2008 Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series Launches Next Weekend at Red Hills Horse Trials

You can almost smell the excitement in the air… and it can only mean one thing – the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series is about to kick off the 2008 season! Running from March to September, the series includes thirteen premier eventing competitions around the country, representing some of the best entertainment and most exciting action in U.S. eventing. Riders compete for prizes and prize money and trophies at each event, accumulating points in the hopes of earning the year-end purse and the coveted title of Gold Cup champions.

Red Hills Horse Trials in Tallahassee, Florida, will host the inaugural event this coming weekend on March 14-16. The CIC3*-W will serve as the Advanced Gold Cup division, and the CIC2* will represent the Intermediate Gold Cup division. The event, located at the scenic Elinor Klapp Phipps Park, is tentatively scheduled to begin at 7:30 each morning, starting on Friday. Thought to be one of the finest event facilities in the country, this event is sure to attract a huge number of spectators (last year, upwards of 15,000 spectators attended and 400+ volunteers supported the event!).

Becky Holder and Comet

Named for the sloping terrain and rich red earth known as the "red hills" of north Florida and South Georgia, the Red Hills Horse Trials features a challenging cross-country course designed by Captain Mark Phillips, Chef d'Equipe and Technical Advisor for the United States Equestrian Team and a former member of the Great Britain Olympic team. The cross country course was initially built by Scotland's Hugh Lochore, and is set in the central area of a 120-acre indigenous plant/horticultural park owned by Tallahassee ecologist and horse enthusiast Colin Phipps. It features a variety of formidable obstacles, including water, banks and ditches, which wind through Phipps' arboretum. This year they welcome a new course designer, Eric Bull from Scottsville, VA.

Last year, it was Becky Holder who had to make more room on her trophy shelf after becoming "Keeper of the Cup" for a second year in a row—this time winning the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series Advanced division with her and husband Tom's Courageous Comet. Holder, who hails from Mendota Heights, Minnesota, and won the Series' Intermediate division with Ann Bower's Rejuvenate in 2005, was thrilled to hear that she and Comet, an 11-year-old gray Thoroughbred gelding, would be the next pair to have their names added to the perpetual Gold Cup at the USEA's headquarters in Leesburg, Virginia.

Will Coleman and Kiki du Manoir

It was an extremely tight race in the Intermediate Gold Cup division last year, with just five points separating the division's top two. In the end Will Coleman of Gordonsville, Virginia and Kiki du Manoir came out on top with 260 points. Coleman and Kiki, a nine-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by Tivoli Farm, started out the season in April with a win in the Intermediate division at The Fork Horse Trials in Norwood, North Carolina, and followed that up in July with a win at the Cosequin Stuart Horse Trials CIC2* in Victor, New York, before moving up to advanced for the rest of the season.

If you thought last year’s series was a close race, just wait until you see the line-up this year. We’ve added one more prestigious event – the Wellpride American Eventing Championships! What better way to add icing on the cake for AEC winners than giving them Gold Cup prizes, cash, and points as well?

Speaking of prizes, our generous sponsors have once again blessed us with a bevy of fabulous prizes for the winners. The Advanced winners receive $500 in cash, Mountain Horse SCS3 boots, a box of Adequan, two tubes of UlcerGard, two pairs of Nunn Finer American Style boots, a three-month supply of Wellpride, two bags of Nutrena feed, Back on Track pillow wraps and polo wraps. Second place finishers win Nunn Finer brushing boots and a Back on Track saddle pad, and third place also takes home Nunn Finer brushing boots and a Back on Track saddle pad. Not to be left empty-handed, fourth place finishers get a Back on Track saddle pad for their efforts. The Intermediate division gets the exact same prizes, but instead of the Mountain Horse boots, they receive a Mountain Horse Cirrus jacket.

The Series kicks off this spring with three more events: Southern Pines Horse Trials next weekend in North Carolina, Galway Downs Horse Trials the last weekend of March in Southern California, followed by The Fork Horse Trials the following weekend, again in North Carolina. Nine more events will round out the year, from July through September. The year-end champions will receive their trophies, prizes, and prize money at the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention this December in New Orleans.

Visit www.USEventing.com to keep track of the Gold Cup standings.

To find out more about the Adequan USEA Gold Cup series, visit the USEA homepage, and click on the Gold Cup logo.


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