Stormy weather didn’t dampen the competitors’ spirits this past weekend at the Maui Jim Horse Trials in Wayne, Illinois and hundreds of riders turned out for this prestigious event. The organizing committee and officials did a wonderful job of rearranging the schedules so that all the riders would have the chance to compete in all three phases – not an easy task, considering that two full days of drenching thunderstorms soaked the grounds. The competitors were all appreciative of the officials’ efforts and everyone worked together to make sure that the event was a positive experience.
“The event went surprisingly well thanks to a great group of officials, volunteers and riders who adapted to the weather related reschedulings with great professionalism and good cheer. I was happy that everyone got to run all three phases of their respective divisions,” said event organizer Katie Lindsay.
The Maui Jim Horse Trials, which is run at the picturesque Lamplight Equestrian Center and the Pratt Wayne Forest Preserve, was the first Adequan USEA Gold Cup event of the summer and also the first of three Gold Cup events in the Midwest.
The Gold Cup Series consists of two sections (an Advanced and an Intermediate) and horse and rider combinations from all over the country compete at select events (in designated "Gold Cup" divisions) to try and cumulate points on the leaderboard. To learn more about the points system, visit the Gold Cup Points page. Not only do competitors in the series earn points for their efforts, but top finishers at each of the Gold Cup events take home cash and great prizes as well!
This weekend, Sara Dierks of Berryville, Virginia and Somerset II won the CIC3* (the “Advanced” Gold Cup division), after adding just four cross-country time penalties and a single show jumping fault to finish with a 66.4. Fresh off their fourth place finish at Jersey Fresh CCI3* this May, the eleven-year-old English thoroughbred gelding owned by Chris Desino and Edith Rameika looked to be in fine form. They started off their weekend in third after their dressage test left them with a score of 58.4, but jumped ahead of leaders Allison Springer (aboard Arthur) and Jennifer Libby (aboard Jazz King) to take home the Gold Cup. Springer and Arthur led the field of seven competitors with a dressage score of 46, but had to settle for second place after accruing time penalties on cross-country and two dropped rails in show jumping. Libby and Jazz King rounded out the third position after adding hefty time faults to their dressage score of 53.8.
In the CIC2* (the “Intermediate” Gold Cup division), it was Olympic gold medallist Leslie Law aboard Beatrice Rey-Herme’s Mystere du Val who claimed the title. The eight-year-old French-bred Selle Francais/Arabian gelding led the field from start to finish with an impressive score of 46.9, adding only a handful of time penalties on cross-country their score. Last year’s winner in the CIC2*, Cassidy Lundmark and What’s Shakin’ had to settle for second this year, while Karen Shull and Just My Style took home the third place ribbon.
The Gold Cup series will return to Lamplight Equestrian Center this September for the Wellpride USEA American Eventing Championships, which, for the first time, has signed on to be a part of this popular series. If you’re in the area, be sure to head over to this scenic facility, whether it be to compete or cheer on some of the nation’s top riders in all divisions.
Maui Jim Highlights
Organizer Katie Lindsay’s highlight of the event was Shelby Bradley winning the “Closest to Optimum Time” award. “We timed horses at a "secret" spot on cross country. She was one second off – wow! She's from Little Rock and was shocked and delighted to receive a certificate for an outfit for herself and a bridle and saddle for her horse all thanks to the generosity of English Riding Supply and the Ovation Four - Star collection.”
Lindsay also fondly remembers Leslie Law with his trademark huge grin posing for pictures during the Special Olympics awards ceremony. “Leslie received much good natured ribbing for jumping the wrong last cross country fence on his one-star horse - after jumping the correct one earlier in the same division and leading a course walk of that course two days previously. He maintained good humor throughout,” added Lindsay. At least Law didn’t have to walk away empty-handed – he received a trailer full of great prizes for his win in the Gold Cup Intermediate division.
Though the entries in some of the upper levels were lower than normal because of the conflict with the USEF Mandatory Team Outings, Lindsay and the Maui Jim event crew “were thrilled that Becky [Holder from Minnesota] was selected for the Olympic team. Yay home town girl!”
Points and Prizes
Dierks and Somerset II earned 200 points on the Gold Cup Advanced leaderboard for their win, tying them for seventh place with West Coaster Josh Barnacle and Florestan du Serin and with Midwesterner Becky Holder and Courageous Comet (who are headed to Hong Kong to represent the U.S. team at the Olympics this summer!).
Law and Mystere du Val added 130 Gold Cup points to their name on the Intermediate leaderboard, tying for fifth place with Alexis Helffrich and Spike, as well as Becky Holder and Rejuvenate.
Winners of the divisions receive a trailer-load of prizes including: a box of Adequan, $500 in cash, Mountain Horse SCS3 boots, two tubes of UlcerGard, two pairs of Nunn Finer American Style boots, a three-month supply of Wellpride, two bags of Nutrena feed, Back on Track pillow wraps and polo wraps. Second place finishers win Nunn Finer brushing boots and a Back on Track saddle pad, and third place also takes home Nunn Finer brushing boots and a Back on Track pillow wraps. Not to be left empty-handed, fourth place finishers get a Back on Track saddle pad for their efforts. The only difference in prizes is that the Intermediate division receives a Mountain Horse Cirrus jacket instead of Mountain Horse boots.
The Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series is made possible through the support of its many sponsors: Title: Adequan; Legacy: Nunn Finer, Nutrena, and World Equestrian Brands; Contributing: Cover-All, UlcerGard, and Wellpride; and Patron: Back on Track, Broadstone Equine Insurance Agency, Mountain Horse, and Succeed.
Planning to compete in one of the Gold Cup events this year? Freedom Health, LLC (makers of SUCCEED® ), and the USEA have announced a new incentive program for competitors in the Adequan® USEA Gold Cup Series events who use SUCCEED® Digestive Conditioning Program® to foster optimum digestive health in their horses. The SUCCEED® Challenge Series, a specially created competition, will be run in conjunction with all 2008 Gold Cup Series events and will award more than $5,000 in cash and prizes at the 2008 USEA Annual Convention, December 11-14 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Check out the SUCCEED® Challenge (PDF) page to find out more about this great incentive, and be sure to read the complete rules and guidelines (PDF) to see if you qualify.
For more information on the Gold Cup Series, contact Project Manager Jan Zwak at firstname.lastname@example.org.