The American Gold Cup, the longest-running equestrian grand prix in the U.S., had previously been held in North Salem, N.Y., as a week-long event offering only one style of equestrian competition. Event organizers are utilizing the grant and other matching funds to move the competition to Flintfields Horse Park in Traverse City, Mich., extend the competition to two weeks and increase the number of classes and styles offered.
“The support from the Great Lakes Sports Commission is a key element in making this move possible,” said Matt Morrisey, Flintfields Horse Park event director. “This investment has the potential to create an annual economic impact to the local community, similar to the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, which generates roughly $124 million in direct and indirect spending over six weeks.”
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the American Gold Cup is a unique global event with worldwide television coverage and an international field of riders including Olympic medalists, world cup champions and members of the 2018 World Equestrian Games – Team USA.
A year ago, 600 horses and 603 riders from 31 states and 9 nations competed. The move to Flintfields Horse Park will provide room to grow with more than double the capacity for horses.
“Traverse City is honored to host the American Gold Cup and bring such a prestigious event to our community. It has been so exciting to see the Traverse City Horse Shows grow each year and introduce people from all over the world to northern Michigan,” said Trevor Tkach President and CEO of Traverse City Tourism. “Participants have fallen in love with the area and stayed longer for vacations, bought second homes, and recommended Traverse City as a destination to their friends. Having the American Gold Cup here will strengthen those bonds and allow new visitors to experience the beauty of our area.”
Traverse City Horse Shows is the second group this year to have received funds from the GLSC. The first recipient was the Kiwanis Ski Club for the Pine Mountain Ski Hill in the amount of $3 million earlier this year for improvements to continue international ski jumping events.
For more information, visit www.greatlakessportscommission.org