Traverse City, Mich. – Sept. 5, 2020 – The 50th American Gold Cup CSI 2*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors LCC and featuring the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament, continued Saturday at Flintfields Horse Park. Thanks to the large interest from international contenders, the original schedule was enhanced to include the $30,000 1.40m – 1.45m Speed Classic CSI 2*, which took place in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring on Saturday morning with 39 fast and furious starters.
Relying on footspeed and galloping through the finish line, Richie Moloney (IRL) and Equinimity LLC’s Ypaja Yando emerged victorious to add an FEI win to their names. In the $10,000 Stud Tree 1.35m Jumpers, Great Britain’s Jessica Mendoza (GBR) nabbed the top honors in the class as well as the division championship riding Dollar Girl. The feel-good class of the day, the $5,000 1.25m Kevin Babington Benefit Classic, presented by Tequestrian Farm, saw Patrick McNamara pilot Billy Onslow to first place.
For the one-round speed class, course designer Nick Granat (USA) created a winding 15-effort track that offered entries from seven nations plenty of opportunities to slice time off the clock with tight turns and galloping straightaways. Fourth in the order-of-go, Andrew Bourns (IRL) jockeyed A Toi De Prim to the first clear effort of the class, breaking the beam in 63.42 seconds to set the early pace.
However, only a few trips later Ali Wolff (USA) shaved fractions off of the leading time with a fault-free performance in 63.19 seconds to overthrow the frontrunners. The halfway mark of the class saw Richie Moloney reclaim the lead for Ireland with his swift ride on Ypaja Yando, logging a slightly-faster time of 63.08 seconds, only one-tenth of a second ahead of Wolff and Casall. The second half of the challengers chased down Moloney and Ypaja Yando, but in the end none could manage a quicker time and keep all the rails in their cups.
The top three never moved following Moloney’s winning round, with Ali Wolff (USA) and Blacklick Bend Farm’s Casall retaining the second position, followed by Bourns and Blackwatch farms’ A Toi De Prim in third place. Though Moloney and his mount laid down an exceptionally efficient trip, both Shane Sweetnam (IRL) on Hunters Conlypso II and Andrew Welles (USA) with CW Incorporated proved the time could be beaten with final times in the 62-second range, but both dropped a rail to incur 4 penalty-points. Overall, eight pairs left all the fences intact to finish with zero faults to their name.
Sweetnam held the lead in the CaptiveOne Advisors $30,000 Leading Jumper Rider Bonus by eight points headed into Saturday’s FEI class. Though Bourns and Daniel Bluman (ISR), who are both on the leaderboard in the top six, earned points Saturday, Sweetnam still retained his status as the frontrunner. The grand finale of the Traverse City series will be the awarding of the $30,000 bonus to the rider who accumulated the most points in competitions worth $25,000 or more in prize money over the course of 11 weeks of riding in Traverse City. The chase will conclude with the $213,300 CaptiveOne American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI 4* on September 13.
Winner’s Circle – Richie Moloney (IRL)
On his win:
“It’s nice to get a win. I haven’t shown so much this year and I haven’t won a class for awhile so it’s always nice to win. I expected the jumps to not be so big. It was about the jumping, but in the end it was about the speed as well.
On Ypaja Yando:
“He did a couple of shows in Tryon but that was his first round in two months. He enjoys the speed classes and he is always very competitive.”
On competing at the American Gold Cup:
“The showgrounds are great and the footing is really good. The horses enjoy the weather because we are normally in hot weather so they are fresh enough and they feel a bit better. The horse I’m going to ride in the Gold Cup I jumped yesterday in the [$36,600 Silver Oak Jumper Tournament Welcome Stake CSI2*, presented by GGT Footing]. I will leave him until next week and hopefully that works out and he goes well!”
Results – $30,000 1.40m – 1.45m Speed Classic CSI 2*
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Owner / Faults | Time
1. Richie Moloney (IRL) & Ypaja Yando / Equinimity LLC / 0 | 63.080
2. Ali Wolff (USA) & Casall / Blacklick Bend Farm / 0 | 63.190
3. Andrew Bourns (IRL) & A Toi De Prim / Blackwatch Farm / 0 | 63.420
4. Daniel Bluman (ISR) & Colestina H / / Kim Douglas / 0| 64.360
5. Jessica Mendoza (GBR) & Diamants Aurora / Jessica Mendoza / 0 | 65.350
6. Daniel Bluman (ISR) & Ubiluc / Over The Top Stables LLC / 0 | 65.700
7. Erynn Ballard (CAN) & Ronja / Ilan Ferder / 0 | 67.290
8. Abigail McArdle (USA) & Victorio 5 / Victorio Equine Group LLC / 0 | 68.440
9. Wim Janssen (NED) & Quadros 3 / Ashland Show Stables LLC / 1 | 76.320
10. Katherine Dinan (USA) & Brego R’n B / Grant Road Partners LLC / 2 | 79.770
11. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & Hunters Conlypso Ii / / Dacantos Group / 4 | 62.180
12. Andrew Welles (USA) & Cw Incorporated / / Corporate Way L.L.C. / 4 | 62.590
Source: Press release by Allyson Lagiovane / Phelps Media Group for the American Gold Cup
Photos: © Phelps Sports / Allyson Lagiovane