LAKE PLACID - The 45th annual Lake Placid Horse Show opened Tuesday at the North Elba Show Grounds with a limited schedule of hunter and jumper classes.
The Lake Placid Horse Show, which runs through Sunday, is followed by the 37th annual I Love New York Horse Show, July 1-6, and the inaugural Adirondack Horse Show July 9-13.
The Lake Placid Horse Shows draw a wide range of riders, including Olympic veterans and international show jumping stars. The three-week horse show series hosts all levels of competition, from those just beginning their riding careers on ponies all the way up to grand prix competitors vying for more than $535,000 in prize money. The horse show kicks off each morning at 8 a.m. with classes running all day in all four rings.
"Year after year, we look forward to seeing familiar faces return to our show," said Richard M. Feldman, Lake Placid Horse Show Association Chairman. "We love watching our riders rise through the ranks of the sport, as many of them have been coming to Lake Placid for decades."
Among those competing at Lake Placid this year are Paul O'Shea of Ireland, who will seek to defend his championship on Sunday in the $75,000 Devoucoux Grand Prix of Lake Placid, and U.S. Olympic veteran Margie Engle of Wellington, Florida, who has been a Grand Prix champion in Lake Placid a record seven times. The field of riders also includes Olympic veterans Anne Kursinski, Mario Deslauriers and Lisa Jacquin, as well as past Lake Placid Grand Prix champions Laura Chapot, Charlie Jacobs, Darragh Kenny, Mark Leone, Todd Minikus, Jimmy Torano and Jeff Welles.
Highlights of the three weeks of horse show competition include the $75,000 Devoucoux Grand Prix of Lake Placid, the $75,000 I Love New York Grand Prix and the $100,000 Woodlea Farms Grand Prix, all presented by Sea Shore Stables, LLC. The grand prix classes are the highest level of show jumping competition and are sure to be exciting as each horse and rider combination competes for top prize money.
Lake Placid Horse Show highlights
Lake Placid Lodge 1.30m; Jamaica Tent 1.35m; WIHS Equitation Hunter and Jumper Phases; Platinum Performance Show Jumping Talent Search; the National PHA Equitation Class; Various Hunter and Jumper Classes.
Adirondack Flying Service 1.40m; Hendricks Gin 1.30m; NHSAA/ASPCA Maclay; Pessoa US Hunter Seat Medal; Various Hunter and Jumper Classes.
Dartbrook Rustic Goods 1.35m; Hampton Inn 1.40m; Brook Ledge, Inc. Open Jumper Classic, Presented by Sea Shore Stables, LLC; Various Hunter and Jumper Classes.
Crowne Plaza Resort NAL & WIHS Adult Jumper Classics; the Wild Center Low Junior Jumper Classic; J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Amateur Owner Jumper Classic; Sidelines 1.35m; Various Hunter and Jumper Classes.
Devoucoux Grand Prix of Lake Placid, Presented by Sea Shore Stables, LLC; Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort Junior Jumper Classic; Mirror Lake Inn Amateur Owner Jumper Classic; Santa's Workshop Leadline; C.M. Hadfield's Parade of Champions; MME Adult Amateur & Children's Hunter Classics; Hunter & Equitation Classes.
Another featured class is the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Eastern Hay & Purina Animal Nutrition. This event, taking place on Saturday, July 5, sees the hunters take on the Richard M. Feldman Grand Prix Ring and showcases jumps that resemble natural obstacles seen in a hunt field.
Returning again is the horse show's vendor area which offers some of the Adirondacks' best shopping. The vendor area has an array of equine related shops, local Adirondack products, artists, clothing, real estate, photography and food.
Also occurring again this year are annual favorites such as the Doggie Costume Contest, sponsored by Animal Planet and The Brown Dog Deli & Wine Bar. The Doggie Costume Contest on Sunday, July 6 showcases dogs dressed up in costumes and is a favorite event of both exhibitors and spectators. Everyone with a leashed dog in costume is admitted to the horse show free of charge that day and everyone, whether part of the horse show or not, is invited to participate.
Show jumping fans that are not able to make it to the Lake Placid Horse Shows will still be able to watch the competition. HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, is offering free live webcasts of all classes in the horse show's Richard M. Feldman Grand Prix Field. The live webcasts, produced by ShowNet, are available free of charge at www.hrtv.com.
Video clips of competition in all rings, as well as schedules and live scoring, are available at www.ShowNet.biz.
Admission to the Lake Placid Horse Shows is $2 on weekdays and $5 on weekends. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free. Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more and admission is half price with a Price Chopper Advantage Card. Tickets are available at the gate. The horse shows are located at the North Elba Show Grounds, 5514 Cascade Road (Route 73) in Lake Placid, directly across from the ski jumps.
For a special, behind-the-scenes look at the horse shows, guided walking tours are offered Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 11:30 a.m. The tour costs $1 and starts at the Lake Placid Horse Show's retail booth.
For information on the Lake Placid Horse Shows is available by calling the Lake Placid Horse Show Association at 523-9625 or online at www.lakeplacidhorseshow.com.