CSI 3*

Paul O’Shea Rides for the Gold in the $125,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix CSI 3*

North Salem, New York, USA – May 14, 2023 – Speed was the name of the game in Sunday’s $125,00 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by The Kincade Group at the 2023 Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, with many of the final placings coming down to just hundredths of a second. Ultimately, Ireland’s Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Imerald Van’t Voorhof, Imerald Partners LLC’s 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, clinched the win in a blistering double-clear time of 40.090 seconds.

The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows are one of the premier stops on the nation’s hunter-jumper horse show circuit, offering a full schedule of world-class competition May 9-14 and May 16-21 that features the nation’s best in equestrian sport. 

During the opening ceremonies for the $125,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by The Kincade Group, competitors and spectators alike shared in a moment of silence as the equestrian community honored the lives of Danny Fitzsimmons, longtime manager of Old Salem’s Winter Show Series who passed away on April 23, and 15-year-old Hannah Serfass, who suffered a fatal riding accident at a Venice, FL, horse show on April 30. Then the afternoon’s first rider was heralded into the International Arena by National Anthem singer Tara Curran and longtime ringmaster Alan Keeley.

Jordan Coyle (IRL) & For Gold

Like so many of his courses, designer Alan Wade’s (IRL) winding 16-effort Grand Prix CSI 3* track required total accuracy from the 35 contenders representing 12 countries. Fifteen answered all the questions correctly to return to the jump-off, including defending champion Jordan Coyle (IRL), who returned second in the order and set a speedy time to beat of 41.240 seconds aboard Falkirk Farm LLC’s 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding For Gold.

Mimi Gochman (USA) & Cosmos BH

In the end, only Paul O’Shea (IRL) and American Mimi Gochman (USA) could shave a full second off that time. Fresh off her win in Saturday’s $38,700 FEI 1.45m Jump-off, Gochman piloted Cosmos BH, a 10-year-old Zangersheide stallion owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, through the timers in a speedy 40.210 seconds to claim second place behind O’Shea’s 40.090-second time, dropping Coyle into third. 

“My horse was fantastic today,” O’Shea said. “He really gave me everything, and I’m very delighted with the result. I actually didn’t see anybody else go. I just stuck to my plan; my horse is naturally quick against the clock. Classes like these are often so fast that when we walk the jump-offs, we wonder if certain things can be done, and in this case it definitely could.”

O’Shea executed smooth but tight turns over the Grand Prix’s shortened jump-off track, along with a blazing seven strides from the second-to-last oxer into the final jump. Whether riders finished that line in seven or eight strides made all the difference in their final placings.

Paul O’Shea (IRL) & Imerald Van’t Voorhof won Sunday’s $125,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by The Kincade Group – Photo: © SEL Photography

Imerald has been fantastic for me and for his owners at Imerald Partners LLC,” O’Shea said about his experienced mount. “He’s won a few other 3* grands prix, and I’m very confident in him. He’s a very brave horse; you just turn him, and he takes on the jumps. Unfortunately, he won’t ride (in the $200,000 Empire State Grand Prix) next week. He’s 15 now, so we’ll give him three weeks off until his next big class. He’s just a great horse, and he made today easy for me.”

Fourth went to quick-footed McKayla Langmeier (USA) and Rafferty Farm LLC’s Chadina (0/0/41.260), while six-time Brazilian Olympian Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) took fifth aboard Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC’s Major Tom (0/0/41.410).

Final Results – $125,00 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by The Kincade Group

1) Paul O’Shea (IRL) & Imerald Van’t Voorhof – 0 / 0 – 40.090

2) Mimi Gochman (USA) & Cosmos BH – 0 / 0 – 40.210

3) Jordan Coyle (IRL) & For Gold – 0 / 0 – 41.240

Source: Press Release from Old Salem Farm

Photos: © SEL Photography