The Horse Circus: 9.12.14

The Horse CircusWe pretend to go to the horse show but everyone really knows it’s a circus!

Bring on the clowns! And the horses too!

Every Friday Counter-Canter Culture features the important US and International Horse Shows currently under way.

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The Masters Tournament at Spruce Meadows and 44th Annual American Gold Cup

You could say that things are really heating up on the North American show jumping circuit this weekend, but that wouldn’t exactly be true. One of the two major jumping events set for this weekend already suffered a snow delay. You heard me! All Wednesday events at the Masters Tournament at Spruce Meadows were postponed due to the unprecedented ten plus inches of fresh snow on the ground.

Meanwhile, over at Old Salem, which serves as host for the 44th Annual American Gold Cup, things are equally soggy at times albeit far more temperate.   But challenging weather aside, the schedule and performances at these two top competitions are really bringing the heat.

The Masters Tournament at Spruce Meadows

Eric Lamaze wins the ATCO Structures & Logistics Cup

The featured competition of the Masters is the $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex on Saturday, which offers the biggest prize money for a single-day event in all of show jumping and is part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

Many of the top riders in the world will be on hand to take part in this Spruce Meadows action, including medalists from the World Equestrian Games. Team silver medalists Kevin Staut and Penelope Leprevost of France and team bronze medalists of the United States, McLain Ward, Kent Farrington, and individual bronze medalist Beezie Madden are all set to compete.

Kent Farrington has already tasted success at these Masters, winning the $50,000 TELUS Cup on the delayed opening day. Fellow American, Laura Hough, also took top honors in the $210,000 CANA Cup, and Canadian favorite Eric Lamaze claimed the $50,000 ATCO Structures & Logistics Cup.

The Masters Tournament is also planning to bring a mountain of musical fun for audience. The RCMP Musical Ride will be performing daily, and fireworks, orchestrated in time to live music courtesy of the Band of the Welsh Guards, will cap off the evening tonight. Keep up with all the action on their Facebook page.

44th Annual American Gold Cup

Darragh Kenny and Gatsby on the way to winning the $34,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome Stake.

The American Gold Cup got underway on time on Wednesday with a wins for Julie Welles and Shane Sweetnam in the $8,000 Danbury Porsche Audi 1.40m Open Jumpers. With over 100 entries, this class was run as two split sections. And on Thursday Darragh Kenny was great with Gatsby, winning the $34,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome Stake.

The iconic $200,000 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W, on the grand prix field of Old Salem Farm, promises to be the highlight of the show. Olympic Gold Medalist Laura Kraut, mega-stars to watch Jessica Springsteen and Georgina Bloomberg, and last years winner, Brianne Goutal are all on hand for the big day.

Also contributing to the show’s festive and fun atmosphere will be many harmonious musical acts from bagpipes to National Anthem singers. That sounds worth a look!

The best news for spectators out of Old Salem and the American Gold Cup is that you don’t have to miss a minute of action from the Grand Prix Field even if you can’t be there. It’s all live and free streaming on

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