Articles: Press Release
Ireland's Darragh Kerins Takes Grand Prix
Prize at Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show
Janice Halpern, (508) 698-6810,
DARIEN, CT—June 24, 2002—The sun came out to cap off the final day of the
73rd annual Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show in Darien, CT as Ireland's Darragh
Kerins beat a field of 28 entries in the $35,000 Ox Ridge Grand Prix.
Kerins, who helped Ireland to a third place finish in the Samsung Nations'
Cup in West Palm Beach, FL, in March, won the Ox Ridge Grand Prix aboard his
Notre Dame, one of approximately 1300 horses competing during the five days
of the Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show.
The Ox Ridge Grand Prix course, designed by Anthony D'Ambrosio of Mount
Kisco, NY, presented 13 fences that proved challenging to the field. After
the first round, only 5 of 28 horses had fault-free rides.
McLain Ward of Brewster, NY, defending champion in the Ox Ridge Grand Prix,
had two entries qualify for the jump-off and was first and second to go.
Riding Galant, Ward had one knockdown, scoring 4 jumping faults with a time
of 44.415 seconds. He came back on Alegro and had two knockdowns for 8
faults and a time of 46.034 seconds.
Next to go was Kerins on his Nations' Cup mount, the 14-year-old
Irishbred gelding, Notre Dame. Kerins rode fault-free with a time of 46.499
seconds to take the lead, pushing Ward and Galant to second place. Callan
Solem, riding Allison, was next. She had 12 faults and a time of 48.078.
Last to go was Canadian Olympic veteran Mario Deslauriers with Amica. One
fence came down and his score of four faults and time of 46.247 seconds put
him in third place behind Kerins and Ward.
After finishing second on Galant, Ward said, "Kerins has been
knocking on my door the last couple of weeks! He deserved to win today."
When asked about the course, Ward said, "The footing was great but the
fences were huge! It was a difficult course for this Grand Prix."
The Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show began with Chris Kappler of
Pittstown, NJ, piloting Stuart, owned by Amy Van Houten, to win the Reuters
$1000 Preliminary Jumper Class. Kappler, named USET Athlete of the Month in
February 2002 following his string of top-ranked rides during the Cosequin
Winter Equestrian Festival in West Palm Beach, FL, topped the 21 entries in
the jump-off, out of 55 competing in the class.
Finishing in second place was McLain Ward, riding his mount, 'clair. On day
two, Ward rode Peter, owned by Ward and Harry Gill, to win the $1500 Brooks
Community Newspaper Preliminary Jumper Class. Ward beat out 20 other
entries to win the class, and also placed 4th on Flier, owned by Ward and
Gill and 6th on his mount Acapulco. In the $4,000 North American League
Speed Modified Jumper class, Laura Bowery rode Amande Du Chateau, owned by
Mr & Mrs. Joseph Dimenna Equuleus Farms LLC, to the win.
On Friday's third day of competition, Callan Solem riding Quiet
Winter Farm's Mianta won the $1500 High Preliminary Jumper Class, while Ward
took second place on his Romeo. In the $5,000 Modified Jumper Class,
Darragh Kerins gave a preview of his grand prix form, winning the class on
Saturday saw McLain Ward ride Peter for another win, this time in
the $5,000 CL Adams Futures Class. Ward also placed third with his mount
Romeo, behind second place finisher Bowery on Amande Du Chateau.
Luke Tokaruk of Cookeville, TN, topped a field of 13 riding Grand
Bleu in the BET/USET Show Jumping Talent Search class.
The Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show hosted four rings of action on
Sunday, named champions in 33 divisions, presented a demonstration of
freestyle dressage, and concluded with the Grand Prix.
Alexa Weeks rode her Amiral to win the $10,000 Amateur-Owner
Junior Prix. Christine Goutal of New York, NY, won the USA Equestrian Pony
Medal class riding Church Mouse. The pair also won the $2500 Howard Johnson
Pony Classic. Tania Hack, New York, NY, rode Remmington to win the NEHC
Hunt Seat Medal class. Luke Tokaruk and Grand Bleu topped the ASPCA
Horsemanship Class and the Eisers & Pessoa Hunter Seat Medal. Eleanor
Joseph of Bronx, NY, won the State Line Tack Children's Medal class. Other
medal class winners included: Kelly Cavanaugh, S. Glastonbury, CT, on
Bravour for the Ariat National Adult Medal; Cira Pace, Bethel, CT, on
Opportunity Knocks for the CHJA Adult Medal; Joya Sonnenfeldt of New York,
NY, on Puccini for the CHJA Junior Medal. Jennifer Berol Bliss of Katonah,
NY, rode Jolie to be named Best Child Horse Rider.
The Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show is one of the nation's largest and most
prestigious competitions, drawing more than 1300 horses from around the
country. Exhibitors competed over classically beautiful hunter courses and
technically challenging jumper courses on the park-like facility at the Ox
Ridge Hunt Club. The Boutique Garden offered a shopping event for the
entire family, with browsers hunting for gifts for the home, clothing,
paintings, jewelry, horse furnishings, and other unique items.
Sponsors of the 2002 Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show included Beval
LTD, Brooks Community Newspapers, C. L. Adams, Der Dau, Great Horse Designs,
House of Needlepoint, Indo-Chic Imports, KOOL 96.7 FM, Lucky Lawn, Inc.,
Pharmacia Animal Health, Reuters, Scudder Private Investment Counsel and
Watson Wyatt Worldwide.