The first event on the Grand Prix Field at Old Salem Farm during the 2013 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W yesterday, was the $3,000 Roberto Coin 1.35m Open Jumper Speed class. Out of 53 starters, there were 16 clear rounds, so riders had to put on the gas to score a top ribbon. The winner was Ireland's Darragh Kenny riding Top Gun IV, owned by Oakland Ventures of Ocala, FL, who used his mounts quick foot speed to finish in a handy 59.381 seconds without a single error. He was followed closely by Julie Welles riding Banana D'ive Z for North Star of East Aurora, NY, stopping the clock in a clear 61.716 seconds. Kyle Timm and Platinum, owned by the Apex Equestrian Center of Apex, NC, rounded out the top three with a faultless round in 62.760 seconds.
"I knew if I stayed on it in couple places that he's a very fast horse and very careful," said Kenny, who has only been showing Top Gun IV for a month. "The first couple of jumps I went quick, and it meant at the end I could slow down and he wouldn't get flat. He's very simple and very competitive; he likes to win."
The Irish native is excited to be making a splash at the American Gold Cup this year. "They have done an amazing job with this horse show," he commented. "It rained all last night and the footing is still fantastic. They run it like a proper horse show and the management does a fantastic job. It's a really enjoyable show to be at and I would never miss it."
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