Margie Engle, a fixture at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show for decades, won the show's Grand Prix for the first time this year, riding Indigo.
Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, riding Indigo, owned by Gladewinds & Shay Griese, won the $75,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix de Penn National, the crowning event at the 66th Annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show, held October 13-22 in Harrisburg, PA.
With this victory, Engle added yet another win to her impressive resume of 196 Grand Prix career wins yet this is her first Grand Prix win at Harrisburg. "It's great winning here. This one has always eluded me," said Engle. "I've been second five for six times and third a bunch, but this is the first time I won this one. It's really nice to be able to do well here."
The incredibly technical course by Steve Stephens proved to be too much of a challenge for the majority of riders. Five countries were represented in the field of 28 competitors, but it was three American riders who made the jump-off. Beezie Madden, Mario Deslauriers and Engle had the only clean rounds.
Third in the jump off, Engle rode clean with a time of 36.74 seconds. Deslauriers, who rode second on Cella, owned by Jane Clark, was only a second behind Engle's time with 37.64 seconds. Madden, on Cortes'C, owned by Abigail Wexner, dropped a rail for four faults with a jump-off time of 36.87 and third place.
Deslauriers and Cella won the $30,000 Pennsylvania Big Jump in a two man jump off culled from 32 riders. Second placed Charlie Jayne knocked down three rails out of the eight jumping efforts; Deslauriers gave everyone including himself a scare by knocking down two rails with one fence still to go, to finish in first.
Deslauriers was named the Leading Rider for the Open Jumper division and his mount, Cella won the Open Jumper Championship. Beezie Madden won the Leading Lady Rider Award for Open Jumpers.
Matt Williams of Australia and Watch Me VD Mangelaar went "all in" to win the $10,000 Gambler's Choice class. The fifth competitor in the field of 24, Williams was only the second rider to take the chance on the Double-or-Nothing fence. Jonathan McCrea of Ireland and Victor E knocked it down for a zero score. It became apparent after Williams scored 1540 points that the rest of the field would need to take a chance on the big fence in order to win. Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil nearly unseated Williams blazing around the course on HH Palouchin and racking up 840 points, which would have taken the lead if doubled. However, they failed to clear the Double-or-Nothing fence and received no score. Charlie Jayne of Elgin, IL was twenty points shy of the win scoring 1520 on Chill RZ for second place.
Schaefer Raposa of Clinton, NY, triumphed in the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Equitation Medal Finals presented by Randolph College. Brittany Hurst, 18, of Jackson, NJ, finished second.
Raposa had competed in the Finals five times and was emotional about her medal winning performance. "This means so much to me to win. It means so much to my parents, especially my dad," said Raposa. "I have never even gotten a ribbon before in the class so to win is just amazing."
Minutes before competing in the second round, her horse Charlie Z lost a shoe, which meant that her preparation time was cut short. The shoe was quickly replaced, but it had an effect on Raposa. "When I was watching my dad run back and forth I started to get nervous," said Raposa. "Once I went in and started the course then the nerves went away."
Equitation Judge Jimmy Torano believed the way the 17-year-old rider handled the situation was what put her over the top. "I know for me as a rider that would kind of be a little frustrating," said Torano. "When she came in the ring and she nailed it I was really impressed. I thought it was outstanding."
The team from Zone 2 defended their title as national champions, winning the $15,000 Randolph College/USEF Prix de States Team Championship. Zone 2, consisting of Meg O' Mara on Sinatra IV, Katie Dinan riding Belle Dame D, Charlotte Jacobs aboard Karonda V Schlosslifof CH, and Reed Kessler on Ligist, finished the two-round competition with only four faults. The Zone 5 team won the silver medal after they defeated the Zone 7 team in a nail biting jump-off. Meg O’Mara of Rumson, NJ won the National Junior Jumper Individual Championship. Savannah Talcott of Wildwood, MO won the individual silver, Reed Kessler of Armonk, NY, the bronze.
Dedication, owned by Fashion Farm of Philadelphia, PA, received the Hunter Divisions' highest title by winning the Pennsylvania National Grand Hunter Championship. Dedication's rider, Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL received the Leading Hunter Rider Award.
Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, dominated the Junior Hunter Division winning Championship and Reserve titles in the Small Junior Hunter Division 15 & Under and the Large Junior Hunter Division 15 & Under.
Best Case Scenario, owned and ridden by 14 year old Vivian Yowan of Lexington, KY, topped the pony awards winning the Grand Pony Hunter Championship on her first trip to Harrisburg.
Meagan Nusz was awarded the Amateur Owner Jumper Championship. The Woodlands, TX resident also claimed the Leading Amateur Owner Jumper Rider title. Nusz clinched the Championship with a win in the $15,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur Owner Jumper Classic, riding Banana D'ive Z.
North American League
Sarah Van Der Walde of Ann Arbor, MI won the $10,000 North American League (NAL) Children's Jumper Finals, riding Vigo. The 15-year-old rider edged out Madison Lawton and Juliette by a fraction of a second for the victory. Kelly Champion of Washington, NJ rode her horse All In to victory in the $10,000 NAL Adult Hunter Finals. Double Down gave Elizabeth Adelson of Tulsa, OK a belated birthday present with a win in the $10,000 NAL Children's Hunter Finals.
Patricia Hennessy of Kintnersville, PA, finished big to win the $10,000 NAL Adult Jumper Finals riding Little Tom. Kelsey Thatcher of Bluffdale, UT won the $5,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Finals on Klotaire Du Moulin, owned by Pony Lane Farm. Noah Buehler of Wall, NJ, took top honors in the NAL $5,000 Pony Jumper Finals riding Porsche.
Houdini dominated the Local division with owner Heather Yarnell of Lancaster, PA in the saddle. The pair won one of the classes over fences and the under saddle class. Houston, owned and shown by Megan Sullivan of Jarrettsville, MD, won the other class over fences. Houdini was also named Local Hunter Champion, and Houston was Reserve Champion.