The second day of the American Gold Cup highlighted the $35,000 Trelawny Farm Welcome Stake CSI4* to conclude Thursday’s competition in the Annex Ring at Old Salem Farm. Taking home her second win of the week thus far was the United States’ Kristen Vanderveen, who raced to the top of the leaderboard with Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili.
The speed class tested some of show jumping’s top athletes and horses over course designer Alan Wade’s 12-obstacle course set at 1.45m in height, which saw 23 produce clear efforts. Ninth in the ring out of 72 starters was Olympic veteran Margie Engle (USA) aboard Gladewinds Partners LLC’s Dicas. They crossed the finish line in 55.61 seconds to overtake early clear pathfinders and Wednesday’s winners of the $10,000 1.45m Jumper CSI4* class, presented by Morrissey Management Group, Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083.
For the majority of the class, Engle held her lead until Vanderveen entered the ring with Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili, owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC, as 55th in the order.
Fresh off her win in Wednesday’s $8,000 Danbury Porsche Audi 1.40m Jumper class with Bull Run’s Prince of Peace, Vanderveen piloted “Frosty,” the second of her two mounts in the class, to a blazing fast performance, stopping the timers a full three seconds ahead of Engle’s time in 52.81 seconds to move into the first place position, where she would ultimately stay.
“I actually haven’t been able to show Frosty in a speed [class] lately. It’s where he shines and he loves it,” Vanderveen shared. “Being a stallion, I think it’s important to keep him happy so I was quite excited coming into it. I had a horse go before him that I’m prepping for the grand prix so it was nice to get in there, go once around and see what everything was like. It gave me the ability to push it a little bit extra on Frosty. I did see Margie [Engle]’s round – she was brilliant.”
At the end of the day, Engle settled for second place honors, while 18-year-old Madison Goetzmann and Prestigious claimed third place in 56.70 seconds.
Vanderveen and the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion have been competing in international competition together since the start of 2015 and have collected numerous wins over the course of their partnership.
Thus far in 2018, they qualified for and competed at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Paris, France, in April after winning the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Qualifier Grand Prix CSI3*-W at Live Oak International one month earlier in March.
“He’s probably the horse I’ve owned the longest,” she commented. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a horse longer than I’ve owned him and I’m coming up on my fourth year with him. Our relationship is pretty special. We know each other personality-wise so I think that’s what gives us the extra edge, just knowing each other.”
Since then, they’ve gone on to secure multiple FEI wins at the Tryon International Equestrian Center this summer, including the $204,000 Coca-Cola Grand Prix CSI4* in June, and also won the $35,000 Grand Traverse Classic CSI3* at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in August.
Friday, Sept. 28, at the 48th American Gold Cup will feature the $80,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier CSI4*-W at 2 p.m. in addition to the presentation of the Hattie Banks Leading Lady Rider Award. The top 40 athletes from Friday will move on to compete in the week’s main event, the $204,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ New York CSI4*-W, on Sunday, Sept. 30.
12. Vic Des Cerisiers / Katherine A. Dinan / USA / 0 | 61.47