Cooper Dean and Madison Goetzmann Lead Regions 1 and 2 to Advance to Maclay Finals

North Salem, N.Y. – Sept. 16, 2017 – Saturday at the 47th American Gold Cup hosted the Region 1 and 2 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championships, allowing top riders to qualify for the renowned ASPCA Maclay Championships at the National Horse Show in November. Cooper Dean and Madison Goetzmann guaranteed their places in the finals, decorated with gold medals, to lead Region 1 and 2 respectively.

Cooper Dean and Kori D'oro with trainer Patricia Griffith and National Horse Show President Mason Phelps
Cooper Dean and Kori D’oro with trainer Patricia Griffith and National Horse Show President Mason Phelps
Madison Goetzmann and San Remo VDL with groom Carlos Lopez, trainer Stacia Madden and National Horse Show President Mason Phelps.
Madison Goetzmann and San Remo VDL with groom Carlos Lopez, trainer Stacia Madden and National Horse Show President Mason Phelps.

The morning began with Region 1, consisting of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, and followed into the afternoon with Region 2, made up of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Riders have the option to compete in either their home region based upon the point requirements of their own official USEF state of residence, or any other region based upon the highest point requirements of any state within that chosen region, whichever is greater.

Twelve obstacles separately tested each region, set up in slightly differing patterns between the two regions in the indoor arena at Old Salem Farm. The jumping phase was followed by four groups on the flat for Region 1 and three groups on the flat for Region 2 with no additional testing for either.

Cooper Dean and Kori D'oro - Photo by SEL Photography
Cooper Dean and Kori D’oro – Photo by SEL Photography

Dean, of Region 1, bested the larger class of 57 starters aboard Heritage Farm’s 8-year-old gelding, Kori D’oro. Although he calls Alabama home, Dean lives and trains at Heritage Farm in New York as a working student under Andre Dignelli. In his final junior year at 18 years old, Dean decided to direct all of his focus towards the indoor equitation season, even leaving his working student position with Aaron Vale after his years in the pony jumpers. However Dean still credits much of his success to Vale who gave him the polish while “Andre’s done a lot of buffing.”

Madison Goetzmann and San Remo VDL - Photo by SEL Photography
Madison Goetzmann and San Remo VDL – Photo by SEL Photography

Fourth in the ring for Region 2, Goetzmann rode Elizabeth Benson’s San Remo VDL to a beautiful round over fences to outride her other thirty-five competitors and maintained her lead through the flat phase in the final group. The seasoned veteran San Remo is an equitation expert at 17 years of age, winning multiple finals, such as Washington International and Capital Challenge with past riders. Goetzmann just recently teamed up with the Warmblood gelding at the Hampton Classic after spending her summer showing the jumpers in Europe with John and Beezie Madden, but was able to qualify during WEF for the Maclay. She plans to continue her winning streak with San Remo by retaining their partnership through this year’s equitation finals.

There will be 25 riders initially accepted from Region 1 and 16 initially accepted from Region 2. Once the total number of riders from all Regional competitions is finalized, additional riders may be accepted in order of placings. The other ten regions will hold their qualifying championships throughout the month of September to garner the starting list for the CP National Horse Show, which will take place at the Kentucky Horse Park Oct. 31 – Nov. 5. The final round of the ASPCA Maclay Championship is presented by Chansonette Farm and will occur on the the final day, Nov. 5.


Cooper Dean – Region 1 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Champion

Cooper Dean and Kori D'oro
Cooper Dean and Kori D’oro

On the course:
“I thought it was a pretty similar to a finals course. It was pretty long and there was a good bit of tests that you had to do in there. This is my fourth time doing regionals and it’s my last year, so there was no reason to be nervous. I just wanted to go in there and be confident and execute. There were a couple of changes after the flat. I’m glad there were because I was third, but I got to move up from third. I’m glad that I get to go and I’m qualified for Maclay Finals again.”

