Traverse City, Mich. – Aug. 11, 2017 – On Friday afternoon, Abigail McArdle of the USA claimed the $40,000 Great Lakes Classic CSI3*, presented by Triple C Trailer Sales Inc., aboard Chuck Berry 8 at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF). After Olympian Margie Engle (USA) took over McArdle’s original lead with Cade, the 23-year-old professional rider returned with her second mount qualified for the jump-off to re-take the victory from Engle in an exciting tie-breaking round.
The first round course, built by Canadian course designer Michel Vaillancourt, saw 13 out of 32 finish faultlessly to advance to the jump-off, while nine finished double-clear.
McArdle was all business as she returned first to challenge the short course with Cade, owned by David McArdle, finishing in 33.54 seconds.
The pair was able to hold on to their lead for three rounds until Australia’s Scott Keach and Southern Cross Equestrian LLC’s Fedor bested McArdle’s time in 33.12 seconds. However, his lead was short-lived as only two rounds later show jumping veterans Engle and Royce, owned by Gladewinds Partners LLC, took over the top spot in 32.18 seconds.
Fortunately for McArdle, she had one more shot to re-claim her title with her second mount in the jump-off, Chuck Berry 8, owned by Plain Bay Sales. She and the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding put the pedal to the metal and crossed the finish line one second faster than Engle in 31.81 seconds. Engle finished behind McArdle in second place, while Keach grabbed the yellow ribbon for third place and McArdle claimed fourth place with Cade.
The 2017 GLEF will conclude on Sunday, Aug. 13, at the Flintfields Horse Park at 2 p.m. with the highly anticipated $100,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City CSI3*. Prior to Sunday’s main event in the Grand Prix Ring will be the popular Great Lakes Leadline class, the ROMFH Leading Rider Awards and the Parade of Champions. In addition, the Karin Flint Perpetual Trophy will be presented to the rider/trainer who has demonstrated outstanding horsemanship and achievement throughout GLEF. Family fun activities will also kick-off at noon featuring face painting, a bounce house, balloon artist, boutique shopping and more! The second pop-up farmers market, presented by Oryana and Taste the Local Difference, will be held from 11–2:30 p.m. Click here to buy tickets for Sunday’s grand finale at GLEF!
Abigail McArdle – $40,000 Great Lakes Classic CSI3*, presented by Triple C Trailer Sales Inc., winner
On Chuck Berry 8:
“We got [Chuck Berry 8] at the end of the winter circuit, and we’ve brought him along slowly. He won the 3* in Tryon, and that was kind of his breakout moment. He’s a sale horse so he could end up making somebody a really nice horse.”
On where she won the class:
“Going clear with my first horse, Cade, who’s my horse and a veteran 15-year-old, gave me a great confidence boost. After that, I knew where I could go faster [with Chuck Berry 8]. I tried to open up the stride down the first line [to leave out in six strides] and he was fantastic.”
“I love it here. It’s our second year here. We came last year, and it’s just a great venue.”
On having two in the top four:
“I feel on top right now, but that’s the sport. One minute you’re on top, and the next you’re not so I’ll take it while I can!”
$40,000 Great Lakes Classic CSI3*, presented by Triple C Trailer Sales Inc.:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Chuck Berry 8 / Abigail McArdle / USA / Plain Bay Sales / 0 / 0 / 31.81
2. Royce / Margie Engle / USA / Gladewinds Partners LLC / 0 / 0 / 32.18
3. Fedor / Scott Keach / AUS / Southern Cross Equestrian LLC / 0 / 0 / 33.12
4. Cade / Abigail McArdle / USA / David McArdle / 0 / 0 / 33.54
5. HH Quatuor / Quentin Judge / USA / Double H Farm / 0 / 0 / 33.81
6. Redmond / Alberto Michan / MEX / Brianne Goutal LLC / 0 / 0 / 35.02
7. Van Gogh / Theo Genn / USA / Wilhelm Genn / 0 / 0 / 35.26
8. Barnetta / Sharn Wordley / NZL / Sky Group / 0 / 0 / 35.42
9. Eax Run Run LS / Ilan Bluman / COL / Blue Star Investments / 0 / 0 / 35.69
10. Hunter ST Anna Z / Ilan Ferder / ISR / Lovsta Stuteri / 0 / 4 / 36.14
11. Charline 28 / Kady Abrahamson / USA / Abrahamson Equestrian LLC / 0 / 8 / 37.82
12. Bull Run’s Testify / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Bull Run Jumpers Inc. / 0 / 12 / 35.62
Representing the United States, 25-year-old Taylor Land of Pinetree Farms kicked off CSI3* competition on Thursday at GLEF with a win in the $35,000 Welcome Speed Stake CSI3* in the Grand Prix Ring. Thursday’s win was all the more meaningful for Land and For Edition, who have been competing together for less than a year, as it was also their first ever victory together after finishing in second place many times including in the $35,000 SOVARO® Longines FEI World Cup™ Qualifier CSI3*-W at the Palm Beach Masters in February.
The class saw 25 international horses and athletes vie for top honors around the Vaillancourt-designed one-round speed course, which produced a total of seven clear jumping rounds.
The first to go in the class was Kady Abrahamson (USA) aboard Abrahamson Equestrian LLC’s Charline 28. They rode fast and clear to set the standard to beat at 70.65 seconds.
