Sing me some sweet tunes of victory, Chuck! Abigail McArdle piloted the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding Chuck Berry 8 to the top of the scoreboard on the first day of the American Gold Cup, sending 77 other horses packing without a blue ribbon of their own.
With a one-round speed course on the docket, the pair had just one chance to prove themselves and go pedal to the metal for a top time of 57.43 seconds.
“It was great,” said Abby after their win. “There was actually a lot of lines so you had to really make up your speed in the turns back on both doubles, and of course in the long gallop coming home to the last line.”
The pair are coming off a big win in the CSI 3* at Great Lakes, and are proving themselves to be a match for the future.
“We got [Chuck Berry 8] towards the end of Florida from Germany. I’ve seen a huge change in him from Florida. I think our breakthrough was at Upperville and we’ve just been going up and up since then. I planned to go out there and win it today and he really executed that perfectly for me. He’s very quirky, but we love him to death. He’s beautiful on the ground but he’s hot. He has a lot of personality so that’s been really fun to get to know. In Germany, he was so hot they said they never rode him on the flat, they just lunged him and then he would go in the ring. When we got him there was a lot to work on. He wasn’t used to having someone on his back working him every day. Now he’s really stepping up his game.”
Amber Harte put up a good fight, taking home nearly as much cash as the winner by slotting her mounts Austria 2 and Cafino second and third, respectively. Andrew Ramsay and his charming partner Cocq A Doodle locked in a fourth place slot, followed by Catherine Tyree and Catungee to round out the top five.
We also got a peek at a new mount for Beezie Madden: Jiva, an eight-year-old BWP mare just imported from Europe last month and now owned by Abigail Wexner. They had a top ten finish, and we’ll hope to see more of these two together soon!
There’s plenty more action to come from the AGC, including the first FEI class later today: the $35,000 Don Little Memorial Opener. You can watch all the action on the AGC live stream on their home page and the FEI World Qualifer classes on FEI TV.