|Abigail McArdle and Chuck Berry 8. PC: Sportfot|
The pair went clear in round one and finished their jump-off round in 42.931 seconds to just edge Alexis Trosch and Opaline Z, who passed the wire in 43.699 seconds. Third went to Erynn Ballard and Thalyz Z, who came out of the jump-off in 45.063.
Six riders of the 38 who started managed to go clear in the first round. Two riders missed the cut-off because of a time fault.
“Having the class on the grass field made it a completely different atmosphere for us. [Course designer] Oscar Soberon has been really tough this week. The courses have been difficult and you can tell by the number of horses in each jump-off,” she explained. “Rails came down throughout the course, which meant you really had to be on your game to finish with a clear round.”
McArdle, a notoriously fast rider who always is near the top of the standings, has had a great two weeks of competition so far at TIEC, collecting numerous second and third place finishes with Chuck Berry 8, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding (Chacco-Blue x Watzmann) owned by Plain Bay Sales.
|Alexis Trosch and Opaline Z|
Chuck Berry 8 is a newer mount for McArdle, added to the Plain Bay Sales team after the winter season in Wellington, FL. McArdle’s goal is to compete the talented gelding in grand prix classes by the end of the year, but has taken a methodical approach to his development.
|Erynn Ballard and Thalys Z|
“We’ve been trying to develop him a bit slower, doing the 1.40m and some of the Under 25 Grand Prix classes, but I’m hoping to be able to move him up to be a grand prix horse this summer. I had a lot of second place finishes last week on this horse and it feels great to finally get the win,” she added.
|Abigail McArdle and Chuck Berry 8 in their presentation ceremony.|
“I thought the footing on the field held up great with all of the rain that we’ve had here in the evenings this week. The base feels awesome and there’s great drainage out there,” detailed McArdle. “It’s been great and it adds a totally different dynamic to the competition.”