North Salem, NY — September 22, 2012 — Peter Leone, aboard Lincourt Gino, sailed to the win as the only double clear horse and rider combination in the starting field of 29 at the $200,000 American Gold Cup at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY, on Sunday, Sept. 16.
Leone’s clean round (44.050 seconds) placed him ahead of Kent Farrington, who came in second riding Voyeur with a time of 41.630 seconds with four faults in the second round. McLain Ward, riding Antares F, claimed third place with a time of 42.00 seconds with four faults in round two, while Beezie Madden, riding Cortes C, earned the fourth place ribbon with a time of 43.140 seconds, also with four faults in the jump-off.
Leone, an Olympic silver medalist, rode third in the jump-off and said his strategy was to see how it unfolded as Madden and Farrington took to the course before him and how he would use that information to keep Ward, the fourth rider, at bay.
Leone, indeed, poured on the juice in the jump-off as he sliced the left turn between the oxer at #3B and the single at #4, shaving precious time off his ride. Gino was happy to oblige and handily galloped through the rest of the eight-jump course. Gino is a 9-year-old Irish Sporthorse gelding owned by Monica Carrera, a junior at Endicott College.
Ward, a two-time Olympic Gold medalist who rode last, knew he was going to have to trim some time after Leone’s clear round. The 12-year-old gelding, Antares, stumbled between the oxer at #3B and the single at #4, putting Ward at a disadvantage.
Farrington, 31, rode Voyeur, a 10-year-old Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding, second in the jump-off. He also knew what he needed to do after Madden knocked a rail down at the green and white oxer at #3B.
Voyeur jumped the first wall of the double on #3 high and then knocked down a rail on the second jump, the oxer at #3B, an obvious bugaboo during Sunday’s American Gold Cup competition.
Madden, a two-time winner of the American Gold Cup and first in the order of go, also had a challenge when she and 10-year-old Cortes took a rail at the green and white oxer on the #6 jump.
The weather was picture perfect throughout the five-day show at Old Salem Farm, and Stadium Jumping, Inc., provided the top-notch riders and spectators exciting classes, a beautiful venue, challenging courses, tempting shopping, scrumptious food, intriguing special events and a friendly atmosphere to make the show a resounding success.
Show Highlights Wednesday, Sept. 12 – Saturday, Sept. 15
Wednesday – The highlight of the action on Wednesday, Sept. 12 was the $7,500 Hallway Feed & KER Sport Horse Nutrition Open Jumpers held in the meticulously groomed grass Grand Prix field.
McLain Ward came away with the win aboard Esplanade 7.
Ward, who is from the North Salem area, said he was glad to be back in his hometown. “We’re very excited,” he explained. “A lot of people have been really behind getting The Gold Cup to this venue because we believed what’s been done here at Old Salem has been pretty phenomenal.”
Ward said the course was welcoming and the field beautiful and credited course designer Steve Stephens with a spectacular, yet solid and fair, course. Ward also credited Stadium Jumping, Inc., with putting on an excellent horse show.
Also in the ribbons in the $7,500 Hallway Feeds and KER Sport Horse Nutrition 1.40m class were Shane Sweetnam riding Esquina Van Klapscheut who snared a second, and Todd Minikus, riding Zilox T, who came home with the third.
Other classes on Day One of the five-day event resulted in Peter Leone coming away with a win in the $1,500 Fairfield Equine 1.30m Jumper class aboard Tiffany, owned by Monica Carrera. The chestnut mare was fast and handy.
Placing second in the $1,500 Fairfield Equine 1.30m class was Stephanie McComiskey riding Maestro de Shalimar and Molly Ashe-Cawley claimed third riding Valdez.
The other big class of the day, the $2,500 Samshield 1.35m, netted a blue for Todd Minikus riding Sally 17, owned by Matt Dagrande, a red for Shane Sweetnam riding Eregast Van’t Kielsehof, owned by Spy Coast Farm, and a yellow for Jennifer Griffiths riding Chellando Z, owned by Katherine Strauss.
Thursday – Forty-six riders took to the field in the warm afternoon sun for the Danbury Porsche Audi $10,000 1.45m Speed Stake held in the Grand Prix ring on Thursday, Sept. 13. Jonathan McCrea edged out the competition on Twisther with a time of 66.156.
McCrea said Twisther likes the grass field at Old Salem and that the course was fair and offered a couple of great options to shave off valuable time.
Happy to be at Old Salem for the first time, McCrea lives just two hours away. He was impressed with the new American Gold Cup venue and said The American Gold Cup holds a special place in his heart since he became an American citizen in March.
Also scoring under 67 seconds in the 1.45m Speed Stake was McLain Ward with a 66.356 to place second on Rothchild and Tracey Fenney with a 66.867 to take home the third aboard MTM Centano. Ward won the Hallway Feed & KER Sport Horse Nutrition Open Jumpers on Wednesday and missed out on two wins in a row by two-tenths of a second.
