CSI 3*

Margie Engle & Dicas Claim $100,000 Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI 3* at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival

2018. GLEF CSI 3 GP Margie Engle & Dicas Diana Hadsall Ph

Traverse City, Michigan. – August 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 CSI 3* 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 CSI 5* 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 CSI 2*, 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.

2018. GLEF CSI 3 GP Cel Margie Engle & Dicas Diana Hadsall Ph

Margie Engle (USA) & Dicas during the awards ceremony

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 CSI 2* during Week V.

Concluding the first of two weeks of CSI 3* 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.

2018. GLEF CSI 3 Leading Rider Erynn Ballard Diana Hadsall Ph

Erynn Ballard (CAN)  receiving the M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award

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 (CAN) 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 CSI 3* class on Wednesday, the $35,000 CWD Welcome Speed Stake CSI 3* on Thursday, the $35,000 Great Lakes Classic CSI 3* on Friday and the finale, the $100,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City CSI 3*, on Sunday at 2 p.m.

From the Winner’s Circle 
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 CSI 3*:
Place / Rider / Country / Horse – R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Margie Engle (USA) & Dicas – 0 / 0 / 37.00
2. Jim Ifko (CAN) & Un Diamant Des Forets – 0 / 0 / 37.38
3. Ali Wolff (USA) & Casall – 0 / 0 / 37.65
4. Samuel Parot (CHI) & Thriller P – 0 / 0 / 39.32
5. Mattias Tromp (USA) & Quinta 106 – 0 / 0 / 40.25
6. Pablo Barrios (VEN) & Elana 22 – 0 / 4 / 40.65
7. Ilan Bluman (COL) & Eax Run Run LS – 0 / 4 / 43.35
8. Hunter Holloway (USA) & Lucky Strike – 0 / 4 / 43.77
9. Michael Morrissey (USA) & Chance STE Hermelle – 1 / 88.17
10. Juan Gallego (COL) & Coulash Van De Broy Z – 1 / 88.29
11. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) & Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili – 4 / 82.25
12. Theo Genn (USA) & Boucanier – 4 / 83.22
Source: Press Release by Taylor Rains / Phelps Media Group for Great Lakes Equestrian Festival
Photos: © Diana Hadsall Photography