LAKE PLACID — Paul O’Shea of Ireland rode Primo De Revel to victory in the $75,000 Equine Insurance Services/Great American Grand Prix of Lake Placid to culminate the 44th-annual Lake Placid Horse Show, Presented by Sea Shore Stables, LLC.
O’Shea was one of six entries from the starting field of 34 to reach the jump-off by riding without penalty over the 14-jump first round course designed by 2008 Olympic course designer Steve Stephens. The first to return for the 8-jump tiebreaker was Heather Caristo-Williams of Saugerties on Evening Star. She finished with 4 faults and a time of 41.795 seconds.
Next up was U.S. Olympic veteran Margie Engle of Wellington, Fla., who has been a Grand Prix winner in Lake Placid a record seven times. She took over the lead with a fault-free ride in 39.409 seconds on Royce, a 9-year-old, Oldenburg gelding.
The next two riders failed to catch Engle before O’Shea, 36, returned on the 12-year-old, Belgian Warmblood owned by Michael Hayden. He finished clean in 38.189 seconds to claim the win. Engle placed second and Caristo-Williams finished third.
“I watched Margie go and when I saw her do six strides between fences 2 and 3 I changed my strategy to do the same,” he said. “I had thought at first that it would ride longer. I rode as fast as I could without overdoing it.”
Engle said that her first concern was to go clean. “I didn’t ride all out because, going early, I knew I had to be clean to have a chance. I knew there were places that I could get caught and Paul did a beautiful job.”
The win by O’Shea of Kildimo, Ireland marked the fourth straight year that a rider from Ireland has won the event, following wins by Darragh Kenny in 2010, Jonathan McCrea in 2011 and Kenny again last year.