Another hotly contested class on Thursday was the $1,000 Mitchell-Innes & Nash Fine Art Adult Amateur Jumper class. Amanda Gunthel and her own Laracon came out on top in a class of 31 entries with a clean round and a time of 32.836 in the jump-off.
She and Laracon, an 8-year-old Oldenburg she calls “Larry,” were the first to go double clear more than halfway through the class.
Olivia Weeks, riding Woica, came in second in the class, and Moira Burnham, riding Crusing King, earned a third place ribbon.
Friday – Christine McCrea jumped ahead of the competition Friday, Sept. 14 to place first in the $50,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier. The day was clear and warm to welcome the 50 entrants to the final class of the day on the spectacular grass Grand Prix field.
McCrea bested the other five entries with the winning time of 40.830 seconds aboard Romantovich Take One, owned by Candy Tribble.
She said that the course was challenging as the qualifier to Sunday’s $200,000 American Gold Cup. McCrea, who won The American Gold Cup in 2006, said she was happy to be back on the grounds of the Old Salem Farm and that the improvements made to the property make it a first-class horse show facility.
Another rider with history showing at Old Salem was the second-place finisher in the Gold Cup Qualifying class, 2012 U.S. Olympian Reed Kessler. Kessler, 18, rode her own Mika to a time that was just .28 seconds behind McCrea and believed the extra stride she took between jumps #1 and #2 put her behind.
She also expressed her delight to be back in North Salem. She grew up just a few minutes from the show grounds and said she showed ponies from one ring while her mother showed Pavarotti in another.
The third place in the American Gold Cup Qualifier was Peter Leone riding Lincourt Gino, owned by Monica Carrera. Leone and Gino were a mere 1.040 seconds behind McCrea.
The other three riders with clear rounds to earn places in the jump-off included Beezie Madden riding Cortes C, Charlie Jayne riding Chill RZ, and Candice King riding Combina.
In other show jumping action, Michael Morrissey won the Adequan 5-Year-Old Jumper Qualifier aboard Jazzy Belle, owned by Imperial Show Stables. Mattias Tromp came in with the second time riding Condor, owned by Bayaert Farm, and Marshall Field VI rode to third place on Twist de Quidam, owned by Mary Chapot.
In the 6-Year-Old Jumper Qualifier class, also sponsored by Adequan, Candice King and Prestige, owned by Welwyn Farm, brought home the blue. Georgina Bloomberg and South Street, owned by Gotham Enterprizes, rode away with the red and King was once again in the ribbons with a yellow aboard Nina VDL, owned by Esperanza Inc.
Margie Engle and Handyman, owned by Betsy Green & Gladewinds Farm, and Peter Lutz and Kenyon, owned by Orchard Farm, came out on top in the Adequan 7- and 8-Year-old Jumper Qualifier respectively.
Saturday – Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas, scored the win in the $35,000 Double H Farm Classic 4* on Saturday, Sept. 15.
Fenney said she was hesitant to come ride against the well-seasoned completion, but her horse was ready for the challenge and did well on the Steve Stephens designed course.
Rounding out second and third places in the Jumper Classic were the two other riders who made it to the jump-off, Charlie Jacobs riding Flaming Star, owned by CMJ Sporthorse, and Richie Maloney riding Alsvid, owned by Raylyn Farms.
Hunter Harrison, the sponsor of the Double J Farm Classic, said it was a great class and he was proud to sponsor it for The American Gold Cup. “Over the last two or three years, it ranks among the top show in North America, and, if they keep it up, the world,” he said.
Other exciting show jumping action on Day Four included a win by Charlotte Jacobs on Promised Land in the only double clear in the $25,000 SJHOF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic. The class was an East Coast qualifying competition for the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classic series.
Jay Land riding Nepal earned the red ribbon and Rachael Ricci riding True Religion took home the yellow in the class.
Alexandra Cherubini nabbed both the first and second place ribbons in the $10,000 Mitchell-Innes & Nash Fine Art Adult Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic on Equifit Carlos and Equifit Navarado respectively.
She said she was thrilled to be at The Gold Cup. “It’s excellent,” she said. “I’m a big fan of Stadium Jumping and I think they do an incredible job and I can’t wait to come back next year.”
Another winner thrilled to be in New York was 16-year-old Rowdie Adams, from Texas, who rode S&L Shoefly to the win in the $10,000 NAL Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.
A former three-day eventer, Adams had only been show jumping for four weeks with trainer MikrMcCormick and she loves the sport. Adams was star-struck by the big name line-up at The American Gold Cup including Olympians Peter Leone, McLain Ward, Beezie Madden and Reed Kessler.
For more information about Stadium Jumping, Inc., visit www.stadiumjumping.com.
To learn more about the American Gold Cup, go to www.theamericangoldcup.com.
To see how your favorite horse and rider teams did during the competition, go towww.ShowNet.biz.