Abigail McArdle and Cosma 20 continued to take the 1.40m Junior/Amateur Jumpers by storm during the second week of the Spruce Meadows Tournament. The pair claimed two victories, winning the $3,500 Trimac Junior/Amateur Jumper event on Friday, and the $5,000 AECOM Junior/Amateur Cup on Sunday. They produced double-clear efforts in each class to lead the victory gallop at the prestigious horse show. McArdle also competed in the Rocky Mountain Show Jumping, winning the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search for the second week in a row with Apartico.
McArdle and Cosma 20 were in top form this weekend, ready to face the challenging courses created by Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge in the All Canada ring. On Friday, seven horse and rider combinations advanced to the jump-off during the 3,500 Trimac Junior/Amateur Jumper class. As the last to go, McArdle knew she needed quick and tidy round to top the four double-clears, and that is exactly what she did. They crossed the finish line in 44.53 seconds with all the rails in place to take home the winning prize.
“Going last in the jump-off was a big advantage,” explained McArdle. “We revised our initial plan because I didn’t need to go all out, I just needed it to be neat, fast, and clear. Cosma 20 is naturally fast, so she can beat the other times without galloping. “
On Sunday, McArdle and Cosma 20 were once again a part of a seven-horse tie-breaker during the $5,000 AECOM Junior/Amateur Cup. The pair was perfect, executing a flawless round that left the others in their dust. They broke the beam at 36.91 seconds, almost four seconds ahead of the second place finisher. McArdle and Cosma 20 once again led the lap of honor after their flawless performance.
“We stuck to our plan during the jump-off and did an add stride in the first line, but had a really nice last line off the short turn,” commented McArdle. “Everything went as planned. It’s so nice to have a horse that is 100% with you every stride of the jump-off. That’s where I think we managed to make up so much time. When I am riding her I never feel like we’re going crazy. Every step is very controlled and planned. She is amazing.”
McArdle added, “Through this whole experience at Spruce I feel like I’ve gotten to know Cosma 20 a lot better. It’s a new experience for both of us and it only seems to be helping us to improve. Every round, she seems more confident and more focused. It’s nice when your horse enjoys her job, and she really studies everything and tries to be her best.”
McArdle concluded the weekend with another victory in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping. Once again, McArdle and Apartico received the top call for their excellent performance over fences and on the flat.
“They held the class on their grass field, which was really fun,” expressed McArdle. “Apartico is wonderful and was great on the field. It was a nice course, and it’s good practice for me to get him out on the field for shows like the Hampton Classic. Apartico was great and I couldn’t have asked for more.”
McArdle will continue her stay Alberta, Canada, competing during all five weeks Spruce Meadows, one of the leading international events in the world.