Diego Pérez Bilbao and Helios Named Winners of $10K Old Salem Farm Jumper Classic

Competition at the Old Salem Farm Fall Series Week III kicked off Saturday morning, September 26 with the junior and amateur hunter divisions and the featured $10,000 Old Salem Farm Jumper Classic. Amid an impressive 45 horse-and-rider combinations, ultimately Spain’s 27-year-old Diego Pérez Bilbao soared to the top of the field with Starlight Farm 1 LLC’s 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Helios (Couleur Rubin x Baldine Van’t Heike). Junior athlete Aerin Genatt and adult amateur Shelly Ferrall both produced flawless rounds to pin first in their over-fences classes in the Junior Hunter 3’6” division and Adult Amateur Hunter 50 and Over division respectively.

Diego Pérez Bilbao on Helios. Photo by SEL Photography.

Top riders such as Adrienne Sternlicht, Rodrigo Pessoa, Lillie Keenan and McLain Ward lined up to take their shot at Nancy Wallis’ first-round track in the $10,000 Old Salem Farm Jumper Classic, but less than half of the original field produced a fault-free effort to advance to the second round. Much like his mentor McLain Ward, whom he works for at Castle Hill Farm, Bilbao was in it to win as he piloted Helios through the jump-off timers in 28.311 seconds with all fences left standing.

“Helios was ridden previously by Adrienne Sternlicht and he is a horse we have already jumped in some very big classes, so today was pretty easy for him,” Bilbao said. “I had a plan set up with my trainer and we were able to stick to that plan.”

Although a resident of New York at Castle Hill Farm, Bilbao added that Week I of the Fall Series was his first time at Old Salem Farm.

“It’s a little bit of a difficult ring if you aren’t familiar with it,” he said. “But now we have gotten used to it so it is going much better.”

Left to right: Vandy Lipman, Diego Pérez Balboa, and Amanda Terbrusch. Photo by SEL Photography.

No stranger to the podium, Ireland’s Jordan Coyle nabbed the second place spot aboard Celtic Park LLC’s 8-year-old Oldenburg gelding Centriko Volo (Centadel x Dolcetta) after finishing double clean and just narrowly falling behind Bilbao with a time of 28.858 seconds. Coyle and another mount Picador won both the $25,000 Grand Prix of Old Salem and the $75,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix. Both grand prix events were presented by The Kincade Group.

Delaney Flynn of Park City, Utah, earned her place in the top three falling only two seconds behind but jumping double-clean. She and Grace Jacobsen’s Milan IV, a 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Lasino x Oki Doki), stopped the clock at 30.100 seconds to land in the final top three.

Final Results – $10,000 Old Salem Farm Jumper Classic 

1 HELIOS: 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Couleur Rubin x Baldine Van’t Heike
DIEGO PÉREZ BILBAO (ESP), Starlight Farms 1 LLC: 0/0/28.311

2 CENTRIKO VOLO: 2012 Oldenburg gelding by Centadel x Dolcetta
JORDAN COYLE (IRL), Celtic Park LLC: 0/0/28.858

3 MILAN IV: 2005 Holsteiner gelding by Lasino x Oki Doki
DELANEY FLYNN (USA), Grace Jacobsen: 0/0/30.100

4 EXCELLENT: 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Cicero Z Van Paemel x Royal Queen
PETER LUTZ (USA), Bosch Sport Horses: 0/0/30.231

5 HARINA TOUCH W: 2012 Dutch Warmblood mare by Untouched x Carina W
DIEGO PÉREZ BILBAO (ESP), McLain Ward: 0/0/30.533

6 GAUCHO: 2011 KWPN gelding by Spartacus TN x Rachel
COCO FATH (USA), Hillside Farm LLC: 0/0/30.876

7 LA CARAMBA: 2010 Holsteiner mare by Carambole x Welcome Cor
RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Artemis Equestrian Farm, LLC: 0/0/31.481

8 DEMONIA GS Z: 2013 Warmblood mare
MCLAIN WARD (USA), McLain Ward: 0/0/31.737

9 HARLEY D: 2012 KWPN gelding by Spartacus x Grande Belle
COCO FATH (USA), Hillside Farm LLC: 0/0/33.648

10 HOLLERNO: 2012 KWPN gelding by Baltic VDL x Ivalerna
PETER LUTZ (USA), Libertas Farm LLC: 0/0/34.771

11 EXOTIK SITTE: 2010 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Ogano Sitte x Ustina Sitte
COCO FATH (USA), Coco Fath: 0/0/35.613

12 ADARE YA TO: 2010 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Chacoa x Cool Calm Scarlett
ALEXANDRA HIRD (USA), Veritas Farms, LLC: 0/4/30.597