North Salem, NY − September 12, 2012 – The first day of The American Gold Cup FEI CSI 4* dawned clear and cool with a cloudless sky in North Salem, NY. The magnificent Old Salem Farm is the new home of the 2012 show after an off-and-on hiatus and it’s back and better than ever. The American Gold Cup is one of the world’s most prestigious show jumping events, now celebrating its forty-second year.
The highlight of Wednesday’s action 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.
“Esplanade is a nice seasoned horse, has a lot of experience on grass fields like this,” he said. “I went pretty early in the order but I knew what my plan was and I was lucky enough she performed great and then held up for the whole afternoon.” Ward said he has been riding the 14-year-old chestnut mare for the owners, Louisburg Farm, off and on for about two years. “I don’t show her too often because she’s a Iittle bit in her sunset years but when she comes out, she’s normally in the prizes.”
Ward, who is from the North Salem area, said he’s 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. “You know, Steve doesn’t dummy down the size ever and I think you know that coming in,” Ward said.
Ward also credited Stadium Jumping, Inc., with putting on an excellent horse show. “I think Stadium Jumping has always been synonymous with a quality event and a real show and it’s something that we as the riders really want – you know – great sport,” Ward explained. “It was a great start and you really can’t ask for it to be any better.
Michael Morrissey, the president of Stadium Jumping and the show manager, is pleased with the new venue “It’s a great farm,” he said. “It’s a great place to set up a horseshow, that’s for sure. It’s got a lot of natural beauty and you can enhance that.” Morrissey said he is happy with the turn out with about 500 jumpers entered in the numerous classes offered throughout the week. ”This is a great fresh start,” he continued. “The show didn’t happen last year. Participation, sponsorships − it’s been a win-win situation.”
Other classes got underway today for the five-day event and Peter Leone came away with the blue ribbon in the $1,500 Fairfield Equine 1.30m Jumper class aboard Tiffany owned by Monica Carrera. The chestnut mare was fast and handy.
“For the level of sport she does, she’s one of the nicest, winningest horses I’ve ever ridden in my life,” Leone said. “She’s fast. She’s careful. She’s honest. She’s a winner. And she’s Monica Carrera’s Number One horse. She’ll be showing it in the amateur jumpers later this week and that was Tiffany’s tune-up ride.”
Leone was also impressed with the beautiful Old Salem Farm. “It’s actually a bigger and better venue than before,” he said, and added that although the previous site for The American Gold Cup in Devon, PA, was traditionally and historically important, the new home is outstanding. “And the work that’s been done on this Grand Prix field makes it, arguably, if not the best for sure tied for the best grass jumping arenas in our country, in North America. And the footing that’s been put into these sand rings, the all-weather footing, again brings this to a five-star facility. So, I’m thrilled it’s here.”
Also in the ribbons on Day One 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.
Placing second in the $1500 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.
The show runs through Sept. 16, with the famed $200,000 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W FEI World Cup Qualifying Competition as the highlight event on Sunday. Other exciting classes include the $10,000 Danbury Porsche 1.45m Speed class on Thursday, the $50,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier on Friday and the $35,000 Double H Farm American Gold Cup Jumper Classic on Saturday.
AMERICAN GOLD CUP FAST FACTS
The $200,000 American Gold Cup
September 12-16, 2012
Old Salem Farm, 190 June Road, North Salem, NY
8am – 5pm daily
Old Salem Farm is New York state’s Westchester County’s premier equestrian facility, offering 26 annual competitions, boarding, training and sales. At Old Salem you will find state-of-the-art facilities, top-level training, all surrounded by 120 gorgeous acres for riding.
Old Salem annually holds 26 USEF A, B & C rated competitions. The venue holds at least one competition a month. The most prominent are May 8-13, 2012 AA rated with a Grand Prix and May 15-20, 2012 with Grand Prix. The American Gold Cup will provide the elite high performance competition to Old Salem’s calendar. In 2010 the Old Salem Spring Show was voted one of the Top 25 Horse Shows in America by NARG. The owners have spent over $30 million in renovations to make this a world class facility.
Stalls are 10 x 10 and housed under canvas. The FEI stalls are 10 X 12 and stabling area will be secured by fencing with 24/7 security. FEI horses will be scheduled to school separately from non-FEI horses. Schedules will be posted and riders will be given notification of times during the horse inspection.
Available on the grounds
From Interstate 84 or Interstate 287: Take interstate 684 to exit 8 (Hardscrabble Road, turn right. Old Salem Farm is on the right.
Before Show – before 9/7/12 941-744-5465 800-237-8924
During Show – 914-669-5610 ext 201
Stable office – 941-744-5465
Prize List Advertising – 941-744-5465
Vendors – Matt Morrissey 941-915-3457
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12230 Forest Hill Blvd.
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (office phone)
Ring dimensions and footing:
Grand Prix Field 350′x450′, footing bluegrass mix turf. Grand Prix Annex 200′x250′, Schooling 130′x170′. Jumper Annex 146′x307′, Schooling 155′x173′. Indoor 115′x195′, Schooling 74′x135′. Hunter 138′x243′, Schooling 108′x158′. Footing in all arenas is all weather German-designed fiber and sand.
Footing in all rings and schooling areas have drainage mats, sand and fibermix. Schooling areas are located adjacent to all competition rings. Lighting can be made available for the outdoor rings. However no night classes are scheduled. If inclement weather arrives there is the option to use the indoor sand arena as either for competition or schooling.
Danbury, CT 10-20 min from grounds
Hilton Gardens (203) 205-2000
Comfort Inn (203) 205-0800
Danbury Plaza (203) 795-0600
Ethan Allen (203) 774-1776
Spring Hill Suites (203) 744-7333
Residence Inn (203) 797-1256
West Lane Inn (203) 438-7323
Brewster, NY 5-10 min
Heidi’s Motel (845) 279-8011
Mt. Kisco, NY 5-10 min
Holiday Inn (914) 241-2600
Stadium Jumping, Inc
STADIUM JUMPING INC.: Corporate Office
1301 Sixth Ave. West, Suite 406
Bradenton, FL 34205