Offering the greatest prize money to date of the 2019 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, plus a chance to add valuable world-ranking points to their names, the $133,700 Staller Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI3* served as the finale event of Week V of the circuit. Besting the skilled field of nearly 40 horse-and-athlete pairs, Abigail McArdle (USA) and Victorio 5 led the victory gallop as the quickest double-clear entry of the contest.
Abigail McArdle and Victorio 5. Photo: Andrew Ryback Photography
With McArdle’s win, she has propelled herself to the top of the standings towards the new $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus, which will be awarded at the conclusion of Week VI. During Week IV of the series, McArdle and Victorio 5 won the $35,700 Devoucoux Welcome Stake CSI2*, so Sunday’s win upped their FEI victories at GLEF to two, helping McArdle’s place rise in the rankings.
“I wasn’t having such a great week and I woke up this morning and I said, ‘You know what, I am going to win this grand prix,’ McArdle shared. “Sure enough, we won the grand prix!
“For the first round, I walked my plan and I wanted to be really strong. I watched a couple people have a bobble going into the triple bar, so I wanted to be really strong there, pick my places to slow down and bring it home clean, especially by the gate – that was a tough line. After going clean in the first round, it was a bit of a running jump-off. You had to come a little bit slow to number one because you had to get that inside cut, which was difficult, and you had to try to be as smooth as possible. Then there was a spin-back, and I’ve actually been working on tight turns with this horse so that was fantastic for me. I had a little bit of a rub in the combination and I looked back like an idiot as I was galloping and thought ‘I’m still clear!’, so I kept going and was actually able to put a little bit of a curve in the eight strides and really just gallop that coming home, which was the fastest, for sure.”
Of course, none of this would be possible without Victorio 5. When asked about her mount, McArdle stated: “This is a partner I started with actually last year at this show. We started showing FEI At the end of the summer. He was the one that won the U25 at the beginning of the year. He has been super consistent for me and he is such a good horse, I can’t say how great of a horse he is for me.”
$133,700 Staller Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI3*:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Victorio 5 / Abigail McArdle / Victorio Equine Group LLC / 0 / 0 / 35.580
2. Chippendale’s Boy DZ / Sloane Coles / The Springledge Group / 0 / 0 / 36.150
3. Robin De Ponthual / Schuyler Riley / Katherine Gallagher / 0 / 0 / 38.080
4. Valkyrie De Talma / Rachel Cornacchia / Eventyre Farms Ltd / 0 / 0 / 38.590
5. Enjoy Louis / Catherine Tyree / Mary Tyree / 0 / 0 / 38.960
6. Cartouche / Mark Bluman / Over The Top Stables LLC / 0 / 4 / 35.890
7. Cetano Van Aspergem Z / Santiago Lambre / Santiago Lambre / 0 / 4 / 36.480
8. Azilis Du Mesnil / Sydney Shulman / Jill Shulman / 0/ 4 / 36.590
9. Armagedon / Tanner Korotkin / Sandalwood Farms / 0 / 4 / 39.860
10. Dante / Briley Koerner / Bks Horse Farms LLC / 0 / 8 / 39.890
11. Eyecatcher / Mattias Tromp / Beyaert Farm Inc / 4 / 64.850
12. J-Boston S.E / Ilan Bluman / Elle Haymond / 4 / 66.660