Athletes to Watch at the 2014 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W

It will be an all-star event and will include an impressive list of show jumping's who's who.
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It will be an all-star event and will include an impressive list of show jumping's who's who.

September 5, 2014--The American Gold Cup gets underway on Sept. 10, 2014, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 14, culminating with the iconic event, the $200,000 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W, on the Grand Prix field of Old Salem Farm. It will be an all-star event and will include an impressive list of show jumping's who's who, all focused on winning the prestigious American Gold Cup. 

2013 American Gold Cup Winner Brianne Goutal | Photo Copyright Carrie Wirth

2013 American Gold Cup Winner Brianne Goutal | Photo Copyright Carrie Wirth

The turf Grand Prix field at Old Salem Farm is much-revered by competitors who love a challenge. FEI course designer Alan Wade is certain to build a course that makes full use of the rolling terrain and presents questions appropriate for athletes at the pinnacle of international competition.

The equestrian sports are some of the few Olympic events where women and men compete as equal. Last year's winner of the American Gold Cup, Brianne Goutal, will be back to defend her title this year. Since, her American Gold Cup win last year, she was also victorious in the $50,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix and was second in the $250,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix and also second in the Grand Prix of Franconville in France. Goutal, one of our country's best, had a stellar career as a junior. She won the coveted ASPCA Alfred B Maclay Finals in 2005, the USET Finals East and the Washington Equitation Finals and the 2005 North American Young Riders Championships (NAYRC) Team and Individual Gold Medals.

"This is a great show," said Goutal after her win last year. "I think it's great to have this venue, and it's one of the nicest horse shows in America. I think we are all very grateful that it is here."

Confirmed to compete at the American Gold Cup, Olympic Gold Medalist Laura Kraut will also be one to watch. Kraut and her newest grand prix partner Andretti S, owned by Stars and Stripes, had multiple double-clear efforts against some of the world's most important horse and rider combinations during the summer tour in Europe. This pair is on the rise and ripe for a win.

Another mega-star to watch is Jessica Springsteen - hot off a huge win at the CSIO5* plus a Nations Cup Team win in Dublin, Ireland in early August. Springsteen was also a top junior rider and winner of the ASPCA Alfred B Maclay Finals in 2008 and the 2009 USEF Medal Finals.

International show jumper and Pan American Games Gold Medalist, Christine McCrea, is another confirmed entry. McCrea is always an exciting athlete to watch and has had a long list of top placings in major grand prix events this summer. McCrea is always on her game and is a good bet.

McCrea, who won The American Gold Cup in 2006, said she is happy to show on the grounds of the Old Salem Farm. "This place is gorgeous," she said. " They've done a fabulous job. The footing's great. I'm really impressed with this facility."

Also confirmed is Georgina Bloomberg, back at the top of her game after time off for the arrival of her son Jasper, eight months ago. Bloomberg prevailed at the CSIO5* and was a member of the winning Nations Cup Team in Gijon, Spain just last month. Bloomberg has been a distinguished equestrian for many years. She won Team Gold at the NAYRC in 2002 an then won the Individual Gold in 2003.

Athletes competing at the 2014 Alltech World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France have also confirmed their entries for the American Gold Cup. Daniel Bluman who rides for Colombia, had a major win at Spruce Meadows in July. Prominent Irish competitor Darragh Kenny is on a roll. This summer, Kenny nailed wins in the Netherlands, Dublin, Hickstead, Chantilly, Aachen and Spruce Meadows. Kenny is certainly one who could nab the American Gold Cup. He will travel from Normandy to North Salem to vie for the win.

"To be honest, I love the Gold Cup," said Kenny. "I went last year and it was a fantastically run show and it was very competitive and I really enjoyed it. I think they do a really good job with it and Old Salem is a very good facility with great footing and the rings are great. It is really a beautiful venue."

The 2014 American Gold Cup lineup of confirmed competitors includes even more show jumping elite; Katie Dinan, Lillie Keenan, Saer and Audrey Coulter, Paige Johnson, Todd Minikus, Shane Sweetnam and many more. This year's American Gold Cup has the makings for one of the most unforgettable, international show jumping events in recent history.