Darragh Kenny is Great with Gatsby at American Gold Cup CSI4*-W

Sunday, September 14, 2014
Posted by Emily Riden, Phelps Media Group, Inc.


Darragh Kenny and Gatsby
Darragh Kenny and Gatsby

North Salem, NY - September 11, 2014 - When Darragh Kenny and Gatsby entered the ring as one of the last to go in today's $34,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome Stake, the time to beat sat at 76.040 seconds. That time, held by Jessica Springsteen and Vindicat W, had been set nearly 50 rounds before and looked like it would remain untouchable.

But by the time Kenny and Gatsby trotted off the grass grand prix field at Old Salem Farm, they had blown Springsteen's time out of the water by nearly 5.5 seconds and clinched the biggest victory of the day at the American Gold Cup CSI4*-W.  "He's unbelievable," Kenny said of Gatsby. "He's a very fast horse, and he's very easy to go quick on. He's so careful, and he just wants to win. He's truly a fantastic horse."

Alan Wade set the course for today's highlight class, which was run according to FEI Art. 238.2.1 with riders pinned according to penalties and time with no jump-off. Of the 71 starters, 10 produced clear rounds, with Candice King and Kismet 50 paving the way as the early clear pathfinder in a time of 81.50 seconds.

Jessica Springsteen and Vindicat W
Jessica Springsteen and Vindicat W

King and Kismet 50's time was toppled by the next to go clear, as Springsteen, of Colts Neck, NJ, and Vindicat W shaved more than 5 seconds off to take over the lead. Seven of the remaining clears turned in great efforts but all finished more than a second outside of Springsteen's time. Paul O'Shea and Skara Glenn's Sienna would come the closest and end up being the eventual third place finishers with a time of 77.840 seconds, while fourth place would go to Schuyler Riley and Dobra de Porceyo who had a time of 78.580 seconds.

Only Kenny and Gatsby made beating the time look easy as the cleared the final vertical with plenty of room and seconds to spare. The large margin of victory over the 70 other horses competing was an impressive feat in itself, but perhaps equally impressive is the fact that the win today marks Kenny and Gatsby's third victory in a row.

Darragh Kenny and Gatsby
Darragh Kenny and Gatsby

Owned by Allison Toffolon of Bronxville, NY, Gatsby came to Kenny for the ride when Toffolon went off to school this fall at Southern Methodist University. Since then, Kenny has shown the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse four times, finishing second the first time out and first in all three of their last efforts, including the win in the $15,000 Merill Lynch Speed Derby and the $10,000 Open Jumpers, both at the Hampton Classic.  "He's been absolutely incredible. I'm lucky to get the chance to ride him," Kenny said.

Toffolon will return to the saddle on Gatsby during the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, but in the meantime, there is no place that Kenny would rather have the ride on the stallion than at the American Gold Cup.

"I love this horse show. It's a great horse show with a great atmosphere," Kenny said. "They run it really well. The footing is super, and it's a really enjoyable horse show to be at." Kenny continued, "If I had to pick one thing? It's the atmosphere. It feels like a top show in Europe."

Prior to Kenny's victory, the juniors and amateurs took their turn on the grass field for the $3,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, and it was Michael Hughes' turn to ride away with a win. He took the top call with Luxina while second place went to Catherine Tyree and her own Don't Go, with Richard Neal and his mount Quadam rounding out the top three.

The 2014 edition of the American Gold Cup CSI4*-W will continue tomorrow with the $100,000 Hermès American Gold Cup Qualifier beginning at 1:30 p.m. Saturday's highlight events will include the $34,000 Fidelity Investments Speed Derby and the Region 2 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Regional Championships. The five day horse show culminates on Sunday with the $200,000 American Gold Cup CSI4*W Grand Prix which kicks off at 2 p.m. EST.

All competition will be webcast live throughout the week at www.theamericangoldcup.com, and more information can be found by visiting the website or www.stadiumjumping.com.

$34,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome Stake Results
1    209     GATSBY     DARRAGH KENNY   0    0    0    70.570      
2    257     VINDICAT W  JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN   0    0   0   76.040          
3    336     SKARA GLEN'S SIENNA     PAUL O'SHEA 0    0   0  77.840          
4    269     DOBRA DE PORCEYO    SCHUYLER RILEY    0    0  0  78.580       
5    241     SAMSON II    KIRSTEN COE    0    0   0    79.680          
6    161     EREGAST VAN'T KIEZELHOF SHANE SWEETNAM  0  0 0   80.230         
7    423     SCOUT DE LA CENSE    MARIO DESLAURIERS   0    0    0  80.500          
8    463     SANDOR DE LA POMME     CATHERINE TYREE   0   0    0    81.070
      218     KISMET 50    CANDICE KING    0    0    0    81.500          
10   541     DAKOTA    PAIGE JOHNSON   0    0    0    84.730