American Gold Cup Culminates with $204,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup New York CSI4*-W
In its 48th year, the American Gold Cup at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY, wrapped up five days of competition on September 30 with the $204,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup New York CSI4*-W. In the end, Molly Ashe-Cawley claimed the top spot aboard D’Arnita, taking home the win and the coveted American Gold Cup Trophy.
The top riders from the $80,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier CSI4*-W held earlier in the week were qualified to compete in the event’s grand finale. Of the 37 horse and rider teams that took to Alan Wade’s 16-effort course set in the Grand Prix Field, seven produced clear rounds to advance to the jump-off.
It was a matter of milliseconds as Ashe-Cawley, last to contest the shortened course, blazed to a time of 36.76 and edged out Margie Engle and Royce by a mere .09 seconds. “It means a lot to win a class of this magnitude, especially on a horse that [Louisburg Farm Manager] Paul Butterworth and I found and we brought along to this level— that always makes it even sweeter,” said Ashe-Cawley, giving credit to her mount, D’Arnita, a 10-year-old mare owned by Louisburg Farm. “The mare really wants it as bad as I do and that’s always a great feeling—when you have your partner wanting it every bit as much as you do.”
According to Engle, Ashe-Cawley had a lucky charm with her. “[Molly] has her secret weapon here,” she laughed, noting Ashe-Cawley’s son who walked the jump-off course alongside her. “And I told him before she went that he was going to give her that little extra boost!”
Engle’s time of 36.85 with Royce, Gladewinds Partners, LLC’s 14-year-old stallion, positioned her in second. “I was thrilled with [Royce]. He’s been so consistent,” said Engle. “I did slip a little in the first rollback and I lost a little bit of time there. I was sideways to the oxer and he gave it everything. I’m very happy with him.” In addition, Engle was presented the M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award that is awarded to a rider who has displayed an exemplary style of riding over fences during the competition.
Rounding out the top three was Mattias Tromp and Swede Venture, LLC’s 11-year-old gelding, Quinta. The duo were the third of four to complete the second course clear, home turf rider Lucy Davis being the fourth, and crossed the finish in 37.95. “The beginning of the trip was quite good, but it got a little hairy for a second. I was trying to do a leave-out to a vertical and I didn’t see it,” said Tromp. “I think it just disrupted the flow, but Quinta tried her guts out and she managed to scale one or two fences.”