Earlier in the day, the Grand Prix Field kicked off competition with the $35,000 Hermès Sellier Classic prior to the $70,000 Fidelity Investments® Classic CSI4*. In familiar fashion to Thursday’s $35,000 Trelawny Farm Welcome Stake CSI4*, it was a fight to the finish between American athletes Kristen Vanderveen and Margie Engle, where Vanderveen would once again emerge victorious to claim her third win of the week at the American Gold Cup.
Alan Wade’s 14-effort track, set at 1.45m in height, challenged 39 horse-and-athlete combinations with only four pairs emerging fault-free. Early pathfinders Callan Solem and Imogen De Regor elected not to return for the second round, making it a three-horse jump-off consisting of Katherine Strauss aboard Capacity, Engle with Indigo and Vanderveen riding Bull Run’s Prince of Peace, respectively.
Returning first for the jump-off, Strauss and Capacity, owned by Katherine Strauss LLC, set the pace to beat in a quick time of 29.712 seconds, but two fences down for an 8-fault total would leave room for improvement by the final two athletes.
Engle entered next, hoping to establish a quick, clean time ahead of Vanderveen and she did just that aboard Gladewinds Farm Inc.’s Indigo with a fault-free finish in 32.172 seconds.
Riding on the heels of Engle once again, Vanderveen returned and bested the winning time once more as she flew to a clear round in 29.553 seconds to capture the top honors, garnering Engle a repeat second place behind Vanderveen after also capturing Thursday’s second place finish with Gladewinds Farm LLC’s Dicas. Ultimately, Strauss and the 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding would settle for third place.
The winner’s circle was dominated by women as Solem and Imogen De Regor finished in fourth place, while Beezie Madden and Jiva rounded out the top five.
Saturday’s win for Vanderveen and the 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding, owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC, came hot off their win in Wednesday’s $8,000 Danbury Porsche Audi 1.40m Jumper class and was followed by the 29-year-old athlete’s success on Thursday with Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili in the $35,000 Trelawny Farm Welcome Stake CSI 4*.
Kristen Vanderveen (USA) & Prince of Peace during the awards ceremony
From the Winner’s Circle
Kristen Vanderveen – $35,000 Hermès Sellier Classic Winner
On Saturday’s course:
“[Bull Run’s Prince of Peace] is a young horse that I’m bringing along. Coming in, I wasn’t exactly sure how it would go, but I think [Alan Wade] did a great job building the course. It was friendly enough where the horses could still have a bunch of space to see the ring at the beginning and get comfortable with everything. It’s a really nice feeling when there’s only three in the jump-off so I definitely did give it a go. Considering it was Margie [Engle] and I in the other class – it was kind of fun that it went that way again.”
On Bull Run’s Prince of Peace:
“He’s 9 years old and one I am trying to develop into my FEI string but, because of the rain, I ended up scratching him in the FEI [classes] this week. I thought he needed a warm-up but he proved to me this week with the class today that he didn’t need a warm-up. He was really professional. I’ve had him for about a year and a half. He’s really careful and really game. I feel like he has all the qualities so I’ve really tried to take my time and not push him too much. I feel that now he’s really gotten the mileage he needs to be able to step up and start being useful in the FEI string.”
On her week at the American Gold Cup:
“At this point, anything on top of this is just another cherry on top. I’m thrilled with how the week has gone. My student, [Jamie Buis], did great and won her class yesterday so we really just had a super blessed week. Going in to tomorrow, I’m just trying to enjoy every bit of it. [Bull Run’s Almighty] is a younger horse that I’m developing so I don’t have huge expectations. He’s more than capable of doing something great but he could also get a little green out there so we’ll just see.”
$35,000 Hermès Sellier Classic:
Place / Horse / Athlete / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) & Bull Run’s Prince of Peace – 0 | 71.528 / 0 | 29.553
2. Margie Engle (USA) & Indigo – 0 | 72.566 / 0 | 32.172
3. Katherine Strauss (USA) & Capacity – 0 | 73.308 / 8 | 29.712
4. Callan Solem (USA) & Imogen De Regor – 0 | 74.148 / WD
5. Beezie Madden (USA) & Jiva / Beezie Madden – 4 | 69.650
6. McLain Ward (USA) & Queen Jane – 4 | 70.565
7. Mario Deslauriers (CAN) & Cherrypop – 4 | 71.768
8. Kelli Cruciotti (USA) & Grandy De Laubry – 4 | 72.022
9. Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) & Quidam MB / Adrienne Sternlicht – 4 | 72.390
10. Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) & California 19 – 4 | 72.491
11. Adrienne Iverson (CAN) & Zhivago – 4 | 72.935
12. Alberto Michan (ISR) & Calumpi – 4 | 72.967
For full results, please click here.
Source: Press release by Taylor Rains / Phelps Media Group for The American Gold Cup