North Salem, NY-September 22, 2012-Peter Leone, aboard Lincourt Gino, sailed to the win as the only double clear horse and rider combination in the starting field of 29 at the $200,000 American Gold Cup at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY, on Sunday, Sept. 16. Leone's clean round (44.050 seconds) placed him ahead of Kent Farrington, who came in second riding Voyeur with a time of 41.630 seconds with four faults in the second round.
McLain Ward, riding Antares F, claimed third place with a time of 42.00 seconds with four faults in round two, while Beezie Madden, riding Cortes C, earned the fourth place ribbon with a time of 43.140 seconds, also with four faults in the jump-off.
Leone, an Olympic silver medalist, rode third in the jump-off and said his strategy was to see how it unfolded as Madden and Farrington took to the course before him and how he would use that information to keep Ward, the fourth rider, at bay.
Leone, indeed, poured on the juice in the jump-off as he sliced the left turn between the oxer at #3B and the single at #4, shaving precious time off his ride. Gino was happy to oblige and handily galloped through the rest of the eight-jump course. Gino is a 9-year-old Irish Sporthorse gelding owned by Monica Carrera, a junior at Endicott College.
Ward, a two-time Olympic Gold medalist who rode last, knew he was going to have to trim some time after Leone's clear round. The 12-year old gelding, Antares, stumbled between the oxer at #3B and the single at #4, putting Ward at a disadvantage.
Farrington, 31, rode Voyeur, a 10-year-old Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding, second in the jump-off. He also knew what he needed to do after Madden knocked a rail down at the green and white oxer at #3B. Voyeur jumped the first wall of the double on #3 high and then knocked down a rail on the second jump, the oxer at #3B, an obvious bugaboo during Sunday's American Gold Cup competition.
Madden, a two-time winner of the American Gold Cup and first in the order of go, also had a challenge when she and 10-year-old Cortes took a rail at the green and white oxer on the #6 jump.
The weather was picture perfect throughout the five-day show at Old Salem Farm, and Stadium Jumping, Inc., provided the top-notch riders and spectators exciting classes, a beautiful venue, challenging courses, tempting shopping, scrumptious food, intriguing special events and a friendly atmosphere to make the show a resounding success.
To learn more about the American Gold Cup, go to www.theamericangoldcup.com.
To see how your favorite horse and rider teams did during the competition, go to www.ShowNet.biz.
Photos: Peter Leone and Lincourt Geno claimed the $200,000 American Gold Cup; Kent Farrington and Voyeur's time landed them in second place at the finals of The American Gold Cup; McLain Ward and Antares F placed third at The American Gold Cup finals.