North Salem, N.Y. – Sept. 14, 2017 – The second day of the American Gold Cup highlighted the $35,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome Stake CSI4* to conclude Thursday’s competition on the Grand Prix Field at Old Salem Farm.
The speed class tested top equestrian athletes over Alan Wade’s 12-obstacle course set at 1.45m in height. Sixth in the ring out of 66 horse-and-athlete combinations, Andrew Ramsay (USA) maintained his quick, clear effort in 61.41 seconds to hold the lead throughout the entirety of the class with The Doodle Group’s Cocq A Doodle.
The 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood was the first of Ramsay’s three rides including Stranger 30 and California 62, but the young mare produced his only clear round for their first American Gold Cup performance.
Fresh off of Wednesday’s success in the $8,000 Douglas Elliman 1.40m Jumper CSI4*, Abigail McArdle (USA) again rode Plain Bay Sales’ Chuck Berry 8 to a top placing, finishing second in a time of 62.63 seconds. McArdle, winner of the 2015 $35,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome Stake CSI4* with Cosma 20, and the 10-year-old Hannoverian gelding teamed up towards the end of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival and are consistently proving to be a winning partnership.
Jack Hardin Towell, Jr. (USA) rode the 11-year-old gelding New York, owned by Evergate Stables LLC, to third place in a time of 63.55 seconds.
Adam Prudent (USA) and Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam rode to identical times of 64.59 seconds to create a tie for fourth place. Prudent and Plain Bay Sales’ Victorio 5 were the early clear pathfinders of the class, just ahead of Ramsay in the order-of-go. Sweetnam was aboard The Blue Buckle Group LLC’s Indra Van De Oude Heihoef.
The $35,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome Stake CSI4* is established in memory of legendary horseman Donald V. Little and has been featured at the American Gold Cup since 2013. An accomplished show jumper, fox hunter and polo player, Little pioneered the syndicated racehorse business in the early 1980s. The American Gold Cup’s Donald V. Little memorial competition continues to support and promote his dedication to and passion for the sport.
Friday, Sept. 15, at the 47th American Gold Cup will feature the $86,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier CSI4*-W, presented by Windsor Show Stables, at 2 p.m. on the Grand Prix Field with an exhibitor party immediately following. The top 40 athletes from Friday will move on to compete in the week’s main event, the $216,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York CSI4*-W, on Sunday, Sept. 17.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Andrew Ramsay – $35,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome Stake CSI4* winner
On Cocq A Doodle:
“Cocq A Doodle came from Molly Ashe [Cawley] and we’ve had her just over a year and a half. She’s a fantastic mare and a blast to be on. She’s 10 years old and eager as can be. We competed for the first time at Old Salem Farm in the spring and she really made the field her own. We came in to the American Gold Cup this week knowing that she was in a good place and it’s a good field for her. She loves the field. She can gallop up and down on the grass, use her stride and go from a short turn to a full gallop in just one step. She’s very quick on the throttle. It was our plan coming in with her today to be very competitive. We wanted to set up the other two for tomorrow and Sunday. She came out and did everything I hoped she would do. She really dug in there and was a blast to ride. Speed is her natural gear and it does work out on these big fields; inside it’s more challenging. She jumps well out of pace. If I start trying to hold or ride the collect or add, she’s just not comfortable with it. It works out well for these speed classes.”
On his plan for the rest of the week:
“Cocq A Doodle is not competing on Sunday. She’s 10 and we’ve been taking our time with her. We’re trying to build her up and take good, positive steps along the way. She’s been in a great place and we’re thrilled with where she is. Stranger 30 will jump the qualifier on Friday and then I’ll either jump him or California 62 on Sunday. Whoever doesn’t jump Sunday between those two I’ll ride at the [Rolex Central Park Horse Show] next week.”
On his partnership with Chris Kappler Inc.:
“Chris Kappler and I joined together at the end of Wellington this year and we merged our stables together. I came off of being with George [Morris] and George actually helped set up the whole thing. It’s been an amazing transition and wonderful next step. Wellington is home and this summer we’ve been at George’s old place at Hunterdon so it’s really come full circle. I’ll have to give George a call tonight and let him know it’s all going well.”
$35,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome Stake CSI4*:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / Total Faults / Time
1. Cocq A Doodle / Andrew Ramsay / USA / The Doodle Group / 0 / 61.41
2. Chuck Berry 8 / Abigail McArdle / USA / Plain Bay Sales / 0 / 62.63
3. New York / Jack Hardin Towell, Jr. / USA / Evergate Stables LLC / 0 / 63.55
4. Victorio 5 / Adam Prudent / USA / Plain Bay Sales / 0 / 64.59
4. Indra Van De Oude Heihoef / Shane Sweetnam / IRL / The Blue Buckle Group LLC / 0 / 64.59
6. Dicas / Margie Engle / USA / Storm Ridge Capital, Show Horses Inc. and Gladewinds / 0 / 64.88
7. Merqusio / Richie Moloney / IRL / Equinimity LLC / 0 / 65.10
8. Jiva / Beezie Madden / USA / Abigail Wexner / 0 / 66.13
9. Gentille Van Spieveld / Leslie Howard / USA / Peter Howard and GJ Stable / 0 / 66.84
10. Coriandolo Di Ribano / Lauren Tisbo / USA / Tequestrian Farms, LLC / 0 / 67.35
11. Jeleena De Muze / Lauren Tisbo / USA / Tequestrian Farms, LLC / 0 / 68.08
12. Retiro / Peter Lutz / USA / M. Michael Meller and Katherine Gallagher / 0 / 68.48