Passing thunderstorms did not deter the exciting action during the second day of the 2013 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W. The international jumping competition featured the $33,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome Stake, where McLain Ward of Brewster, NY bested 60 entries to capture the winning honors on the Grand Prix Field at Old Salem Farm.
Alan Wade of Ireland set a challenging track for the opening round of the $33,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome Stake, which utilized all of the Grand Prix Field and included three double combinations, as well as technical vertical-oxer-oxer line. Twenty-two of the original 60 staring entries qualified for the jump-off. For the short track, the competitors began with three fences set off of long distances, before galloping to an oxer off of a blind turn. They then made sharp rollback to a single vertical, before finishing over a vertical-oxer double combination to an airy vertical.
Yesterday's winner in the 1.40m Open Jumpers, Ireland's Shane Sweetnam, was the first to return for the tiebreaker, riding Cyklon 1083 for Spy Coast Farm of East Setauket, NY. They made it look easy, never touching a rail and breaking the beam at 34.90, setting the pace to beat.
Fellow Irishman Andrew Bourns had the next faultless round aboard New Boy De Logerie, but in an effort to leave the fences up their time of 39.68 would only be good enough for fourth. Although young rider Katie Dinan of New York, NY, had an untimely dismount from her first qualified jump-off mount, she returned with her second horse Couletto K James to complete the short course without error in 40.07 seconds for fifth place. Judy Garofalo Torres of Wellington, FL, was next with Quattro Queen, and they all left all the rails intact, tripping the timers at 41.33 seconds to round out the top six.
Quentin Judge and HH Wilco, owned by Double H Farm of Wellington, FL, added their names to the list of double clears with one of the faster rounds by making sharp inside turns with his experienced mount. They crossed the finish line in 37.82 seconds to take home the third place award.
The only competitor that could top Sweetnam came from the final faultless jump-off round. McLain Ward was on his home turf and proved he could not be beat with his talented mount Cadence, owned by Procedures Inc of Agoura, CA. The duo picked up a quick pace to first fence and never held back; making sharp inside turns to both of the single oxers before galloping home over the final line. Ward and Cadence captured the victory, relegating Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083 to second place.
"Cadence is a very fast horse to start out with," explained Ward. "He's very quickand he knows the job well. There was a very difficult inside turn to the fourth fence. He's really honest and he tries really hard for you, so I knew I could take a little risk there. I was dealing cards a little coming down the last line, but the horse helped me out."
Ward began riding Cadence this summer, and the pair has already been very successful, winning in Dublin, Ireland, and at the Spruce Meadows Tournament. "He's been a great horse," said Ward. "He's really pretty easy and straightforward. He knows the game and he's always trying to win for you."
The American Gold Cup is an historical event that Ward is proud to be involved with, and thrilled that it has taken root at Old Salem Farm. "What the Hakim family has done with this venue is incredible," he expressed. "The Gold Cup was looking for a home and I spoke with Michael Morrissey personally about coming here. This is a great match. This is a real horse community with good people. I am proud of the job that Stadium Jumping has done, that Old Salem has done, and I am proud to be a part of it with my community. I personally feel this is the best horse show in America."
Class 100, $33,000 DON LITTLE MEMORIAL WELCOME STAKE
1/196/CADENCE /MCLAIN WARD /0/0/0/0.000/ /0/0/33.660//
2/151/CYKLON 1083 /SHANE SWEETNAM /0/0/0/67.680/ /0/0/34.900//
3/643/HH WILCO /QUENTIN JUDGE /0/0/0/0.000/ /0/0/37.820//
4/595/NEW BOY DE LOGERIE /ANDREW BOURNS /0/0/0/0.000/ /0/0/39.680//
5/51/COULETTO K JAMES /KATHERINE DINAN /0/0/0/0.000/ /0/0/40.070//
6/645/QUATTRO QUEEN /JUDY GAROFALO TORRES /0/0/0/0.000/ /0/0/41.330//
7/1/UBRIS /SARAH SEGAL /0/0/0/0.000/4/0/4/37.800//
8/323/WAOMI /MEAGAN NUSZ /0/0/0/0.000/4/0/4/39.510//
9/224/HATHAWAY /ADRIENNE STERNLICHT /0/0/0/0.000/4/0/4/41.300//
10/326/CAMBITO /PAIGE JOHNSON /0/0/0/0.000/4/0/4/42.720//
11/414/CAMPBELL VDL /CANDICE KING /0/0/0/0.000/4/0/4/43.370//
12/449/PICOLO /DARRAGH KENNY /0/0/0/0.000/4/0/4/47.360//
Source: Press release from Phelps Media Group.
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