Twenty-five athletes entered the $15,000 Under 25 Grand Prix hoping to walk away with the winning title, but it was Abigail McArdle and her longtime partner Cade who took the top prize. The 16 effort track proved tricky for some competitors with both time and jumping faults playing a role in the day’s challenges. Only three competitors returned for the jump-off, Delaney Flynn, Tanimara Macari, and McArdle.
Abigail McArdle and Cade. Photo by Phelps Sports
First to go in the jump-off was Flynn and Grace Jacobsen’s Milan IV. The jump-off course, consisting of eight efforts, allowed horse-and-riders the opportunity to gallop in a variety of locations while utilizing delicate verticals. Flynn and her 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding sped around the course with the fastest time of the day at 38.696 seconds, but fell victim to eight jumping faults. Next to enter the ring was Macari and Feminka, her own 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood. The pair also suffered eight jumping faults, leaving McArdle in a position to take the win by tackling the course with four faults or less.
McArdle, entering the ring with 18-year-old Cade, appeared to have the win within reach, until she reached the second to last fence where her horse had an uncharacteristic stop. After resetting the fence, the pair still had a chance to win if they could finish the final two fences within the time allowed of 50 seconds. Crossing the timers at 49.317 second with four jumping faults, McArdle sealed her first place finish as the last competitor to go.
“I just needed to jump clean today and we actually had a stop-crash through the second to last fence. It counted as a refusal so I was worried about making the time allowed now. I planned a direct, very forward leave out from that oxer to the final fence. I was watching the clock and thought that I could probably finish without a time fault. It was a tough jump-off with the first two vertical’s on turns. The courses have been really great all week,” McArdle reflected.
$15,000 Under 25 Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Cade / Abigail McArdle / 0 | 75.906 / 4 | 49.317
2. Milan IV / Delaney Flynn / 0 | 75.868 / 8 | 38.696
3. Feminka / Tanimara Macari / 0 | 76.014 / 8 | 40.249
4. Voyou Du Bobois / Flore Giraud / 1 | 79.204
5. MTM Los Angeles / Brian Moggre / 1 | 79.241
6. Silver Creek’s Validation / Hunter Holloway / 1 | 79.255
7. Carola BH / Sophie Gochman / 4 | 73.519
8. Caracas / Eugenio Garza / 4 | 74.873
9. Boudika Ideal Home / Kady Abrahamson / 4 | 78.236
10. Nat King Cole Anna Beth Athey / 6 | 80.444
11. Contago / Eugenio Garza / 7 | 81.920
12. Loro Piana Ballyleck Royale / Alma Bjorklund / 8 | 78.282