Articles: Press Release
Alexa Weeks and Madison Win $75,000 Empire State Grand Prix at Old Salem
Farm Spring Horse Show
Violet Forbes, 859-537-5441, firstname.lastname@example.org
North Salem, NY - May 17, 2009 -- Alexa Weeks and Madison flew around the
course to win the $75,000 Empire State Grand Prix, the final event of the
two week long Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows on the spectacular grounds
of Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY.
Seven of the original 19 starters managed to complete the first round
without penalty including two for McLain Ward. Darragh Kerins with Night
Train, winner of the $25,000 Grand Prix of North Salem earlier in the week,
were the first to go clear and so they returned first for the jump-off.
Night Train is a very fast little horse and posted a time of 36.405 seconds
with no rails down.
McLain Ward was second in the ring for the jump-off with Rothchild, and
wanted the win after having to settle for second place behind Kerins in the
earlier Grand Prix. Rothchild left every jump standing and did it in a time
of 35.773 to move into the early lead.
Leslie Howard and Lennox Lewis 2, winner of this class last year, galloped
in to try and beat Ward's time but were not quite fast enough. They were
fault-free, but their time of 36.972 seconds was not fast enough.
Ward's second ride on Phillipa, last week's Grand Prix winner, would not be
so lucky this week. A hard turn from fence 4 to fence 5, the Komen For The
Cure fence, put Phillipa too far away from the jump and she had the top rail
down for four faults in a time of 34.567. While the time was there, the
fence down gave them four faults and put them at the bottom of the jump-off
Alexa Weeks aboard Madison entered the ring for their attempt at the top
prize. "When I saw Darragh ride and McLain ride," said Weeks, "I thought
that that was the fastest that the class could get. Darragh rode perfectly
and everything came up so fast for him and then McLain managed to beat that
time by just a little bit, I didn't think that you could go much faster. I
went in thinking I was just going to do my best and go as fast as I could
and hopefully leave the jumps up."
Weeks did just that and she did it in a time of 34.905, leaving no doubt as
to who the winner was going to be.
"She is just such a fast, careful, competitive horse," said Weeks. "She
takes direction and just does her thing; that is what makes her such a great
horse. She just has that little edge. My turn to the Komen fence was one
of those things where it will either work or it won't and you don't know
until you leave the ground. A normal horse probably could not have done
that turn but she is just so amazing, I never felt her hesitate.
"I have never jumped a course where I have felt her hesitate or felt that
she couldn't do it or wouldn't do it, that's what makes my job so easy. She
is so confident and experienced that she makes everything easy. A cold day
like this, she felt so fresh and the surface in the ring was so perfect you
just skimmed over it. They really did a fabulous job here with the new
rings. That is why the class was so fast.
"We got her when she was six and she is 13 now. For three years Kent
Farrington rode her and she was horse of the year twice. I have only been
riding her since last April. She has been in my life for a long time, but
we have not really been together that long. This is definitely our biggest
career win together, our first major Grand Prix win. I can tell you I was
really shocked. I grew up showing here in the ponies and equitation so it
is really nice to come home and have so much success."
Old Salem Farm is located one hour north of New York City. In addition to
its year-long horse show series that includes 20 horse shows in addition to
its flagship spring horse shows, it maintains luxury stabling facilities for
year-round boarding, and offers training for all levels of riders, as well
as horses for sale and lease.
The 2009 Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows initiated a new partnership with
the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure (Komen
Greater NYC). Komen for the Cure is the world's leading non-profit
organization dedicated to curing breast cancer. A portion of all ticket
sales from this year's Spring Horse Shows benefited Komen Greater NYC. Old
Salem Farm contributed $2 for each entry ticket sold to Komen Greater NYC
with a minimum contribution of $10,000.
For more information on Old Salem Farm please visit www.oldsalemfarm.net or
$75,000 Empire State Grand Prix
1 MADISON ALEXA WEEKS 0 0 34.905
2 ROTHCHILD MCLAIN WARD 0 0 35.773
3 NIGHT TRAIN DARRAGH KERINS 0 0 36.405
4 LENNOX LEWIS 2 LESLIE HOWARD 0 0 36.972
5 CARLOS-BOY KEN BERKLEY 0 0 38.396
6 NADYLEEN ALEXA LOWE 0 0 40.770
7 PHILLIPA MCLAIN WARD 0 4 34.567