On Kori D’oro:
“I think since this is his first time doing indoors we are just being cautious of that. Obviously he doesn’t seem to mind. Andre [Dignelli] owns him and lets me ride him and I’m so thankful for that. I started riding him midway through WEF and he qualified me to do the George Morris class. I took him to Devon where we won a class and were third in the Maclay. It just seems like whenever it’s time for him to put on his big boy pants he does. He was doing a little bit of equitation [before], but I think that I’m the first rider to be consistent. [Andre] saw him and was like this guy looks like a packer. He’s got a couple quirks to him, but he’s pretty perfect for what I need out of him.”

On his working student positions:
“[I’ve been with Heritage] since the middle of February. I used to ride for Aaron Vale and he taught me everything from the get-go. I did pony jumpers when I was little and then he kind of took me under his wing for three years and I really wanted to aim for an equitation final this year, so I made a big decision and decided to go to a more equitation barn. Aaron taught me more than anybody else, so I have to give him some thanks too. I wanted to be better. I had the polish on, I just needed to be buffed out, and I think Andre’s done a lot of buffing.”

Madison Goetzmann – Region 2 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Champion

Madison Goetzmann and San Remo VDL
Madison Goetzmann and San Remo VDL

On her plan in the class:
“Knowing that I went early, I wanted to make sure that I did the right strides and executed the course correctly. My overall plan was to make everything smooth and to keep in the back of my head that if there was a small bobble that I should just keep doing the best that I can, knowing that it’s regionals, to qualify for Maclay [Finals]. The “S” line, the 5 to the 5, is what I noticed got many riders in the zone 1 regional so that was the main focus of my trip. I wanted to make sure that I executed that very well and did it as smooth as possible and I think that’s what ultimately led to a good result. I knew that I was on top going into the flat. There really was no testing in the flat, so I just wanted to make sure I had my heels down and kept breathing.”

On San Remo:
“San Remo was perfect. He just does everything for you. Words can’t really describe what he’s like to ride. This is my third class on him. [My first class on him] was the Washington Jumper Phase at the Hampton Classic and we actually won that one too. Stacia [Madden] being the lady she is offered me San Remo saying that she thought we’d be a perfect match. I train with John and Beezie for the jumpers, and San Remo’s actually been up in Cazenovia all year round. It’s a really great program for him. He gets to live out and be a horse all year round and he goes back to Stacia’s barn mid-July to prepare for equitation finals. He’s the final’s specialist. I’m very grateful that Stacia gave me the opportunity to ride him. He’s just such a smooth horse. He will do anything you ask of him and he really just has a good heart. He’s a really special horse.”

On transitioning back into equitation after doing the jumpers in Europe all summer:
“It’s nice to get back to the equitation. I went back to [Stacia]’s farm once before going to the Hamptons and we did a boot camp right there. We got some things fixed, but I have John and Beezie on the road with me too, and Beezie Madden is a perfectionist so I didn’t get too bad over the summer. [Stacia] definitely helped me with a few smaller things – eyes up, heels down, smoothness is everything, so I’m grateful that I have her on the side.”


Region 1 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championships
Place / Rider / Horse
1. Cooper Dean / Kori D’oro
2. Abigail Brayman / Cassini W
3. Ava Stearns / Eclipse
4. Raleigh Hiler / Cantoblanco
5. Ava Ellis / Campreoll
6. Sam Walker / Waldo
7. Emma Fletcher / Conspicuous
8. Coco Fath / Class Action
9. Elli Yeager / Copperfield 39
10. Yasmin Rizvi / Co Co Pop

Region 2 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championships
Place / Rider / Horse
1. Madison Goetzmann / San Remo VDL
2. Samantha Cohen / Clover
3. Taylor St Jacques / Charisma
4. Sophee Steckbeck / Curt Z
5. Nina Columbia / Checkland
6. Sara McCloskey / Sting
7. Lauren Lindner / Nino Nacho
8. Devon Thomas / Cordino
9. Taylor Griffiths / Curtis
10. Chloe Wilkenfeld / California W Z

Photos – SEL Photography and Phelps Media Group

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