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 CSI3* 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 CSI5* 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*.
“I just have to ride the wave while I have it! He’s been super,” shared Engle on her winning streak. “The last couple of classes, he’s just gotten better and better. He’s gotten much more confident.”
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 CSI2*, 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.
“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.”
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 CSI2* during Week V.
4. Thriller P / Samuel Parot / CHI / Samuel Parot / 0 / 0 / 39.32
5. Quinta 106 / Mattias Tromp / USA / Swede Ventures LLC / 0 / 0 / 40.25
6. Elana 22 / Pablo Barrios / VEN / Pablo Barrios / 0 / 4 / 40.65
7. Eax Run Run LS / Ilan Bluman / COL / Blue Star Investments / 0 / 4 / 43.35
8. Lucky Strike / Hunter Holloway / USA / Hays Investment Corp. / 0 / 4 / 43.77
9. Chance STE Hermelle / Michael Morrissey / USA / QBS Equestrian LLC / 1 / 88.17
10. Coulash Van De Broy Z / Juan Gallego / COL / Maximiliano Orduna / 1 / 88.29
11. Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC / 4 / 82.25