Sunday, Jun. 9, 2024

Malcolm Matures Into A Winner At Wachovia Securities American Gold Cup

One turn makes all the difference for Norman Dello Joio in Ohio.

For a horse that rider Norman Dello Joio described as a “work in progress,” Malcolm certainly proved that he is on his way to becoming a star as he won the $100,000 Wachovia Securities American Gold Cup CSI-W in Moreland Hills, Ohio, Sept. 17-21.

A last-minute decision paid off in spades for Dello Joio. After three riders had rails in the jump-off, Mario Deslauriers and Paradigm, last year’s winners, put in a tidy clear round in 46.50 seconds.
PUBLISHED

ADVERTISEMENT

One turn makes all the difference for Norman Dello Joio in Ohio.

For a horse that rider Norman Dello Joio described as a “work in progress,” Malcolm certainly proved that he is on his way to becoming a star as he won the $100,000 Wachovia Securities American Gold Cup CSI-W in Moreland Hills, Ohio, Sept. 17-21.

A last-minute decision paid off in spades for Dello Joio. After three riders had rails in the jump-off, Mario Deslauriers and Paradigm, last year’s winners, put in a tidy clear round in 46.50 seconds.

“I wasn’t planning to go inside the wall [in the jump-off],” said Dello Joio, “Because Mario went around. But I was a little slow from [fence] 1 to 2, so I changed my plan. Then I let him gallop home over the oxer. I just squeaked through because of that turn.” The inside turn paid off as Malcom stopped the timers in 46.26 seconds.

Deslauriers described Malcolm as “deceivingly fast.”

After watching Jeanne Hobbs on Night And Day 8, McLain Ward on Phillipa and Alison Robitaille on Via Volo each take down rails in the jump-off, Deslauriers knew what had to be done. “With Norman behind me, I knew I had to go clean and at least stay within the pace of the others. It was my plan all along to go around the wall,” he said.

Malcolm, whom Dello Joio has ridden for four years, had a rocky start in the United  States. “It’s been a lot of work getting him healthy,” he said of the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. “When he came over from England he was sick and had some blood issues, so it’s been a long, slow struggle.”

Dello Joio said that the biggest task with Malcolm was getting him “to believe in me. He’s the type of horse who gets better and better in inches, not in yards.

“But he’s a hard-knocker now,” Dello Joio said. “Now every time he goes in he has a chance to place. He’s not Babe Ruth—he’s not going to hit one out of the park, but he’s in the money a lot and he’s starting to believe in himself.”

Another exciting part of Dello Joio’s day was watching his son, 19-year-old Nick, compete in the Gold Cup. “That was as thrilling as winning!” he said with a smile. Nick finished in 14th with Draco after a first-round rail.

Sunny Weather Predicted

Mindy Blackford’s Foul Play, who won the NAL/WIHS Adult Amateur Jumper Classic, is another work in progress who came from Dello Joio. Blackford, of Mayfield, Ohio, purchased the bay gelding from Dello Joio five years ago even though her trainer, Scott Petrie, initially told her not to.

“Foul Play was really young and not very broke, and Scott told me I’d never be riding him if I bought him. He said he was a professional’s horse,” she said. Still, Blackford was insistent.

“I begged and begged Scott to let me buy him and he finally gave in,” she said. After Scott worked with Foul Play, 12, for about a year, Blackford was eventually able to start riding him.

Unfortunately, not long after Blackford took over the reins, she shattered her foot in what she called a leg-up accident.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It was like a cartoon,” she said. “I was getting a leg-up, and the groom threw me behind the saddle. The horse bolted, and I was left on the concrete by myself. When I hit the ground my foot just powdered.”

Blackford had to spend eight months out of the tack, and doctors told her she would probably eventually need surgery to permanently fix her foot. They suggested, however, that she wait it out as long as possible as she would have to spend a year on crutches after the surgery.

“Riding is actually good for [the foot] because it stretches out the tendons,” said Blackford. “Sometimes it gives out on me, but mostly it’s fine. But I can tell you the weather when I get up in the morning. I’ll say, ‘It’s going to rain today! It’s going to snow today!’ ”

And Foul Play, whom Blackford describes as “Mr. Mischief,” certainly keeps her on her toes. “He always has to be right in your face,” she said.

Gold Cup Tidbits

•    Grand prix rider Candice King took time out of her day to give some younger spectators a tour around the grand prix ring at the Wachovia Securities American Gold Cup. Followed by about 15 children and their families, King walked the group around from jump to jump explaining the differences in fence type and how the horses navigate a course.

