Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083 Claim FEI Victory on Opening Day of 2018 American Gold Cup
Returning for its 48th year, the 2018 American Gold Cup kicked off FEI competition on Wednesday afternoon with the addition of the $10,000 1.45m Jumper CSI4* class, presented by Morrissey Management Group, at Old Salem Farm. Irish athletes Shane Sweetnam and Willie Tynan captured the top two placings respectively, while the USA’s Adrienne Sternlicht finished in third.
Sixteen entries challenged Alan Wade’s speed track, racing for the quickest time and fewest faults across 12 obstacles with two double combinations. Tynan set the pace to beat and topped the leaderboard through much of the class with Michelle Guardino-Dettelbach’s Fancy Girl, posting a clear round in a quick time of 63.46 seconds to best previous leaders, Lacey Gilbertson and Baloppi, by nearly four full seconds. It appeared the impressive time from Tynan and the 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare would stand as his subsequent competitors were unable to catch his pace fault-free.
Newly crowned FEI World Equestrian Games™ team gold medalist, Sternlicht, challenged Tynan’s time, finishing hot on his heels with a clear round in 63.82 seconds aboard her newer mount Fantast, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood owned by Sagamore Farms. Falling just short, Sternlicht would ultimately capture the third place finish.
Second to last in the starting order, Sweetnam guided his long-time partner and proven winner, Cyklon 1083, to a blazing and uncatchable time of 61.29 seconds to capture one of the first FEI victories of the week. The 17-year-old stallion, owned by Spy Coast Farm, LLC, holds an impressive record of countless wins in his seven years with Sweetnam. “He’s 17 years young and with the classes that we do, we try to make them count. He’s a little strong but that’s why he is so fast because he likes to go forward. He’s super careful and he has the biggest heart in the world,” said Sweetnam. “He’s just so consistent so I can always trust him and stick to my plan. He’ll go tomorrow and then he will be finished for the week. He’s a star and I love him.”
No stranger to the winner’s circle at the American Gold Cup, Sweetnam captured the Fidelity Investments® Classic CSI4* with Indra Van De Oude Heihoef in 2017 and hopes to repeat his success in Friday’s $80,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier CSI4*-W and in Sunday’s highly anticipated grand prix.