After superb catch rides from Hannah Isop of Pawling, NY, Playmaker, owned by JT Farm based in South Salem, NY, received the Grand Hunter Champion title during the stiff competition of World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Week at Old Salem Farm.
Grand Hunter Champion Playmaker piloted by Hannah Isop in the 3’3” Performance Hunter Division during the 2019 Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY. Photo by The Book
“I got a very lucky phone call from [owner] Ellen [Toon] this week!” said Isop, who had not sat on the horse before the start of this week’s horse show. “He’s an impressive horse so I wasn’t surprised at all with his results. His jump gives you a great feeling, but he is very straight forward and I was happy to be able to go in and give him a nice ride and let him show off.”
An injury at the end of the 2017 season sidelined Playmaker for a year, but he made his return to the show ring this spring and is back on top. The nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Cassini swept the over fences classes in the 3’3” Performance Hunter Division to earn Grand Hunter honors and will compete in the 3’3” Amateur-Owner 36 & Over Division later in the week with Toon riding.
“We brought him back slowly and spent a lot of time on the flat to make sure he was comfortable,” said Toon of the horse’s recovery. “Hannah was fabulous with him this week and my husband Jimmy has done an amazing job bringing him back.
Playmaker, ridden by Hannah Isop and owned by Ellen (pictured) and Jimmy Toon’s JT Farm, was named Grand Hunter Champion on Wednesday, May 15, during the 2019 Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY. Photo by The Book
“I am really excited because he is a super nice horse and a beautiful jumper,” continued Toon. “He comes into the ring and catches your eye from the start.”
From Wednesday’s professional hunter divisions, the $5,000 Voltaire Designs Leading Hunter Rider title was decided with Holly Orlando collecting the 2019 award after two weeks of competition. Additionally, Orlando is currently leading the $5,000 Mane ‘n Tail Hunter Rider Challenge with the high-point title from 3’6” Performance, 3’3” Green, 3’6” Green, Green Conformation, High Performance Conformation, and High Performance Hunter competition during the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows. Points earned at Old Salem Farm will be carried over to The Hampton Classic, running August 25 through September 1, 2019, with the $5,000 award being presented on Friday August 30, in Bridgehampton, NY.