With the only double clear effort of the day, Kent Farrington and Gazelle galloped to victory in the $216,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York CSI4*-W to conclude the 2016 American Gold Cup on Sunday.
North Salem, N.Y. – Sept. 18, 2016 – The 2016 American Gold Cup came to a conclusion on Sunday, culminating a full week of world-class show jumping competition with the highly anticipated $216,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York CSI4*-W. Equestrian fans and spectators gathered at Old Salem Farm and watched as Kent Farrington (USA) captured the American Gold Cup aboard his own and Robin Parsky’s Gazelle.
Forty horses and athletes, who qualified for the week’s main event in Friday’s $86,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier, not only competed for the coveted prize money on Sunday, but also for valuable ranking points within the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League.
Course designer Alan Wade set a technical and challenging first round track in the $216,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York CSI4*-W, which only saw two athletes produce clear rounds to advance to the short course. The 13-fence obstacle course tested athletes and horses over triple and double combinations, a liverpool, tight rollbacks, fragile, narrow verticals and tricky bending lines.
Kent Farrington and Gazelle (Photo: The Book LLC)
Charlie Jacobs (USA) and Cassinja S, owned by CMJ Sporthorse, LLC, were the first clear pathfinders, making the course look effortless and easy. The crowd watched with bated breath as athlete after athlete followed Jacobs’ performance and attempted to finish fault-free over the first round track, but none were able to do so until 2016 U.S. Show Jumping Team silver medalist Farrington entered the Grand Prix Field as 36th in the order. He piloted the 10-year-old Belgium Warmblood mare to the last faultless finish of the first round, which would secure a jump-off between Farrington and Jacobs.
Going head-to-head in the tiebreaker, Jacobs returned to the field first to tackle the nine-fence jump-off course. The pair started strong over Wade’s shortened track, but the 10-year-old mare just brushed the back rail over the third to last oxer to collect 4 faults in 48.690 seconds. Thus, all Farrington had to do to win the class was jump clear.
The experienced show jumping veteran showed no mercy and did just that to claim his first grand prix victory at the American Gold Cup. With no faults, they crossed the finish line in 53.180 seconds for the win.
Kent Farrington and Gazelle leading the victory gallop.
“I thought Alan Wade built a difficult course today, which I think is well suited for a class of this prestige and prize money,” said Farrington. “With it also being a World Cup qualifier, I think it brings the best riders we have using top horses. It worked out for me to win today, but regardless of that I thought it was a great competition and I am thrilled to finally win the American Gold Cup. I’ve never done that before and it was on my list of things to do.”
Kent Farrington and Gazelle
However, Farrington was not done with his performance just yet as immediately after galloping through the timers, Gazelle spooked and knocked Farrington out of the saddle, demonstrating even an Olympic medalist and winner of the American Gold Cup still falls off from time to time. Farrington got right up and was all smiles as he caught Gazelle and took a bow for the crowd after sticking his involuntary landing.
“She spooked at something at the end of the jump-off,” said Farrington. “She did that in the first round. She’s a really special horse. A lot of my horses are like that. I try to find horses that are careful, and that makes them a bit skittish and sometimes a little bit funny about anything moving fast or anything that looks a bit different to them. That’s their quality and that’s what makes them great and able to win a lot of classes. It’s also makes them a little strange sometimes and you don’t know exactly what they are going to do. I finished the round and I thought, ‘Oh that’s over,’ and I leaned forward to give her a pat on the neck and canter around the pond and she had a different idea to turn around and go back to the gate. So we compromised with a front flip and bow!”
Kent Farrington all smiles leading Gazelle out of the Grand Prix Field after an unexpected fall at the end of his jump-off round.
For Jacobs, Sunday’s runner-up finish not only adds to his list of impressive second place finishes collected throughout the summer with Cassinja S, but it also moved him up to the number one spot in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American East Coast League rankings. The pair was also second in the $375,000 CP Grand Prix at the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ CSI5* Tournament in June as well as in the $300,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix at the beginning of September.
“First and foremost, congratulations to Kent on a great ride,” said Jacobs. “Thank you to Longines and the organizing committee for a wonderful week of showing here at the American Gold Cup.
Charlie Jacobs and Cassinja S (Photo: The Book LLC)
“I am fortunate to have a really good team behind me,” continued Jacobs, an amateur competitor who balances work and showing as the CEO of Delaware North’s Boston Holdings including the Boston Bruins. “They look after my horses and keep them in top shape. When I arrive at a place like Calgary or here, the horses already have some good days under their belts and I am able to go right in the ring. I think it also speaks volumes about the quality of the horses. This is the third major grand prix in a row this summer that she has been second in. That speaks a lot to her consistency and her quality.”
Taking third place honors was the fastest of the athletes with a single time fault, Lauren Tisbo (USA) and Coriandolo Di Ribano, owned by Tequestrian Farms, LLC. “Coriandolo Di Ribano is a young horse,” said Tisbo. “I just got him in the middle of February. This was a big step up for him so I am very happy with his round today!”
Lauren Tisbo and Coriandolo Di Ribano (Photo: The Book LLC)
In addition, the top five placings in Sunday’s grand prix all went to U.S. athletes as Laura Kraut and St. Bride’s Farm’s Confu finished in fourth place on 1 time fault in the first round, while McLain Ward and Double H Farm’s HH Carlos Z finished in fifth place on 4 faults.
Laura Kraut and Confu – Fourth Place
McLain Ward and HH Carlos Z – Fifth Place
With no other major championships occurring in 2017, athletes, such as Farrington, are focused on qualifying for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Finals in Omaha, Nebraska, in March 2017, and the American Gold Cup is proud to host the second leg of the East Coast qualifying events.
