Ireland's Shane Sweetnam Tops $8,000 Danbury Porsche Audi 1.40m Open Jumper Aboard Solerina

Shane Sweetnam and Solerina. Photo by The Book LLC 2013
Shane Sweetnam and Solerina. Photo by The Book LLC 2013

North Salem, NY - September 11, 2013 - The 2013 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W returned to the picturesque Old Salem Farm today to kick-off the week-long international jumping competition featuring the world's top athletes. Thanks to phenomenal reviews from 2012, a large number of entries created a section split for the day's main event on the Grand Prix Field: the $8,000 Danbury Porsche Audi 1.40m Open Jumper class.

During the first section, it was Ireland's Shane Sweetnam and Solerina who bested Todd Minikus and Uraguay by three seconds at the end of the class with a quick and clear jump-off. Allison Robatille made a splash in Section B, competing in her first jump-off class since November with her veteran mount Cover Girl, who was just returning from injury, beating Meagan Nusz and Elias by a full second in the tiebreaker.

Ireland's Alan Wade designed two tracks for the day's feature class, each winding throughout the large field and including multiple bending lines as well a vertical-oxer double combination, and an oxer-vertical double combination. With over 40 competitors in each class, it came down to speed and accuracy in the jump-off. Fifteen horses showed over the short course in the first section, which began at the far end of the field and used the oxer-vertical double combination, as well as multiple places to slice fences and finished over an oxer towards the gate.

Todd Minikus and Uraguay. Photo by The Book LLC 2013
Todd Minikus and Uraguay. Photo by The Book LLC 2013

Todd Minikus was only the fourth athlete to compete aboard Uraguay, owned by Legacy Stables of Princeton, NJ, but he set the target early in the class. After a faultless round, they managed to mimic the clear effort during the jump-off, making inside turns and breaking the beam at 32.773 seconds. 

Ten rounds later, Sarah Segal made a bid for the win with Ubris, owned by Chartwell of Flemington, NJ. Although they managed to leave all the fences in tact and leave a stride out to the last fence, their time of 34.273 fell just shy of the leader and they took home fourth place. Meagan Nusz of Houston, TX, was right on Segal's heels, piloting Waomi to a clear time of 34.763 for the fifth place honors.

Roberto Teran missed Minikus' time by just 2/10ths of a second riding Woklahoma for the Ark Partners of Wellington, FL. They also posted a clear round, but crossed the finish in line in 32.992 seconds for the third place award.

Shane Sweetnam was one of the final competitors to show in the first section, but his experienced mount Solerina was ready to win. They had a strong gallop to the first three fences, only steadying for the double combination before slicing the final vertical and leaving a stride out to the last oxer. The duo blazed across the finish line in 29.770 seconds, jumping straight to the top of the leader board and leading the victory gallop.

"I think I was quick enough from one, two and three and then I took a little time to the double," explained Sweetnam. "Then I just let go and went across to the second to last and I knew if I got a good shot there, that I'd have a chance to do the one less to the last. She's got quite a big stride and she doesn't spend too much time in the air. In the second round I know she can be quick enough to be lucky enough to keep all the jumps up."

Owned by Spy Coast Farm and Sweet Oak Farm, Solerina is a 14-year-old Irish Sporthorse mare by Cruising that Sweetnam began riding last year. After winning the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix, Solerina used a month of working at home to come out fresh and ready for a victory.

"I think since I've had her she nearly picks up a win in every class, so her results are phenomenal," smiled Sweetnam. "She's got a little bit of character, but her results make up for it. She'll do two of the four indoors next. Last year she had a good indoors and I know her better this year, so I think she'll have a good one again this year."

Sweetnam was happy to return to the 2013 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W noting, "Michael Morrissey and the staff do a great job here. It gets better every year. It's great money and the footing looks to be so much better this year. They're trying to upgrade it and make it a really good four-star show. I appreciate it and all the other riders appreciate it."

In the second section of the $8,000 Danbury Porsche Audi 1.40m Open Jumper, fourteen horses advanced to the short course. This time the jump-off was held opposite of the in-gate, beginning with a sharp rollback from a single vertical to a single oxer, and finishing with a double combination to a final wide-oxer.

Only five athletes posted double clear efforts, the first coming from Lauren Tisbo of Wellington, FL, and Darconscheefkasteel Z. The pair stopped the timers at 31.227, which would be good enough for fourth place. Judy Garaofalo Torres of Wellington, FL, and Quattro Queen were the slowest of the double clears for fifth place.

