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McLain Ward kicks off The Amercian Gold Cup with a win

Thursday, 13 September 2012

McLain Ward and Esplanade sail away with the win in the Hallmark Feeds.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."

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."

Source: press release Phelps Media Group Inc.

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