Upperville, Virginia – June 10, 2022 – Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) rode to the top of the Delta Air Lines Two-Phase Stake CSI 4* aboard Berdien at the 169th Upperville Colt & Horse Show, presented by Mars Equestrian™, besting a field of 35 starters in the f irst of four FEI level classes this week.
Careful riding in the power phase, combined with slick and speedy turns in the speed phase catapulted her to the win in 29.84 seconds. Cawley imported Berdien in 2017 as a six-year-old and has enjoyed consistent placings at the three-, four-, and five-star levels. “I went to Javier Salvador’s, and he had three or four horses that we couldn’t totally decide on, so we brought a few over, and by the end of the Florida circuit, she had proven to be the one we really wanted,” she said.
Berdien’s heart and drive have quickly become Cawley’s favorite traits of the mare owned by Louisburg Farm. “She fights every single time in the ring, she fights for you, and she wants to win.” Initially, Cawley’s strategy was to go for the win, but when she saw that the riders before her were going at such a clip, she briefly reconsidered, thinking a more conservative approach might be the right choice.
“I’ve been a little frustrated because I feel like she has been fast, but we end up getting outrun. But, once I got the six strides done after the in-and-out and got the gallop, it felt like I should keep galloping!” Cawley expressed her delight at showing at Upperville, noting the history and atmosphere of the show is part of what keeps her returning each year.
“Upperville feels a little bit like Devon to me,” she pointed out. “I’ve always wanted to live in this area; it’s very horse friendly and the crowd is always great. They always cheer you on and the hospitality is amazing for all of us.” Berdien will have tomorrow off and aim to add another win to her record in Saturday’s $37,000 Turnham Green Upperville FEI 4* Speed Stake.
Source: Press Release from UCHS – Upperville Colt & Horse Show
Photo: © UCHS / Taylor Pence