Michael Morrisey (USA) and QBS Equestrian LLC’s La Lopez 3 came the closest to catching Abrahamson over the next 10 rounds but stopped the timers in 71.72 seconds, which would be good enough for fourth place honors at the end of the competition.
Veteran partners Wilhelm Genn (GER) and Bugatti followed Morrissey and put in another clear and speedy round in 70.90 seconds, rounding out the top three in the final standings.
Land, who was 18th in the order, piloted For Edition, a 17-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Jay Land, to a 69.47-second finish, which would prove to be unbeatable throughout the remainder of Thursday’s feature event and overtake Ambrahamson’s lead by one second.
Taylor Land – $35,000 Welcome Speed Stake CSI3* winner
On For Edition:
“He’s amazing. He’s 17 years old and we’ve owned him since he was 14. He was my sister’s horse for most of that time. I started riding him in October  and you would never know he’s 17! He’s full of enthusiasm and he’s definitely the most amazing horse I’ve ever had.”
On how she won:
“My dad has been working with me for a long time with this horse over the past year — learning to turn back quicker and use his big stride and his big jump to be quick because he’s slow in the air. He jumps really high over everything and he takes a lot of time in the air so I really need to make it up somewhere. We’ve been working on that really hard — trying to teach me how to turn back faster and get the horse used to it. I think I’m finally getting it together. That’s where I won it today for sure. There were a lot of rollbacks and I was able to turn back tight. He’s really bold at the jumps and I also left out in a few places.”
“I really love it here. This is my first time here. We came last week and are here for this week but this is our first year coming and it’s been wonderful. It’s a relaxed atmosphere but the rings are amazing, the courses have been great and there has been great competition.”
On her plan for the rest of the weekend and after GLEF:
“I’m planning to jump on Sunday and then he’s going to have around five to six weeks off. Our next competition will be the New Albany Classic.”
$35,000 Welcome Speed Stake CSI3*:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / Total Faults / Time
1. For Edition / Taylor Land / USA / Jay Land / 0 / 69.47
2. Charline 28 / Kady Abrahamson / USA / Abrahamson Equestrian LLC / 0 / 70.65
3. Bugatti / Wilhelm Genn / GER / Eduardo Leon / 0 / 70.90
4. La Lopez 3 / Michael Morrissey / USA / QBS Equestrian LLC / 0 / 71.72
5. Chicco W / Scott Keach / AUS / Edith Rameika / 0 / 71.73
6. Enzo / Ilan Bluman / COL / Blue Star Investments / 0 / 74.69
7. Udsrtum Du Lys / Alexa Lowe-Wiseman / USA / Alexa Lowe-Wiseman / 0 / 75.87
8. Entano / Roberto Teran Tafur / COL / Daniel Bluman / 4 / 69.49
9. Goldbreaker / David Blake / IRL / Gochman Sport Hors LLC / 4 / 69.82
10. Rye Val De Mai / Sharn Wordley / NZL / Sharn Wordley / 4 / 69.99
11. Chuck Berry 8 / Abigail McArdle / USA / Plain Bay Sales / 4 / 70.54
12. Ina De Laubry / Ilan Bluman / COL / Rafael Rocha / 4 / 71.96
Seventeen-year-old Hailey Berger concluded Equitation Tuesday competition at the 2017 GLEF with a win in the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal aboard Chloe, owned by East Wind Farms LLC.
Berger, who trains with Tiffany Morrissey, and Chloe scored an 80 in the first round and maintained their lead after the test to claim the blue ribbon.
Although Berger only just began campaigning in the equitation divisions at the end of the winter circuit in Florida, she and Chloe have found great success competing together and hope to qualify for this year’s THIS National Children’s Medal Final at the Capital Challenge Horse Show this fall.
Each year, GLEF continuously strives to improve the overall event and find new ways to cater to its exhibitors, making it a more enjoyable experience on all fronts for both horses, riders and spectators. Equitation Tuesdays were a new addition to the 2017 GLEF schedule, providing equitation exhibitors even more opportunities to collect double the amount of valuable qualifying points per week in one location throughout four weeks of the six-week circuit.
Hailey Berger – THIS National Children’s Medal winner
“Chloe is a 9-year-old Mecklenburger mare. She’s actually my mom’s horse so I get the opportunity to ride and show her in the Taylor Harris. She’s quite wonderful. We’ve only had her for a couple of months and she’s just done everything she can to help and develop me into a better equitation rider, as I just started the equitation at the end of WEF. She’s a great mare.”
On her test:
“My test was quite good. It was probably one of the best tests I’ve had. Everything went smoothly and there weren’t any bad hiccups. It was one of the best rounds I’ve had in the equitation.”
On Equitation Tuesdays:
“Equitation Tuesdays are a fantastic opportunity to get some extra points for the Taylor Harris final, as that’s my goal to go to. They give you the opportunity for more practice and to develop your riding more and make you a better equitation rider without so much pressure.”
“The show is in a great location and the grounds are beautiful with great sightseeing. It gets you away from such commercial shows. There’s a lot to do here in Traverse City so it’s not just ride, ride, ride. You get a break and you can go boating or go to the restaurants downtown; it’s a great show!”