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.