Wellington, Florida – Abigail McArdle and Victoria Colvin were the final winners in the SSG Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” promotion as the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival came to a close in Wellington, Florida.
Incredibly, the $1,000 SSG Gloves bonus was awarded every week of the 12-week FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival to the winner of the $15,000 High Amateur-Owner Classic. McArdle emerged victorious in the final week of competition to claim her first SSG bonus of the 2014 season, having topped a starting field of 48 entries. In the end, it all came down to a four-horse jump-off over the track set by course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio, and McArdle left the competition in the dust, clocking in more than two full seconds faster than her closest competition for the win.
“This is my first Amateur Classic this season,” said McArdle, 19, of Barrington, IL, who has recently stepped up to the open jumper division with Cosma 20. “We wanted to finish on a good note. We were hoping for a win and that happened, so I couldn’t have been happier.’
McArdle has been riding Cosma 20 for two years, and described the chestnut mare by saying, “She is hot and ready to go. When we walked out of the ring after the presentation, she bolted back to the barn!”
McArdle successfully channeled her mount’s energy into a victory, which also netted McArdle a $1,000 bonus for wearing SSG ‘Digital’ riding gloves.
“I think now I can afford to get another pair with my bonus!” laughed McArdle, who has been a past winner in the SSG “Go Clean for the Green” promotion on several occasions during its four-year run. “This pair has been lucky though because they’ve brought me quite a few of these wins in the past. It was raining a bit today and they held up very well in the rain, and the reins don’t get slippery.”
Victoria Colvin claimed her third bonus of the season in the SSG Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” promotion. Having won during weeks one and nine with Don Juan, Colvin rode a new mount, Every Way, to victory for Lauren Hough. Even though it was only Colvin’s second time riding the horse, the pair proved they are a winning combination by topping the $10,000 High Junior Jumper Classic. Six entries from the original 42-horse starting field advanced to the tie-breaker and, as the last to challenge, Colvin knew what she had to do, laying down a clear round in a time of 34.89 to edge Venezuela’s Emanuel Andrade and Natif des Roches, who had stopped the clock in 36.74 seconds, for the win.
“That was my second time riding him, and it’s the easiest horse I have ever ridden in my life,” said Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL. “Lauren Hough just asked me to ride it this week, and I rode it one other time earlier in the week.”
As for winning a total of $3,000 in bonus money this season alone, Colvin, who is never seen in the show ring without her ‘Digitals’, exclaimed, “It’s amazing; I can buy a lot of gloves! It is such an amazing thing that SSG does with the promotion. I wear the gloves for everything now. They are airy, cool, and have a very nice grip. I wear them everywhere; I love them. The ‘Digitals’ are my personal gloves of choice!”
The SSG Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” promotion offered a total of $60,000 in bonus money over the 12-week FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. A $3,000 bonus was up for grabs in the weekly WEF Challenge Cup while $1,000 bonuses were offered in the High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic and the High Junior Jumper Classic classes. If the winner of any of the three competitions was wearing SSG ‘Digital’ riding gloves on their way to victory, they earned the bonus money in recognition of their loyalty to the SSG Gloves brand.