By Kenneth Kraus for Phelps Media Group.
North Salem, NY – Sept. 3, 2015 – The 2015 American Gold Cup is set to return to scenic Old Salem Farm in North Salem, New York. The popular and prestigious show jumping classic is scheduled to run Sept. 9-13, 2015. A truly international field of world-class competitors, representing 14 nations from around the globe and of course the host country, the United States, will be making their way to Westchester County for this year’s affair, which promises to be one of the most competitive in years.
Olympic Gold Medalist and one of the US’s most decorated equestrians, Laura Kraut will be a top competitor to watch at this year’s American Gold Cup.
She earned second place in 2014.
Now entering its 45th year, and fourth year at Old Salem Farm, the American Gold Cup competition will play host to five Longines FEI Rankings events, culminating with the esteemed $215,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York, where the top athletes will compete for the prestigious American Gold Cup.
Pan Am Gold Medalist Christine McCrea won the American Gold Cup in 2006.
Americans competing this year include four former American Gold Cup champions, Leslie Howard, Schuyler Riley, Christine McCrea and two-time winner, Peter Leone. Riley comes to North Salem riding a summer hot streak. She won four grand prix events in a row this summer in Tryon, North Carolina and she won the inaugural North American League Longines World Cup Qualifier at Bromont International. McCrea also won the Pan Am Games Individual Gold Medal and Leone and Howard won Silver Medals for the United States at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Olympian Margie Engle, Olympic alternate Charlie Jayne and one of America’s most decorated and successful riders, Hong Kong Olympic Gold Medalist Laura Kraut also highlight the star-studded list of equestrians from the United States.
Olympic Silver Medalist Peter Leone will try for a third trip to the top spot on the podium at the American Gold Cup. He won in 1988 with Threes and Sevens and in 2012 with Lincourt Gino. Photo by Kenneth Kraus / PhelpsSports.
Other top Americans making their way to North Salem include veteran riders Kim Prince, Molly Ashe-Cawley, Jonathan McCrea, Lauren Tisbo, Candice King, Heather Caristo-Williams, David Beisel, Andrew Welles, Quentin Judge, Cara Raether, Kristen Vanderveen, Peter Lutz and Kirsten Coe.
Schuyler Ryley won the American Gold Cup in 2000.
A large roster of up and coming young show jumping stars will be competing at this year’s American Gold Cup, including Alise Oken, Maggie McArlary, Catherine Tyree, Nick Dello Joio, Wilton Porter, Michael Hughes, Adrienne Sternlicht, Sydney Shulman and two North American Young Rider Gold Medalists, Ali Wolff and Katie Dinan.
Olympian Margie Engle is another competitor to watch. Photo by Carrie Wirth / Phelps Media Group.
The foreign contingent is especially strong this year led by the red-hot Irish rider, Paul O’Shea who has strung together a number of late summer victories including Silver Oak and the Hampton Classic. Fellow Irishman, Shane Sweetnam picked up back-to-back wins in Bridgehampton, as well. Other top Irish riders include Conor Swail, a winner at Angelstone just a week ago, Lorcan Gallagher, Richie Maloney and Darragh Kerins.
Irish competitor Paul O’Shea is on a hot streak of wins. He just won the Silver Oak Jumper Classic Grand Prix. Photo by Andrew Ryback.
Speaking of the Hampton Classic, the winner of the main event, the $250,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix, Karen Polle, who rides with a dual citizenship from the United States and Japan, has reserved her spot at this year’s American Gold Cup.
Venezuelan Andres Rodriguez is just back from the Pan Am Games where he jumped off against American superstar McLain Ward for the Individual title, eventually taking home the Silver medal. It was the first medal ever won by Venezuela at the Pan Am Games. Germany’s Andre Thieme, a two-time winner of the million-dollar class at HITS is also on the roster.
Equestrians from Canada, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Barbados, Great Britain, New Zealand and Mexico round out the top-notch international roster.
The North American League boasts a minimum of $2.4 million in prize money across the series, and offers the best show jumping athletes from North America and around the world the chance to qualify for the jackpot of more than $1.4 million (€1.3 million) at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final.
“We are very excited to be included in this new league,” said Michael Morrissey, president of Stadium Jumping, Inc. “And we’re very excited about the decidedly international flavor of this year’s American Gold Cup. It should be a fantastic class. As we expected, the new league is creating a new level of excitement for show jumping in North America.”
“The American Gold Cup, year after year, is one of the great equestrian events in the country,” Morrissey concluded. “Being part of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League just adds to the excitement and importance of our event.”
The Longines FEI World Cup Jumping™ North American League will be showcased on a broad range of global platforms, from live TV broadcasts to streaming on digital outlets and mobile, focusing on the drama of equestrian sport with fascinating behind-the-scenes documentary-style coverage.
For tickets to this year’s American Gold Cup please visit www.theamericangoldcup.com.
New to the spectator experience, the American Gold Cup ticket platform enables fans to share ticket information through their social media accounts during the check out process to receive 15 percent off the ticket price. This offer only applies to pre-event ticket sales done online.
Ticket prices are $20 for adults, $15 for children 12 years of age and under (children under 3 get in free) and $15 for seniors (over 65) and $15 for members of the United States military.
Wednesday through Friday the American Gold Cup competition is free to the public.
For those that might enjoy the experience of the American Gold Cup in especially grand style, we invite you to book your VIP table in the beautiful Jockey Club as soon as possible. Each year these tables sell quickly, so now is a great time to make your reservation.
This popular venue allows you to enjoy a full-service, delicious catered gourmet cuisine and your choice of beverages, all with the best view of the Old Salem Farm Grand Prix Ring.
For more information about the Jockey Club, please contact [email protected] #AmericanGoldCup.
About the American Gold Cup
Held over five days, the American Gold Cup brings together a diverse crowd of elite equestrian athletes, discerning horse owners, excited fans and young hopefuls waiting to catch a glimpse of their idols set amongst a fanfare of family-friendly activities, competitions, shopping, entertainment and celebrity sightings.
In addition to the competition ring, the international show jumping event features high-end shopping located along Old Salem Farm’s boutique row. From top-notch equestrian tack and equipment to fashion, jewelry, antiques, art and much more, the scenic outdoor boutiques offer show-goers the perfect opportunity to get some shopping in while taking a break from the competition action.
Old Salem Farm, located an hour north of New York City, boasts a state-of-the-art stabling facility, an historic pristine grass Grand Prix field and outstanding competition and schooling arenas, all of which are surrounded by one of the world’s most charming and picturesque competition venue settings. For the past four years, the North American Riders Group (NARG) has recognized the Old Salem Farm competitions on their NARG Top 25 List. For more information on Old Salem Farm, including its yearlong competition schedule, prize lists, clinics, boarding, lessons and training, visit www.oldsalemfarm.net.