Traverse City, Mich. – Aug. 5, 2018 – For the second time during Week V at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), the United States’ Margie Engle of Wellington, Florida, rode to the top of the leaderboard with Dicas, owned by Storm Ridge Capital LLC, in the highly anticipated $100,000 Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI3* on Sunday at the Flintfields Horse Park.
The pair traveled to Traverse City, Michigan, straight from Aachen, Germany, after competing at the prestigious CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival where they won the SAP-Prize CSI5* speed class, and arrived at GLEF this week to reclaim their spot in the winner’s circle in Thursday’s $35,000 East Wind Farms Welcome Stake CSI3*.
Engle and Dicas returned to the Grand Prix Ring on Sunday to once again take home the top prize, besting 35 other international horses and athletes with only tenths of a second separating the top three finishers.
Eight rode clear over course designer Manuel Esparza’s first round track to ensure an exciting jump-off for the crowd of spectators in attendance as well as those watching the class live on GLEF TV.
Out of five double-clear efforts, Mattias Tromp (USA) was the early clear pathfinder as second in the jump-off order-of-go with Quinta 106, owned by Swede Ventures LLC. They completed the short course in 40.25 seconds.
Canada’s Jim Ifko and Rachel Cornacchia’s Un Diamant Des Forets, winners of Week IV’s $35,000 Devoucoux Welcome Stake CSI2*, were next to finish the jump-off fault-free, taking over Tromp’s lead by three seconds in 37.38 seconds.
Yet only one round later, Olympic veteran Engle piloted Dicas to another blazing fast performance, crossing the finish line in a solid 37 seconds, which would prove to be unbeatable for the final two challengers thus garnering them the win.
Engle also competed with Dicas at the 2017 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, where the 9-year-old Rheinlander gelding launched his career with his first grand prix win in the $50,000 Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI2* during Week V.
Concluding the first of two weeks of CSI3* competition at GLEF on Sunday, Ifko was awarded second place honors, while Ali Wolff (USA) rounded out the top three with Blacklick Bend Farm’s Casall in 37.65 seconds.
In addition, for the first time at GLEF, the M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award, presented to an international equestrian who demonstrates the best style of riding, while maintaining a sportsmanlike composure, was awarded to Canada’s Erynn Ballard during Sunday’s grand prix.
The award, created by M. Michael Meller of Gallagher/Meller Sport Horses in 2011, began as a way to honor the memory of his dear friend Kate Nash Boone, who died from cancer, and her support and love of all things equestrian. Now, Meller presents the highly coveted award to exemplary athletes at competitions throughout the world, including GLEF.
The sixth and final week of GLEF (Aug. 8–12) kicks off on Wednesday and will feature more international show jumping competition such as the $6,000 Staller 1.40m Jumper CSI3* class on Wednesday, the $35,000 CWD Welcome Speed Stake CSI3* on Thursday, the $35,000 Great Lakes Classic CSI3* on Friday and the finale, the $100,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City CSI3*, on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Margie Engle (USA) – $100,000 Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI3* winner
On her winning streak with Dicas:
“I just have to ride the wave while I have it! He’s been super. The last couple of classes, he’s just gotten better and better. He’s gotten much more confident.”
On Sunday’s first round course:
“Today’s track definitely was a lot more difficult. It was long and asked a lot more questions. You had three different types of doubles. You had an oxer to oxer, which added a little bit more scope. The middle line was really tricky — the triple bar to the double vertical — especially with the liverpool on the backside of the out. I thought that was really difficult. [Dicas] actually handled it better than I thought. I liked that for different horses, you could do different striding. The turn back on the skinny oxer to the skinny again, you had to have a really careful horse there. The time-allowed was tight. I thought it was a good track today but it was difficult.”
On her strategy in the jump-off:
“I looked at the jump-off and the one turn that was back on the sailboats, it just looked like it was going to slow me down more to go inside. He’s such a big horse and after I galloped and left out a stride down the middle, I thought it was better to go around it. Going inside and catching it forward was going to be difficult. On a smaller, hotter-type horse, I think it might’ve been easier.”
On competing at GLEF:
“All of the top riders are wanting to come here more and more. The competition’s getting better and stronger all of the time.”