“This year, especially with it being in the United States, I’d like to go if I feel like I have a horse that is on form at that time,” said Farrington. “I’ve been to the World Cup Finals a few times. I really only want to go if I think I’m going to be a contender, but I’d like to plan on going right now.
“The World Cup Final is a very particular type of competition,” continued Farrington. “It’s in a small indoor arena so you really need an indoor specialist. They have to be able to hold up over five rounds, which is a lot of jumping. I wouldn’t necessarily take Voyeur, who is an older horse. He’s done multiple championships already for me. I think that would be a big ask of him at this point in his career. I’d rather spot him towards individual competitions. If one of my younger ones is ready, in my eyes, to go then I’ll take a swing at it.”
Top three finishers of the $216,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York CSI4*-W left to right: Michael Morrissey, Charlie Jacobs, Kent Farrington and Lauren Tisbo.
Event Manager Michael Morrissey wrapped up the 46thannual American Gold Cup saying, “First, I am very proud that the FEI and Longines had faith in us to produce one of the seven World Cup qualifiers on the East Coast. It is such a pleasure being at Old Salem Farm. It’s a privilege to be here and to put on a quality horse show at this setting.”
Alexandra Crown and Von Cim
Earlier in the day, Farrington’s student Alexandra Crown also stood in the winner’s circle. She took home the top honors in the $25,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic with her own Von Cim after leading the jump-off from start to finish.
Crown was the first to return for the 13-horse jump-off, but she set a standard that could not be caught. After making a sharp rollback to one of the tall verticals, Crown left out strides to the final obstacles and dashed across the finish line with all the rails intact in a time of 38.099 seconds.
“Our plan was to go competitive, but still leave the jumps up and put pressure on others so they might make mistakes and have jumps down,” explained Crown. “It worked out really well — Von Cim was perfect.”
Alex Matz and Cashew CR
The plan worked out, with Alex Matz being the only other athlete able to produce a faultless jump-off. He broke the beam at a slower 42.736 seconds to take home second place honors with Dorothy Matz’s Cashew CR. McKayla Langmeier was the last to go and was able to catch Crown’s time with Linda Langmeier’s Laney, but it came at the expense of a rail for 4 faults in 37.721 seconds to place third, sealing Crown’s victory.
Alexandra Crown and Von Cim
Results: $216,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York CSI4*-W
1. 0748 Gazelle Kent Farrington usa 0 80.81 0 53.18
bay / 10y. / M / BWP / Kashmir van Schuttershof / Indoctro / 103IR57 / Robin Parsky & Kent Farrington
2. 0113 Cassinja S Charlie Jacobs usa 0 83.19 4 48.69
bay / 10y. / M / DSP / Carinjo / Cassini I / 103TL23 / Cmj Sporthorse, LLC
3. 0391 Coriandolo Di Ribano Lauren Tisbo usa 1 85.46
bay / 9y. / S / ASSI / Cassini II / Baldini / 104HO60 / Tequestrian Farms, LLC
4. 0378 Confu Laura Kraut usa 1 86.69
grey / 9y. / G / HOLST / Contact me / Cambridge / 103UE92 / St. Bride’s Farm
5. 0626 HH Carlos Z McLain Ward usa 4 81.59
bay / 14y. / G / ZANG / Voltaire / BEL41129 / Double H Farm
6. 0345 Lordan Nayel Nassar egy 4 82.49
bay / 12y. / S / HANN / Lordanos / Landor / 102VE88 / Nassar, Nayel
7. 0408 Corette Keean White can 4 83.08
bay / 9y. / M / KWPN / Lupicor / Clinton / 103VV10 / Angelstone Farms, Javier Salvador S
8. 1037 Mtm Reve du Paradis Tracy Fenney usa 5 84.37
grey / 11y. / G / SF / Crown Z / Adelfos / 103KT01 / Mtm Farm
9. 0380 Grafton Conor Swail irl 5 84.73
chest / 10y. / S / SF / Calvaro / Vondeen / 103NX31 / Susan and Ariel Grange
10. 0131 Chaqui Z Shane Sweetnam irl 5 85.10
bay / 10y. / S / ZANG / Chacco-Blue / Quinar Z / 103JI82 / Spy Coast Farm, LLC & Shane Sweetnam
11. 0441 Grand Cru vd Vijf Eiken Vanessa Mannix can 5 85.65
bay / 10y. / S / BWP / Contact van de Heffinck / Heartbreaker / 103JP15 / Vanessa Mannix
12. 0638 Callas III Danielle Torano usa 5 85.89
chest / 9y. / M / OLDBG / Albatros / Quattro B / 104BI52 / Danielle Laurenzo Torano
Results: $25,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic
1. Von Cim Alexandra Crown 0 68.441 0 38.099
2. Cashew CR Alex Matz 0 71.901 0 42.736
3. Laney Mckayla Langmeier 0 70.405 4 37.721
4. Contact Hillary Mcnerney 0 70.607 4 38.927
5. Cardella Lucy Matz 0 70.427 4 40.239
6. Why Not Sophie Simpson 0 67.545 8 36.307
7. Ryanair De Riverland Taylor Alexander 0 68.509 8 36.706
8. Vitesse Hillary Mcnerney 0 67.874 8 36.767
9. Paola 233 Emily Perez 0 69.826 8 41.424
10. Alvarino 2 Juan Pablo Gnecco 0 67.700 17.00 52.550
11. Utopie De La Vigne Lily Hahn 0 68.510 17.00 56.635
12. Casper Ailish Cunniffe 0.00 70.948 24.00 71.303