Johnstown, Ohio—Sept. 30
Abigail McArdle and Cade won the 1.45-meter Grand Prix in decisive fashion as she bested a field of 56 international competitors from 13 countries at the Split Rock Jumping Tour’s Columbus International CSI** at Brave Horse Show Park.
McArdle and Cade, a 15-year-old gelding by Heartbreaker, were the second of nine to qualify for the jump-off. The pair turned in a very quick time of 37.87 seconds with none of the fences lowered.
“I am really happy and a bit emotional,” said McArdle. “I have had this horse for four years. He is my personal mount, in fact he is owned by my father. I love his attitude. Today he came out and he wanted to win. From the first round to the end of the jump-off he wanted it. I know it is funny to say that about a horse, but you can feel the difference in him. He just wanted to go clean no matter what and he was totally game in the jump-off. I knew going into the second round that I had to do all the big leave-outs I thought I could do, then be fast in the turns, and be clean. I had to give it my best go to be as fast as I could. It all worked today.”
“Abby has gotten a lot of experience this year riding different horses,” said Katie Prudent. “She works with my son Adam in his sales business, and Abby rides a lot of the sale horses. When you ride a lot of different horses and have different experiences it gets the rider in the groove. I thought she rode fantastic this week and Cade is her good old, faithful boy that she had had for several years, and the horse just jumped unbelievably. I am so happy for her.”
Emanuel Andrade of Venezuela and Reus De La Nutria were the only other horse and rider combination to leave all the fences intact. Though he tried, Andrade’s time of 38.88 seconds was not fast enough to knock McArdle out of the top spot.