$100,000 Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI3*:
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Dicas / Margie Engle / USA / Storm Ridge Capital LLC / 0 / 0 / 37.00
2. Un Diamant Des Forets / Jim Ifko / CAN / Rachel Cornacchia / 0 / 0 / 37.38
3. Casall / Ali Wolff / USA / Blacklick Bend Farm / 0 / 0 / 37.65
4. Thriller P / Samuel Parot / CHI / Samuel Parot / 0 / 0 / 39.32
5. Quinta 106 / Mattias Tromp / USA / Swede Ventures LLC / 0 / 0 / 40.25
6. Elana 22 / Pablo Barrios / VEN / Pablo Barrios / 0 / 4 / 40.65
7. Eax Run Run LS / Ilan Bluman / COL / Blue Star Investments / 0 / 4 / 43.35
8. Lucky Strike / Hunter Holloway / USA / Hays Investment Corp. / 0 / 4 / 43.77
9. Chance STE Hermelle / Michael Morrissey / USA / QBS Equestrian LLC / 1 / 88.17
10. Coulash Van De Broy Z / Juan Gallego / COL / Maximiliano Orduna / 1 / 88.29
11. Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC / 4 / 82.25
12. Boucanier / Theo Genn / USA / Taylor Reid / 4 / 83.22
Kicking off competition on Sunday morning at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) was the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby held in the Polk Family Main Hunter Ring. Nikko Ritter of Nikko Ritter Show Stables based in Wellington, Florida, came out on top against 24 competitors with Kathryn Haefner LLC’s Columbus in the final USHJA National Hunter Derby of the 2018 circuit.
The pair delivered a flawless first round, earning them the classic round high score of 92. With the top 12 combinations returning for the handy round in reserve order of their classic round scores (lowest to highest), Ritter, the final entry in the second round, stayed consistent and rode the 12-year-old Westfalian gelding to an impressive score of 88 for a combined total of 180 to claim the win.
In addition to his win on Sunday, Columbus also claimed the Gene & Georgetti Adult Amateur 18–35 Hunter division championship on Saturday with his owner, Kathryn Haefner.
Columbus’ top derby finish also earned him the Platinum Performance Hunter Horse of the Week award to conclude Sunday’s derby competition.
Maggie Gould and Starbit Partners LLC’s Pointe Milou finished the first round sitting in third place with a score of 89. They wowed the judges in the second round to receive the handy round high score of 90 and a combined total of 179 to just miss first place by one point.
As a result, Gould and Pointe Milou settled for second place honors, while third place went to Erika Jakobson and Nobel Laureate, owned by Barn Rat LLC, who were awarded scores of 85 and 89 for a total score of 174.
Hunter competition will resume at GLEF beginning with the professional hunter divisions on Wednesday, Aug. 8.
Nikko Ritter – $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby winner
“Columbus is a 12-year-old of Stellar Equestrian. Kathryn Haefner does him in the amateurs. This is my second time riding him. He just has a really easy canter. We call him the boat because he goes one way and no matter how much kicking or pulling you do, he’s going to go that same way. It’s really easy to do smooth, nice rounds on him.”
On his winning strategy:
“We were one of the first to go early. We just had a smooth, consistent round. Being an amateur horse, he is very consistent and I think that’s what set us apart.”
On competing at GLEF:
“These derbies are great for the horse for experience — to see different courses and enjoy himself. The weather’s beautiful and it’s always great to show in Traverse [City].”
$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Total Score
1. Columbus / Nikko Ritter / Kathryn Haefner LLC / 180
2. Pointe Milou / Maggie Gould / Starbit Partners LLC / 179
3. Nobel Laureate / Erika Jakobson / Barn Rat LLC / 174
4. Quasa Granda / Angela Calicchio / Cali Horse Sales LLC / 168
5. Arendelle / Julie Pickering / Anna Pemble / 166
6. Southside / Olivia Jacob / Barney Jacob / 165
7. Graf Balou Belle / Jill Gaffney / Freestyling Farms LLC / 164
8. Quite Lady / Olivia Jacob / Barney Jacob / 162
9. Lady Grey / Maxine Schatten / Lionsway Farm / 152.5
10. Candid / Misty Pleiness / Kim Carey / 139
11. Lexx / Maggie Gould / Paul Macrae / 135
12. Soul Sister / Emily Tauscher / Emily Tauscher / 134