North Salem, NY - The 2015 American Gold Cup is set to return to scenic Old Salem Farm in North Salem, New York. The popular and prestigious show jumping classic is scheduled to run Sept. 9-13, 2015. A truly international field of world-class competitors, representing 14 nations from around the globe and of course the host country, the United States, will be making their way to Westchester County for this year's affair, which promises to be one of the most competitive in years.
Americans competing this year include four former American Gold Cup champions, Leslie Howard, Schuyler Riley, Christine McCrea and two-time winner, Peter Leone. Riley comes to North Salem riding a summer hot streak. She won four grand prix events in a row this summer in Tryon, North Carolina and she won the inaugural North American League Longines World Cup Qualifier at Bromont International. McCrea also won the Pan Am Games Individual Gold Medal and Leone and Howard won Silver Medals for the United States at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Olympian Margie Engle, Olympic alternate Charlie Jayne and one of America's most decorated and successful riders, Hong Kong Olympic Gold Medalist Laura Kraut also highlight the star-studded list of equestrians from the United States.
Other top Americans making their way to North Salem include veteran riders Kim Prince, Molly Ashe-Cawley, Jonathan McCrea, Lauren Tisbo, Candice King, Heather Caristo-Williams, David Beisel, Andrew Welles, Quentin Judge, Cara Raether, Kristen Vanderveen, Peter Lutz and Kirsten Coe.
A large roster of up and coming young show jumping stars will be competing at this year's American Gold Cup, including Alise Oken, Maggie McArlary, Catherine Tyree, Nick Dello Joio, Wilton Porter, Michael Hughes, Adrienne Sternlicht, Sydney Shulman and two North American Young Rider Gold Medalists, Ali Wolff and Katie Dinan.
The foreign contingent is especially strong this year led by the red-hot Irish rider, Paul O'Shea who has strung together a number of late summer victories including Silver Oak and the Hampton Classic. Fellow Irishman, Shane Sweetnam picked up back-to-back wins in Bridgehampton, as well. Other top Irish riders include Conor Swail, a winner at Angelstone just a week ago, Lorcan Gallagher, Richie Maloney and Darragh Kerins.
Speaking of the Hampton Classic, the winner of the main event, the $250,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix, Karen Polle, who rides with a dual citizenship from the United States and Japan, has reserved her spot at this year's American Gold Cup.
Venezuelan Andres Rodriguez is just back from the Pan Am Games where he jumped off against American superstar McLain Ward for the Individual title, eventually taking home the Silver medal. It was the first medal ever won by Venezuela at the Pan Am Games. Germany's Andre Thieme, a two-time winner of the million-dollar class at HITS is also on the roster. Equestrians from Canada, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Barbados, Great Britain, New Zealand and Mexico round out the top-notch international roster.
The North American League boasts a minimum of $2.4 million in prize money across the series, and offers the best show jumping athletes from North America and around the world the chance to qualify for the jackpot of more than $1.4 million (€1.3 million) at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final. "We are very excited to be included in this new league," said Michael Morrissey, president of Stadium Jumping, Inc. "And we're very excited about the decidedly international flavor of this year's American Gold Cup. It should be a fantastic class. As we expected, the new league is creating a new level of excitement for show jumping in North America."
"The American Gold Cup, year after year, is one of the great equestrian events in the country," Morrissey concluded. "Being part of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League just adds to the excitement and importance of our event."
The Longines FEI World Cup Jumping™ North American League will be showcased on a broad range of global platforms, from live TV broadcasts to streaming on digital outlets and mobile, focusing on the drama of equestrian sport with fascinating behind-the-scenes documentary-style coverage.
For more information visit www.theamericangoldcup.com.