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The stars to watch at the American Gold Cup CSI4*-W

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Kent Farrington. Photo by Phelps Media. The American Gold Cup gets underway on Sept. 11, 2013, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 15, culminating with the iconic event, the $200,000 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W, Presented by Suncast, on the grand prix field of Old Salem Farm. It will be an all-star event and will include an impressive list of show jumping's who's who, all focused on winning the American Gold Cup and bringing them one step closer to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup Finals in Lyon, France next spring.

The grass Grand Prix field at Old Salem Farm is known for its difficulty. FEI course designer Alan Wade is certain to build a challenging course that makes full use of the rolling terrain. "Old Salem is known as the one of the our country's finest facilities," said the 2012 American Gold Cup winner, Peter Leone, who won aboard Monica Carrera's Lincourt Gino. "It is one of the most challenging fields in North America."

Leone, who also won in 1988 with Threes and Sevens, will not compete this year but many international contenders will battle it out for the coveted Gold Cup. Beezie Madden, the current World Cup Champion, is a logical choice to watch. She was fourth last year with Cortes C and named the Dyer Equestrian Leading Lady rider. Madden has won the American Gold Cup twice, first in 1989 with Northern Magic and again in 2010 with Coral Reef Via Volo. She holds the No.1 position in the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List and stands in second place in the Longines World Rankings. Madden is a three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. In 2004, she was the first woman in the sport of show jumping to pass the $1 million mark in winnings.

Last year's second-place finisher, Kent Farrington, could certainly get the job done. Farrington is coming off a big win of the World Cup Qualifier at the Hampton Classic. He won the $200,000 CN Performance Grand Prix and the $400,000 CN Reliability Grand Prix - both at Spruce Meadows. Farrington is currently ranked eighth on the Longines World Rankings and third in the Rolex/USEF Ranking List for the U.S. He has never won the American Gold Cup.

Westchester County's own McLain Ward is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and is another mega-star to watch at the American Gold Cup. Ward was third at last year's Gold Cup with the impressive Wurtemburger gray gelding, Antares F. He was fifth at the 2013 World Cup Finals and is currently ranked in fifth place on the Rolex/USEF Ranking List. Ward has said that an American Gold Cup win is something that has eluded him and that he hopes to achieve. "It's one of the great competitions of our country," said Ward about the Gold Cup. Expect to see a spectacular effort from the ever-determined Ward.

Another athlete to watch is Pan American Games Gold Medalist, Christine McCrea who won the Friday American Gold Cup Qualifier in 2012. She won the Gold Cup in 2006 with Vegas and is currently ranked seventh on the Rolex/USEF Ranking List. McCrea has had a fantastic summer competition season with big grand prix wins at HITS Saugerties, Spruce Meadows and Old Salem.

Confirmed American Gold Cup competitor Margie Engle is one of the most successful show jumping athletes of all time. She has over 200 Grand Prix wins under her belt, has been named AGA Rider of the Year 10 times, has been on more than 20 winning Nations Cup teams and was the 1991 AHSA Equestrian of the Year. Engle is another good bet in the field of skilled contenders.

The 2013 American Gold Cup list of those confirmed to compete also includes young talent, Katie Dinan and Brianne Goutal. Fresh from major Grand Prix wins this summer are Pablo Barrios, Charlie Jayne, Todd Minikus, Paul O'Shea, Leslie Howard and more. It should make for a show jumping event for the record books.

NBC Sports Network will broadcast the $200,000 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W, Presented by Suncast the following week on Sunday, September 22 at 4:30 p.m. EST.

The American Gold Cup will feature world-class and Olympic athletes, such as current World Cup Show Jumping Champion Beezie Madden and Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward. Also confirmed to compete are show jumping mega-stars Reed Kessler, Kent Farrington, Margie Engle, Pan American Games Gold Medalist Christine McCrea and many more, all be vying to secure their position at the World Cup Finals in Lyon, France.

Highlights of the schedule include the $33,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome Stake on Thursday, the $100,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier presented by Double H Farm and Windsor Show Stables on Friday and the $50,000 Hermes Classic on Saturday. The featured event, the coveted $200,000 American Gold Cup, Presented by Suncast, will be held on Sunday, September 15, 2013, and broadcast on NBC Sports Network the following Sunday, September 22, 2013, at 4:30 p.m. EST.

The American Gold Cup will also feature a full array of jumper classes, including sections for Children and Adult Jumpers, Low and High Junior/Amateur Jumpers, plus Young Jumpers and Open Jumpers. New this year, the Zone 2 ASPCA Maclay Regional Championships will be held on Saturday in the Old Salem Farm indoor arena.

Old Salem Farm, located an hour north of New York City, boasts a state-of-the-art stabling facility, an historic pristine grass Grand Prix field and outstanding competition and schooling arenas, all of which are surrounded by one of the world's most quaint and picturesque competition venue settings. For the past two years, the Old Salem Farm competitions have been recognized by the North American Riders Group (NARG) on their NARG Top 25 List. For more information on Old Salem Farm, including its year-long competition schedule, prize lists, clinics, boarding, lessons and training, visit www.oldsalemfarm.net.

For further information, visit: www.stadiumjumping.com and http://www.theamericangoldcup.com/.

Source: Press release from Phelps media.

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