LAKE PLACID - The 44th annual Lake Placid Horse Show, Presented by Sea Shore Stables, LLC, opened on Tuesday with a limited schedule of hunter classes.
The horse show, which runs through Sunday and is then followed by the 36th annual I Love New York Horse Show, July 2-7, attracts many of the nation's top horses and riders to the North Elba Show Grounds.
Once again, Olympic veterans, past Lake Placid Grand Prix champions and international show jumping stars headline the shows' entries. The two-week horse show series hosts all levels of competition, ranging from young children on ponies to Olympic medalists, all competing for more than $535,000 in prizes.
The horse show begins at 8 a.m. each day, with competition running in four rings simultaneously.
"We always look forward to welcoming all our riders back to Lake Placid," said Richard M. Feldman, Lake Placid Horse Show Association Chairman. "Many of our riders have been coming to Lake Placid for decades and they tell me that it is their favorite two weeks of the year."
Among those entered to compete this year are Olympic veterans Kevin Babington of Ireland, and Margie Engle, Nona Garson, Anne Kursinski and Peter Leone of the United States.
Also entered are past Lake Placid Grand Prix Champions Laura Chapot, Charlie Jacobs, Mark Leone, Todd Minikus, Jimmy Torano and Jeffery Welles, as well as other top show jumping stars such as Candice King, Hillary Simpson, Callan Solem, Ronan McGuigan of Ireland and Keean White of Canada.
Highlighting the two weeks of competition are the $75,000 Equine Insurance Services/Great American Grand Prix of Lake Placid on Sunday, and the $100,000 Woodlea Farms Grand Prix on Saturday, July 6, both presented by Sea Shore Stables, LLC. These are the pinnacle of show jumping competition and are guaranteed to be action-packed events with even bigger prize money this year as the horse shows are offering a $100,000 Grand Prix for the first time ever.
Another highlighted competition is the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by Eastern Hay & Grain and Purina Animal Nutrition. This event, held in the Richard M. Feldman Grand Prix Field on Sunday, July 7, features jumps that resemble natural obstacles seen in the hunt field with a variety of challenges including stone walls, hedges, logs, banks and ditches.
Returning is the horse show's vendor area, which features a variety of equine related shops, local Adirondack products, artists, clothing and apparel, real estate, photography and food.
Also returning are perennial show favorites such as the annual Doggie Costume Contest scheduled for Saturday, July 6.
For the first time ever, show jumping fans across the country and around the world will be able to watch competition from the Lake Placid Horse Shows live. HRTV, The horse sports network is offering free live webcasts of all classes in the horse shows' Grand Prix field. The live webcasts, produced by ShowNet, are available free of charge at www.hrtv.com and through a link at the horse shows' website at www.lakeplacidhorseshow.com.
Admission to the Lake Placid and I Love New York Horse Shows is $2 on weekdays and $5 on weekends. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free. Tickets are available at the gate.
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 just $1 and starts at the Lake Placid Horse Show's retail booth.
More 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.