Summer Season of the 2008 Adequan United States Eventing Association Gold Cup Series Kicks Off at Maui Jim Horse Trials
RELEASE: July 10, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Emily Daily
This weekend, July 10-13, marks the first summer event of the 2008 Adequan United States Eventing Association (USEA) Gold Cup Series at the Maui Jim Horse Trials at the scenic Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL. So far this year, the Gold Cup Series has five successful events under its belt, with eight more prestigious venues still slated to host events throughout the summer and fall.
Modeled somewhat after NASCAR, the Gold Cup Series consists of two sections, Advanced and Intermediate, and horse and rider combinations from all over the country compete at select events--in designated “Gold Cup” divisions--to try and cumulate points on the leaderboard. Not only do competitors in the series earn points for their efforts, but top finishers at each of the Gold Cup events take home cash and great prizes as well! To learn more about the points system, visit the Gold Cup page at www.useventing.com/competitions.php?section=gcs&id=1425
Last year, it was a tight race to the finish with Becky Holder and Courageous Comet clinching the Advanced division and Will Coleman and K. du Manoir topping the Intermediate leader board, both taking home a big check, slew of prizes, and trophy at the USEA Annual Meeting in December. Who Are The Leaders This Year?
After five events so far this year, Clark Montgomery of The Plains, VA and Up Spirit are hanging onto the lead position in the Advanced section with 425 points. They’ve had a fantastic season so far, having won the first of the season’s Gold Cup events at the Red Hills Horse Trials in March and then placed second at The Fork a month later. Montgomery and the nine-year-old British Thoroughbred gelding owned by his rider, and Holly and William Becker, are on the USEF Olympic Short List and have been training in England for the past few months.
Jennie Brannigan, a talented 21-year-old originally from San Diego, CA, has partnered with her seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Cooper and taken the eventing world by storm. Brannigan has been living on the East Coast and training with Canadian Olympic team member Mike Winter in Georgia, but recently headed back out to California to prepare for the North American Young Rider/Junior Championships in August. Brannigan and Cooper have won five out of their six events this year, and placed second at one. They racked up Gold Cup points in the East Coast events at The Fork and Red Hills, and even won a West Coast event, the Woodside Horse Trials in May! So far they have 405 points to their name – well ahead of second place holders Alexandra Knowles and Last Call who have 170. To see the complete Gold Cup leader boards, visit the Gold Cup page at www.useventing.com/competitions.php?section=gcs&id=1423
. Who’s Competing This Weekend?
This weekend at Maui Jim, twenty-five horses will be competing in the CIC**, the “Intermediate” division of the Gold Cup, and nine horses will be in the CIC***, the “Advanced” division. Several of the upper-level riders that you usually see competing at this prestigious event, unfortunately, won’t be attending, as they’ll be preparing for the Olympic Games. However, that doesn’t mean that it won’t be a wonderful event, with seven divisions from CIC*** to Training level, there’s plenty of spectating to be had!
Though last year’s CIC*** winner Becky Holder won’t be present to defend her title, as she is preparing for a possible spot on the Olympic team, there are plenty of talented horses and riders who will be competing instead such as Allison Springer with her two horses Arthur and Destination Known, Sara Dierks and Somerset II, Kristen Bond and Three Wishes II, Kelly Sult and Hollywood, and many more!
In the CIC** last year’s winner Cassidy Lundmark and her Quarter Horse g