Despite a brisk wind all day in the Catskill mountains, the HITS Saugerties $1 Million Grand Prix was fun to watch as the 40-plus horse and rider combinations tackled the demanding jumper course on September 10, in Saugerties, N.Y. So demanding was the internationally designed course, with a new derby bar jump after the water jump, they were no fault-free rounds. Which meant no jump off, which is disappointing to a spectator like me, who wanted some fast-paced action at the end of a long event.
And while I saw some great rounds in grand prix, including the only clear jumping round with one time fault for the winner, German rider Andre Thieme on Conthendrix, it still felt like something was missing in the day’s rider lineup. Missing from the competition were celebrity riders like the 2016 grand prix winner Jessica Springsteen, members of the 2016 US Olympic Silver Medal winning team, including New York natives Beezie Madden and McLain Ward, also the reigning 2017 FEI World Cup champion, as well as Kent Farrington. There weren’t even as many international riders like I’ve seen in the past.
Then the light bulb went off. They must be somewhere else (like the $3 Million Spruce Meadows grand prix and Nations Cup in Canada) or saving their horses for something else, or both! Or course, I’ll see them all at the $216,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping New York grand prix competing for the American Gold Cup this weekend, Sunday, September 17 at Old Salem Farm (OSF). This event is also an FEI World Cup Qualifying Competition for the prestigious 2018 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final, which will take place in Paris, April 10-15.
American Gold Cup
This premier jumping…
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