The Steve Stephens designed derby-style course featured fourteen numbered obstacles and eighteen jumping efforts utilizing the entire grass field at the Old Salem Farm. Today’s class was scored as a Table C, with knockdowns converted to four seconds in time, added to the total at the end of the round.
Knockdowns and added penalty time certainly wasn’t an issue for Fenney however, as she and MTM Centano were the only pair of the twenty that competed, to master the course without a rail down. She rolled across the finish line in 79.610 seconds for the Saturday win.
The long and challenging course took its toll and a good number of the original 32 entries decided not compete today. Fenney, however, was at a loss to explain why. “It wasn’t abnormally big or anything. It wasn’t super long and it they didn’t have the water in it. I didn’t see anything abnormal,” she said. “He didn’t have any of the rollbacks like he did the day before where a few people were kind of complaining about that. I thought it was quite nice, obviously,” she smiled.
It was a gratifying win for the veteran rider and her long-time partner. “When I come, I come to play. I come to show and play and do. I don’t have much choice, that’s just how we do it,” Fenney said.
“My horse has such a ginormous stride that he just covers the ground, so I did six to the purple. I think the riders, when they slowed down to do seven, they slid a lot and it kind of scared the horses,” Fenney said of fence #8 that proved to be one of the real problem spots on the course. “For a big horse he’s fast and pretty agile and turns well. He’s very brave. He’s real spooky outside the ring and everything else, but when he goes to the jumps, he aims to jump them.”
“Mike came here a long time ago and loved it and he said there’s nothing like The American Gold Cup and we should go do it,” Fenney said of her partner and trainer, Mike McCormick. “I was always hesitant on whether I can participate with these big guys and everything. I think my horses, obviously they can,” she smiled. “I’m just not used to jumping a lot of 1.60m and stuff like that.”
“Tracy and I own Centano and we’ve had him since he was five years-old, so he’s kind of our buddy,” McCormick added. “This was a little bit of a derby and they used a grob. He’s never jumped a grob, not in his whole life. Not until today. And certainly no banks and all that, not until today. So it’s pretty amazing that he dealt with all this,” he said. “The course took jumping ability and you had to be very careful and you had to be, obviously, fast. It’s a speed class and fault’s converted. We didn’t have to convert any faults, thank goodness.”
Charlie Jacobs and Flaming Star did have to convert, and their single rail down did indeed cost them a victory this afternoon. Jacobs ripped around the course in an original time of 77.330 seconds, but with the four second penalty, his total time was 81.330 seconds.
Richard Maloney and Alsvid also had an original time that would have nailed down the win, but they too had a single knockdown to bump up their final time to 83.290 seconds for a third place finish.
Same held true for fourth place finishers Todd Minikus and Zilox T. Their time on course was 79.460 seconds, but their final time was clocked in at 83.460 seconds.
Reed Kessler and Onisha finished in fifth place, cruising around in 87.730 seconds, a time that included a single rail on the turf.
Rounding out the top six was Everlychin de la Pomme and Shane Sweetnam who posted a final time of 88.200 seconds. That time took into account three knockdowns, so Sweetnam’s original time of 76.200 seconds was actually the fastest of the day.
“This is as lovely a show grounds,” McCormick continued. “It’s just lovely. I was here a long, long time ago and what a facelift. It’s more than a facelift, it’s a redo. It’s just beautiful. It feels good for the horses, it feels good for the riders. It’s a gorgeous place to show horses. It’s a good venue and a good place for The Gold Cup to be,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Charlotte Jacobs won the $25,000 SJHOF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic on Promised Land with the only double clear round of the afternoon.
Jacobs was thrilled to be competing on the grass at Old Salem “Oh, I love it. It’s definitely my favorite kind of ring to ride in, like Lake Placid, it’s awesome. It’s nice to come here and just fly around on a big field,” she smiled. “It’s my first time at Old Salem and it’s was definitely new trotting out there and it was actually Peanut’s (Promised Land) first time too.”
“It’s kind of relaxing just to have jumpers,” she added, “because I usually have six jumpers and two equitation horses and running back and forth everywhere is tough. And actually, I have to run to the Low Juniors right now.” And off she went.
First thing this morning, Alexandra Cherubini and Equifit Carlos scored the win in the $10,000 Mitchell-Innes & Nash Fine Art Adult Amateur Jumper Classic. She finished second on Equifit Navarado.
“I am thrilled to be here. I’ve never been to The Gold Cup because it’s always been in the Midwest, so I was super excited for it to be here,” said Cherubini, whose company, Equifit, came on board as a sponsor this week. “I’m a big fan of Stadium Jumping and I think they do an incredible job and I can’t wait to come back next year.”
And then there’s Rowdie Adams, a sixteen year-old who won the $10,000 Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic riding S&L Shoefly owned by S&L Farms.
She trains with Mike McCormick as well.
“I’m riding a horse called S&L Shoefly owned by Sam Edelman, S & L Farms, and he’s unbelievable. He can get me out of the horrible situations that I might accidentally put him in and he’s super fast, turns great, tries his hardest and he’s just unbelievable.”
Adams is a pretty remarkable story.
“This is my fourth week doing show jumping. I was a three-day event rider before and it’s a ton different. I’ve always been really bad at show jumping - well, I mean not bad, but it’s always been my roughest, and so I called Mike up and wanted a few lessons. He said he didn’t give lessons, but I begged and he decided to take me on. I just started jumping the big 5’3” oxers and that was way cooler. I loved doing that,” she smiled.
And, you like this more than eventing? “Yes! I just like being able to control everything about it and jumping the big fences is way more fun than jumping the tables. Most people think I’m crazy, but I like it better.”
She beat a field of nearly sixty yesterday and forty more today to secure the championship.
“I get to watch Tracy Fenney ride in The Gold Cup tomorrow. It’s so exciting! I know, she unbelievable.”
As far as being at the American Gold Cup, Adams said, “It’s so cool. I’ve never been to New York before let alone to something this big. I got to watch McLain Ward and I got to sit next to McLain Ward and the other day I almost got hit by him in his car!,” she laughed. “It was so cool being that close to an Olympian! It’s like super cool. I liked Beezie Madden. Watching her yesterday was so cool! It’s just so cool, there’s no other word for it. I was riding next to Reed Kessler today - it was so cool. It doesn’t get any cooler than this.”
Welcome to Show Jumping, Rowdie Adams! We need personalities like you!
We’ll see you tomorrow for the 42 edition of the American Gold Cup.
Amber Lewis - National Anthem singer
McLain Ward and Vocas - 7th
Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083 - 8th
Ben Meredith and Sandrik - 9th
Shane Sweetnam and Esquina Van Klapscheut - 10th
Adrienne Sternlicht and Oreade Des Dames - 11th
Georgina Bloomberg and Perfect De Coquerie - 12th
Ben Meredith and Kaskade out of the grob or Devils Dyke - 13th
Danielle Goldstein and Waliba VDL - 14th
OnlyJumper auction horses on display
PHOTOS BY: Kenneth Kraus and Parker/Russell - The Book LLC