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Engle on top

Olympic veteran captures seventh career Grand Prix

July 14, 2010
By LOU REUTER, News Senior Sports Writer

    LAKE PLACID — Olympic jumping veteran Margie Engle capped off a successful two-week stay in Lake Placid, capturing the title in the $75,000 Hermes Grand Prix last Saturday at the North Elba Show Grounds.

    Aboard her mount Indigo, Engle was the only horse-and-rider combination among four entries who reached the jump-off to put down a clean second run. Engle, who tied Leslie Howard’s career record of seven Grand Prix wins in Lake Placid, had the luxury of going last in the jump-off. After seeing the first three riders knock down rails, Engle was able to cover the course carefully and finish fault free.

    Engle and Indigo rounded the jump-off course with the third-fastest time, but took the victory by leaving every rail standing.

    “I had the advantage of sitting in the catbird’s seat,” Engle said. “When you go last, you know what you have to do.”

    Engle also landed another one of her horses in the jump-off, placing third aboard Hidden Creek’s Campella with just a single fault in the time jump-off.

    Kate Levy also had a strong outing this summer in Lake Placid. Aboard Lirving de Volsin, Levy rode to a runner-up finish, also dropping just one rail. They were the first of four to run in the jump-off and finished their ride in 41.20 seconds, which was the quickest of the round. Engle and HC Campella were next, finishing 1.68 seconds back with one knock down. Hillary Dobbs, and her horse Corlett, also reached the jump-off and finished fourth.

    A field of 23 entries were in the Grand Prix’s first round. Levy and Lirving de Volsin were the third team to go and the first to ride clear over the 17-jump course to reach the jump-off, where they went first.

    “I knew I had three very fast horses behind me (in the jump-off),” Levy said. “Margie on any horse is fast. We were just a little unlucky when the bar came down.”

    Levy entered two horses in Saturday’s Grand Prix, and rode three during her two-week stay in Lake Placid. As the sixth team to compete in the opening round, Levy and Vent du Nord also went clean, but didn’t advance after receiving a time fault by not completing their run in the allotted 87-second limit. Still, that performance was good enough for a sixth-place finish, which gave Levy two solid results near the top of the field.

    “My horses were amazing and energetic,” Levy said. “I was very happy with the past two weeks.”

    Engle, who lives in Florida, took home the top prize of $22,500 with the win, and also earned $9,750 from her third-place finish on HC Campella. In addition, Engle, who has more than 150 major wins in her storied show jumping career, was awarded the Richard and Diana Feldman Perpetual Challenge Trophy for Excellence given to the rider who earns the most combined money in the two Lake Placid grand prix events.

    At the first Hermes Grand Prix in Lake Placid, on July 4, Engle and HC Campella finished tied for sixth. The top 12 finishers in each Grand Prix earned a share of the prize money.

    Engle said she had just acquired Indigo from Australia, and has been working with the horse since the middle of March. Engle and Indigo claimed their first grand prix victory together recently in Tampa, Fla.

    “He’s just a fun horse,” Engle said. “He’s not very big, but he’s spunky and has a lot of energy. He doesn’t have a lot of experience at this level, but he’s going to do whatever you ask him to do.”

    The horse shows wrapped up Sunday as the hunters moved into the Richard M. Feldman Grand Prix Field for the USHJA International Hunter Derby to bring the 33rd annual I Love New York Horse Show to a breathtaking conclusion.

    With exhibitors reveling in the idyllic setting, Scott Stewart rode in winning fashion, taking the top two places on Fashion Farm’s Declaration and Summer Place. Stewart’s ride on Declaration blew away the judges who were so impressed that they gave it a score of 208 points to clinch the win with a two-round total of 389. Stewart’s second-round ride on Summer Place, who had been the first-round leader with a score of 188, was second best at 189, good for a two-round total of 377.

    “This was just such a beautiful class,” Stewart said. “I haven’t ridden on a grass field like this for any of the Derbies so far. It was a very special experience.”

    Taking third with a two-round score of 354 was Lolita, owned by Olivia Trueb and ridden by Linda Langmeier.

    With the hunters in the jumper ring, the two hunter rings were combined into an expanded jumper ring.  Taking top honors in the jumper classes there were Michael Hughes on Red Hot in the Levy Family Low Junior Jumper Classic, Michael Hughes on Red Hot in the Levy Family Low Junior Jumper Classic, Joan Jacobs on Boyke 2 and Mason Maney on Calando Z in the EquiFit WIHS Adult Jumper Classics and Jessica Donatelli on Darnit and Erica Polle on Uno in the Paradysz Farm WIHS Children’s Jumper Classics.

Article Photos

Margie Engle and Indigo clear a hurdle during the Hermes Grand Prix jump-off.
Photo by Lou Reuter/Lake Placid News



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