North Salem, N.Y. – Sept. 16, 2017 – Saturday hosted the $86,000 Fidelity Investments® Classic CSI4* at the American Gold Cup, where Irish athletes and Sweet Oak Farm barnmates Shane Sweetnam and Lorcan Gallagher finished one-two in the day’s highlight event. Sweetnam scored a narrow victory over Gallagher aboard Indra Van De Oude Heihoef, owned by The Blue Buckle Group, crossing the finish line just two-tenths of a second faster.
Out of 57 initial international challengers, four were invited to return to the Grand Prix Field at Old Salem Farm, after jumping faultlessly in the first round, to vie for the top prize in an eight-fence jump-off designed by Alan Wade and Nigel Jess.
Andrew Ramsay (USA) and The Doodle Group’s Cocq A Doodle, Thursday’s winners in the $35,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome Stake CSI4* at the American Gold Cup, kicked off the tiebreaker, finishing on 4 faults in 37.42 seconds.
New York native Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Gotham Enterprizes, LLC’s Manodie II H took their turn on the grass field next and posted the first clear effort in 40.47 seconds. Their lead wouldn’t hold for long as Sweetnam and Ivy, barn name of the 9-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, blazed around the short course, leaving all of the jumps intact and stopping the timers in 39.97 seconds.
Gallagher and the Dacantos Group’s Hunters Conlypso II were the final challengers of the jump-off and looked to overtake their teammates’ lead, following an almost identical track, but were just off the winning pace in 39.99 seconds. Bloomberg rounded out the top three, while Ramsay claimed fourth place.
The 2017 American Gold Cup culminates with the coveted $216,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York CSI4*-W on Sunday, Sept. 17, at 2 p.m., where the top 40 athletes from Friday’s qualifier will go head-to-head for the highly sought-after American Gold Cup.
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FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Shane Sweetnam – $86,000 Fidelity Investments® Classic CSI4* winner
On competing against fellow Sweet Oak Farm rider Lorcan Gallagher:
“It was great to have Lorcan second. I didn’t mind who won to be honest. It was important we both did well. I think if he did one less to the last he would’ve had me. Ivy jumped great and Lorcan rode great so I was very happy for him.”
On Indra Van De Oude Heihoef:
“I’ve had her for a little while, but I’ve been taking my time. I got her in January and fiddled around with her and got to know her. She’s very sensitive but she’s an exceptional mare. I jumped her around the last 5* in Florida and she was good. She had one down and then she was part of my team in Europe all year so she’s learned a lot. She was unlucky not to be clear in the grand prix at the Hamptons. I love her, but I’m giving her the time she needs. She’ll do the [Rolex Central Park Horse Show] next week. I’m very excited about her. Today was a good, hard class but tomorrow will be tougher. I’ll ride Main Road in tomorrow’s grand prix.”
Lorcan Gallagher – $86,000 Fidelity Investments® Classic CSI4* second place
On Hunters Conlypso II:
“It feels like every show we’ve gone to he’s progressively gotten better and better. The horse has a lot of ability so it’s just about taking our time. It’s great to get a result like this especially at a show like the American Gold Cup.”
On being part of the Sweet Oak Farm team:
“We’re all very close in the barn from the top to the bottom – it’s great. Not often do I get within two-tenths of a second of Shane. I’m a little bit annoyed at myself that I didn’t win it but if I was going to be second to anyone, it’s always best coming second to another Sweet Oak Farm teammate.”
$86,000 Fidelity Investments® Classic CSI4*:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / Time / R2 Faults / Time
1. Indra Van De Oude Heihoef / Shane Sweetnam / IRL / The Blue Buckle Group / 0 / 73.12 / 0 / 39.97
2. Hunters Conlypso II / Lorcan Gallagher / IRL / Dacantos Group / 0 / 75.00 / 0 / 39.99
3. Manodie II H / Georgina Bloomberg / USA / Gotham Enterprizes, LLC / 0 / 73.42 / 0 / 40.47
4. Cocq A Doodle / Andrew Ramsay / USA / The Doodle Group / 0 / 69.80 / 4 / 37.42
5. Gentille Van Spieveld / Leslie Burr-Howard / USA / GJ Stable and Peter Howard / 1 / 76.36
6. Cooper / Devin Ryan / USA / Devin Ryan / 4 / 70.24
7. Freestyle De Muze / Richie Moloney / IRL / Equinimity LLC / 4 / 71.41
8. Austria / Amber Harte / USA / Take The High Road, LLC / 4 / 71.77
9. Bull Run’s Testify / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Bull Run Jumpers, Inc. / 4 / 72.49
10. Donna Speciale / Leslie Burr-Howard / USA / Laure Sudreau-Rippe and Peter Howard / 4 / 72.61
11. Bull Run’s Almighty / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC / 4 / 73.25
12. Avon / Mattias Tromp / USA / PVRT Equestrian AB / 4 / 73.35