•    Carolyn Kelly and her 14-year-old German mare, Rulanda, won the $25,000 Wachovia Securities Welcome Stakes, beating Todd Minikus’ two leading rides by almost 2
seconds.
        “I was standing at the gate when I watched Todd beat his own time, and I thought maybe it could be beaten again,” said Kelly.
        Rulanda is a high-energy horse who likes to win. “There’s really no getting her quiet. I just set her up and let her do her thing!”

•    Marley Goodman, out of West Palm Beach, Fla., topped the high junior/amateur-owner classic on Ronja 810 and placed third aboard U2. The last to go in a field of eight jumping off, Ronja 810 had a time of 33.81 seconds, which was fractions of a second faster than the nearest clear round. Goodman was the only rider in the class to qualify two for the jump off.

•    Beezie Madden and Creme Brule won the $25,000 1.50-meter Jumper Classic, jumping off against 11. The only rider to get close to her time with a clear ride was Brianne Goutal on Ralvesther, who came in at just under 1 second slower.

“He’ll rummage through my trunk and find the carrots at the bottom, or pull everything out and hide stuff in his stall and then look at you like, ‘I didn’t do that! I have no idea how that got in there!’ ”

Blackford plans to move up the low amateur-owner jumpers with Foul Play this fall and is thinking about spending a few weeks in Florida during the winter.

A True Import

Although Christina Kelly resides rather close to the Moreland Hills show in Nicholasville, Ky., she was living across the Atlantic Ocean when she started her riding career.

“My parents and I went to Spain on holiday and just decided to stay!” joked the 15-year-old about her transatlantic move. “It was there that I started to ride. I was 10 and my friend had a pony she rode, and I said I wanted to do that, too.”

It was also in Spain that Kelly found her horse, Carracci 2, with whom she took home the win in the low junior/amateur-owner jumper classic.

One of the last riders to go in a field of 42, she had the fastest jump-off time by almost 2 full seconds.
Kelly purchased the German-bred Carracci 2 from the owner of Spain’s Coca-Cola company before importing him to the United States when her family moved back to Kentucky more than a year ago.

ADVERTISEMENT

Although Carracci is a stallion, he’s very well-behaved, both at home and the shows. “He was bred to three mares this year, and he’ll have his first foals on the ground next year,” said Kelly.

Kelly, who trains with Shane Sweetnam, made the move up to the high junior division on Carracci. “I’ve had him for four years, but we’ve moved him back down to the lows because he’s almost 15, and I have another high junior horse I’m showing,” she said.

Because Kelly is on the road for horse shows most of the year, she is home-schooled by two tutors, one in person and one online. “It’s a very versatile program based out of Europe,” said Kelly.

“I can do half of my work online and then send it all back to Europe to be graded. I still have to fly over for tests and such, but it’s really nice.” Kelly explained.

Meant To Be

When Chelsea Campbell, 16, outgrew her pony jumper a year ago and started looking for a horse, she didn’t go quite as far as Spain. Sitting in her own home, she began her search on the Internet. When she clicked on Written In The Stars, the search was over.

“I saw him on a sale website, and I knew I wanted him,” said the high school senior from Dublin, Ohio. “We bought tickets overnight and immediately flew down to Austin, Texas, to try him.”

“She rode him once, and we vetted him the next morning,” said trainer Diane Masters, who also coaches Campbell on her interscholastic riding team. “He was supposed to go to the Vermont Summer Festival, and we knew he’d sell there, so we moved quickly.”

After a year of work and a lot of second- and third-place ribbons, winning the NAL/WIHS Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic, along with the championship in division, “is just wonderful,” said Masters. “It’s her first big win.”

The 11-year-old Warmblood is straightforward to ride, said Campbell, but is “really annoying in the barn. He expects treats the moment he walks out of the ring. He has to have his peppermints, otherwise he pouts and paws,” said Masters.

Masters and Campbell plan to take “Aries” to the Washington International Horse Show (D.C.) and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show to compete in the WIHS and NAL children’s jumper finals before working on some equitation goals for next year.

One of the youngest teenagers in her grade, Campbell is undecided about where to go to college next year. She’d like to ride on an intercollegiate team, and her parents have agreed to let her take “Aries” to school with her.

“That horse is the love of her life,” joked Masters. “Her father asked me, ‘Do you think we have to still pay board on him after she’s married?’ ”

Megan Martin

Categories:

ADVERTISEMENT

EXPLORE MORE

Follow us on

Sections

Copyright © 2024 The Chronicle of the Horse