Megan Nusz scored another top placing for Amalaya Investments, this time piloting Elias to a clear round in 31.084 seconds, which captured the second place honors. Hillary Simpson was just a fraction away from Nusz's time with Chinwies BZ, owned by Palmyra Partners LLC of Southern Pines, NC. Their faultless round clocked in at 31.149 seconds for third place.

Allison Robatille and Cover Girl. Photo by Rebecca Walton
Allison Robatille and Cover Girl. Photo by Rebecca Walton

Allison Robatille and Cover Girl produced the fast clear jump-off. Despite today's class marking Cover Girl's first jump-off after sustaining an injury in November, the mare proved that she was in top form.  Utalizing her mare's large stride, Robatille picked up a quick pace to first fence, slicing the rollback, and then quickly making it towards the next two fences.

"Cover Girl is an amazing horse," expressed Robatille. "She got injured last November after winning the Nations Cup in Buenos Aires. I've been slowly bringing her back. I showed her at Spruce Meadows and she did 1.10m and 1.20m, and did her first 1.45m class at the Hampton Classic. This was the first time I felt like she was ready to do two rounds in a row."

Robatille continued, "Now that she is back jumping, I have needed to make myself put the injury behind us and just ride her like I normally would, so I am not being too cautious and too careful. I love her so much, so it's hard."

This is Robatille's first return to Old Salem Farm since her days in the Junior Hunters, but after hearing rave reviews from last year's event she was excited to show at the international jumping competition. "It's beautiful," she commented. "I heard great things last year and I am really impressed."

Roberto Teran and ADC Chef Photo by The Book LLC 2013
Roberto Teran and ADC Chef Photo by The Book LLC 2013

In the $2,500 1.35m Open Jumpers held in the Jumper Ring, winning honors were presented to Roberto Teran and ADC Chef, owned by Richview Farm of Nobleton, Ontario. The duo completed a clear short course in 34.156 seconds, while Charlie Jayne and Speedy Chicolina, owned by Anna Murphy of De Pere, WI, clocked in at 35425 seconds for the second place award. Candice King and VDL Dogan picked up the third place honors, leaving all the fences intact and breaking the bream at 36,499 seconds for owner Bellissimo LLC of Wellington, FL.

Kent Farrington and Monopoly. Photo by The Book LLC 2013
Kent Farrington and Monopoly. Photo by The Book LLC 2013

The first class of the day was the $2,000 1.30m Open Jumpers with 69 entries. Kent Farrington came out on top, piloting Monopoly to the winning honors for Salamander Farms of The Plains, VA. The pair's clear effort broke the beam at 32.439 seconds, while Guillermo Williams' time of 33.322 seconds with Marbella, owned by El Milagro of Dallas, TX, was good enough for second. Paul Halpern and Royal Flush, owned by Kathleen Kamine of Oldwick, NJ, rounded out the top three, completing a spotless jump-off in 34.523 seconds.

The 2013 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W will continue tomorrow with the $33,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome Stake, as well as the $3,000 High Junior/Amatur-Owner Jumpers, presented by Gotham North. Highlight throughout the week include Friday's $100,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier, presented by Double H Farm & Windsor Show Stables, the $50,000 Hermès Classic and Region 2 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Regional Championships on Saturday, and Sunday's $200,000 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W World Cup Qualifier, presented by Suncast.
For further information, visit: www.stadiumjumping.com and http://www.theamericangoldcup.com/
 
About the American Gold Cup
The American Gold Cup will feature world-class and Olympic athletes, such as current World Cup Show Jumping Champion Beezie Madden and Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward. Also confirmed to compete are show jumping mega-stars Kent Farrington, Margie Engle, Pan American Games Gold Medalist Christine McCrea and many more, all vying to secure their position at the 2014 FEI World Cup Finals in Lyon, France.

Highlights of the schedule include the $33,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome Stake on Thursday, the $100,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier presented by Double H Farm and Windsor Show Stables on Friday and the $50,000 Hermes Classic on Saturday. The featured event, the coveted $200,000 American Gold Cup, Presented by Suncast, will be held on Sunday, September 15, 2013 and broadcast on NBC Sports Network the following Sunday, September 22, 2013, at 4:30 p.m. EST.

The American Gold Cup will also feature a full array of jumper classes, including sections for Children and Adult Jumpers, Low and High Junior/Amateur Jumpers, plus Young Jumpers and Open Jumpers. New this year, the Zone 2 ASPCA Maclay Regional Championships will be held on Saturday in the Old Salem Farm indoor arena.

Old Salem Farm, located an hour north of New York City, boasts a state-of-the-art stabling facility, an historic pristine grass Grand Prix field and outstanding competition and schooling arenas, all of which are surrounded by one of the world's most quaint and picturesque competition venue settings. For the past two years, the Old Salem Farm competitions have been recognized by the North American Riders Group (NARG) on their NARG Top 25 List. For more information on Old Salem Farm, including its year-long competition schedule, prize lists, clinics, boarding, lessons and training, visit www.oldsalemfarm.net.

