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Horsing Around 

Gold Cup fans jump for joy -- but not as high as the stars.

Expect to see some serious jumping at this weekend’s American Gold Cup horse show in Moreland Hills. At Sunday’s big face-off, barriers reach more than five feet high. Contestants must complete each course without knocking anything down. “This sport definitely takes dedication,” says organizer Betty Yopko Weibel. “If you work real hard and keep trying over a long process -- years, not months -- then good things will come.”

The 37th outing doubles as a qualifying event for the prestigious World Cup, which takes place in Sweden in April. Plus, many of the riders and horses that you’ll see this weekend are competing in next year’s Olympic trials. While spectators listen to live music and play games, hundreds of top-level horses gallop their way to a $100,000 prize. “These are the Michael Jordans of the sport,” says Yopko Weibel. “Anybody who’s sat on a horse knows the feeling of getting a thousand-pound animal to turn and jump. It’s an incredible rush -- whether you’re clearing two feet or five. It’s like flying.”
Fri., Sept. 21, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 2007

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