The 2019 American Gold Cup, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, returned Thursday for its second day of show jumping, which was highlighted by the $35,700 Staller Welcome Stake CSI4* in the grand grass field. Topping the leaderboard as the fastest duo throughout the one-round class, Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili emerged victorious to notch a win to their names, the second year in a row for the team after topping the $35,000 Trelawny Farm Welcome Stake CSI4* in 2018.
Sixty-three entries challenged course designer Alan Wade’s (IRL) winding 15-effort pattern in the $35,700 Staller Welcome Stake CSI4*, with speed the name of the game as the class operated as only one round against the clock. Ninth in the start list, Madison Goetzmann (USA) and her own Prestigious ran to the early lead thanks to their efficient time of 66.84 seconds, and at the halfway break the pair still maintained the top spot. Nearing the latter part of the order as the 39th to tackle the track, Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili, owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC, finally usurped the pacesetters with their fault-free round that stopped the clock in 65.89 seconds to propel to the top of the scorecard. More than 20 subsequent combinations aimed to chase down their swift time by slicing across the Grand Prix Ring, but only one pair would even come within one second of the leaders’ time. Cormac Hanley (IRL) and Heathman Farm LLC’s Copain Z earned second position overall with a clean time of 66.80 seconds, and Goetzmann and Prestigious held onto a podium spot with third position.
Vanderveen and “Frosty” are no strangers to the winner’s circle at the American Gold Cup, having won Thursday’s feature Welcome Stake in 2018 in addition to the $8,000 Porsche Danbury & Danbury Audi 1.40m Jumper class, held the day prior. Adding to the déjà vu, Goetzmann was also the third-place finisher aboard Prestigious in the 2018 installment of the class. A 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion, Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili has been partnered with Vanderveen since 2015, and the partnership has proved fruitful as they have accrued wins across the world in national and FEI competition.
With Vanderveen’s win, she has earned the status as the current chart-topper in the standings towards the CaptiveOne Advisors™ $15,000 Leading Rider Bonus, which will be awarded to the leading rider who accumulates the most points in competitions offering $25,000 or more in prize money, adding another level of excitement to the American Gold Cup’s week of competition. Five more classes meeting the prize money criteria are slated to take place throughout the week, offering exhibitors chances to work their way up the rankings.
Friday, Sept. 12, at the 49th American Gold Cup will feature the $75,000 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 $210,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ – New York CSI4*-W, on Sunday, Sept. 15.
From the winner's circle:
On her win:
“Last year [at the American Gold Cup], it rained more so this class was actually in the sand and it was great this year being able to start right out on the grass. [Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili] is a fantastic speed horse so it’s fun for me to get to start in these speed classes – he has a good time, I have a good time and we both get our nerves out a little bit. We both have a lot of fun going for it from the first round.”
On where she made up time:
“I tried to not go too crazy anywhere because I felt like with it being a big ring there were a lot of places for the horses to make mistakes if you got a little bit too carried away. I think maybe after the first combination I left out a stride there and started a little bit of a trend that helped keep our rhythm on a big open forward stride. I think that really set the tone for the rest of the course and he just fired for me and it all came together today.”
On her plan for the week:
“I actually am planning on using [Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili] for the grand prix. We’ll see how tomorrow goes – I have another really good horse (Bull Run’s Risen) as well that will jump the qualifier and then I’ll make my final decision tomorrow, so it’s a great problem to have. Both horses are jumping great so it’s a bit of a toss up.”
On the American Gold Cup:
“We love coming here. It’s a beautiful horse show and it’s so well run. It’s one of the first few horse shows that we’ve done back in the States – we got to tour in Europe. This is such a great venue. It’s as nice as any show can possibly be in Europe and it has a little bit of that European feel so it’s fun.”
On the CaptiveOne Advisors™ $15,000 Leading Rider Bonus:
“It’s always nice when there’s an incentive like that for the riders – everyone is here working really hard so it’s great to have that. I have one in all of the FEI classes this week so we at least have a shot at it!”