For further information, visit: www.stadiumjumping.com and http://www.theamericangoldcup.com/.

Results
Class 10 A $8,000 DANBURY PORSCHE AUDI 1.40
1  148  SOLERINA  SHANE SWEETNAM  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 29.770      
2  116  URAGUAY  TODD MINIKUS  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 32.773      
3  397  WOKLAHOMA  ROBERTO TERAN  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 32.992      
4  1    UBRIS  SARAH SEGAL  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 34.273      
5  323  WAOMI  MEAGAN NUSZ  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 34.763      
6  366  BRUGAL VDL  JONATHAN MCCREA  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 35.138      
7  326  CAMBITO  PAIGE JOHNSON  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 36.168      
8  181  CORONA 93  LAUREN TISBO  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 36.690      
9  681  WIN FOR LIFE 111 Z  CHRISTINE MCCREA  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 37.207      
10 508  SCOUT DE LA CENSE  MARIO DESLAURIERS  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 38.240      
11 648  WILLOW  KENT FARRINGTON  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 41.781      
12 178  ROUNDTHORN MADIOS  LAUREN TISBO  0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 33.714

Class 105B, $8,000 DANBURY PORSCHE AUDI 1.40
1  473  COVER GIRL 27  ALISON ROBITAILLE  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 29.949      
2  324  ELIAS  MEAGAN NUSZ  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 31.084      
3  101  CHINWIES BZ  HILLARY SIMPSON  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 31.149      
4  179  DARCONSCHEEFKASTEEL Z  LAUREN TISBO  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 31.227      
5  645  QUATTRO QUEEN  JUDY GAROFALO TORRES  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 32.904      
6  2    RAMSES  SARAH SEGAL  0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 29.730      
7  96   CZARDAS 30  ILAN FERDER  0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 30.358      
8  443  TOP GUN IV  DARRAGH KENNY  0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 30.803      
9  583  WAYFARER  PETER LEONE  0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 32.017      
10 192  SPEEDY CHICOLINA  CHARLIE JAYNE  0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 33.601      
11 44   UATA  BRIANNE GOUTAL  0 0 0 0.000 8 0 8 29.722      
12 79   HARLEY 86  BENJAMIN MEREDITH  0 0 0 0.000 8 0 8 32.175  

Class 107, $2500 1.35 TIME FIRST JUMP-OFF 2(b)    
1  399  ADC CHEF  ROBERTO TERAN  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 34.156      
2  192  SPEEDY CHICOLINA  CHARLIE JAYNE  0 0 0 69.700 0 0 0 35.425      
3  35   VDL DOGAN  CANDICE KING  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 36.499      
4  410  Z EMPRESS  NICHOLAS DELLO JOIO  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 36.722      
5  153  BALDEV  SHANE SWEETNAM  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 37.953      
6  286  O' VOL DE LA ROQUE  SAMANTHA RAMSAY  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 40.710      
7  281  FLAMINGO K  RICHIE MOLONEY  0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 34.841      
8  114  ROMEO  TODD MINIKUS  0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 36.086      
9  596  VANTINA HPF  LINDA SHERIDAN  0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 36.619      
10 34   COMBINA  CANDICE KING  0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 38.318      
11 638  CASALLO 4  QUENTIN JUDGE  0 0 0 72.000 8 22 30 63.400      
12 293  LINCOURT GINO  MOLLY ASHE-CAWLEY  0 0 0 65.000 Withdr    

Class 109, $2000 1.30 TIME FIRST JUMP-OFF 2(b)
1  328  MONOPOLY   KENT FARRINGTON  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 32.439
2  18   MARBELLA   GUILLERMO WILLIAMS  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 33.322
3  73   ROYAL FLUSH   PAUL HALPERN  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 34.523
4  190  CHELLANDO Z   JENNIFER GRIFFITHS  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 34.546
5  586  ALIAS   PETER LEONE  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 35.311
6  189  CAPACITY   JENNIFER GRIFFITHS  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 35.448
7  410  Z EMPRESS   NICHOLAS DELLO JOIO  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 35.738
8  307  CLEARFOX AS WELL   JEFFERY WELLES  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 35.913
9  624  WYSTERIA   KYLE TIMM  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 36.159  
10 514  ZUBANTOS   BLAIR WILLMER  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 36.213  
11 368  CLASS ACT   LINDA LANGMEIER  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 36.283
12 32   VDL MALEKLOU   CANDICE KING  0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 36.556




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