While Saturday’s heavy rain saw some scratches around the 2023 Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, the afternoon’s featured $38,700 FEI 1.45m Jump-off presented by Fidelity Investments was still 29 entries strong with five countries represented over Alan Wade’s 15-effort course. Of the six horse-and-rider combinations to go double-clear in the initial phase, five returned to vie for top honors in the jump-off, where McLain Ward (USA) clinched the win with his speed specialist Catoki.
Ward is no stranger to the podium with Marilla Van Beuren’s 14-year-old Westphalian gelding, having earned second place in Thursday’s $38,700 FEI 1.45m Two-Phase to warm up for his three consecutive victories on Friday and Saturday. He and Catoki tripped the timers in 33.770 seconds to win the $38,700 FEI 1.45m Jump-off presented by Fidelity Investments, just 0.110 seconds ahead of Colombia’s Mark Bluman.
“This is kind of Catoki’s thing, aiming for the top of these ranking classes,” Ward said. “Today, I liked that there was a jump-off to give us that element of speed (despite the rain). I thought he performed great, especially because I didn’t feel like it was a great jump-off course for him. There were some long runs to the verticals, and I like to keep him on a shorter stride, but I thought he handled it well. He responded beautifully to every ask I made and gave me his best.”
Only Jordan Coyle (IRL) and Centriko Volo, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Celtic Park LLC, were able to catch Ward’s time as they blazed to the finish in 30.950 seconds, but a fallen rail dropped Coyle into fifth place on four faults.
Bluman finished second with his double-clear time of 33.880 seconds aboard Over The Top Stables LLC’s 10-year-old Oldenburg mare Marilyn. Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) took third on Louisburg Farm’s 12-year-old Zangersheide mare Berdien, stopping the clock in 36.730 seconds. Fourth-place Jonathan Corrigan (IRL) rounded out the top five with his time of 38.590 seconds on Nadal VD Wateringhoeve, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Maya Nayyar LLC.