Roulette and Lightning.

Wednesday also saw Kenny win the $10,000 1.40m Open Jumper class with Rockstar and place seventh with Joberlina TN.

In Thursday’s $5,000 1.35m Open Jumper class, Kenny placed third with Lightning, with Coyle seventh on Cordiamo and Kenny also slotting into ninth place with Great Tiklia J. Meanwhile, the $38,700 CSI3* 1.45m class saw Coyle finish fourth on Costa Diam.

Corrigan went on to win Friday’s $2,000 1.25m Open Jumper class on Rembrandt, while in the 1.35m Open Jumper class, Kenny rode Vancouver Dreams into second place, followed by Corrigan on Nadal VD Wateringhoeve in seventh.

Four of the top five places in the $25,000 Old Salem Jumper Classic went to Irish riders, with Kenny taking three of them! He won the class on Rockstar, was runner-up with Deleyn and remarkably also placed fifth with Joberlina TN. To highlight the Irish domination, Coyle on King Kannan GP slotted into third.

The $40,000 CSI3* Welcome Stakes saw David O’Brien finish fourth with El Balou OLD, followed by Kenny on Hamrah Van Het Exelhof Z in fifth. Philip McGuane and Orphea HQ placed 10th in the class.

On Saturday, O’Shea was best of the Irish in the $38,700 CSI3* 1.45m class, when he finished sixth with Little Magic D’Asschaut; they were followed by Steven Moore on Colibelle Hero Z in ninth.

There were further Irish ribbons in the $10,000 Old Salem Farm 1.40m Speed Derby, where Galligan placed fifth with Iraya and Coyle was a close sixth on Cordiamo.