Friday, May. 31, 2024

Engle Scores Again In Merrill Lynch Cleveland Grand Prix

Margie Engle was at the top of her game during the $40,000 Merrill Lynch Cleveland Grand Prix. She claimed her third consecutive win in the culminating event of the Merrill Lynch Hunter Jumper Classic, July 10-17 in Moreland Hills, Ohio.

Riding Hidden Creek's Wapino, Engle repeated last year's winning performance with the only clean round in the five-horse jump-off. The victory marks her seventh at North America's birthplace of show jumping.
PUBLISHED

ADVERTISEMENT

Margie Engle was at the top of her game during the $40,000 Merrill Lynch Cleveland Grand Prix. She claimed her third consecutive win in the culminating event of the Merrill Lynch Hunter Jumper Classic, July 10-17 in Moreland Hills, Ohio.

Riding Hidden Creek’s Wapino, Engle repeated last year’s winning performance with the only clean round in the five-horse jump-off. The victory marks her seventh at North America’s birthplace of show jumping.

“I got the luck of the draw going last in the jump-off,” said Engle. “The first turn was very sharp inside–it almost worked against me, but I was lucky we went clean.”

Hidden Creek’s Wapino, a chestnut gelding who stands 17.2 hands, earned his fourth victory of the year in Cleveland. “He’s a lovely horse,” Engle said of the 10-year-old, Westphalian gelding. “I’ve had him for a year and a half now, and he just started moving up to bigger shows this year. He’s very scopey, and all he uses is a plain snaffle–no martingale.”

He most recently won the $100,000 Budweiser Upperville Jumper Classic (Va.) and the $75,000 Footings Unlimited Grand Prix at HITS On The Hudson (N.Y.).

ADVERTISEMENT

Candice King of Ballew, N.C., gave Engle a run for her money but finished second. King and Camillo Group’s Verelst Camillo V had the fastest jump-off time of 38.27 seconds, but a rail down at the second obstacle, the ivy covered vertical, eliminated the 11-year-old, Holsteiner gelding’s chance for the blue ribbon.

“I entered the ring knowing there were no clean rounds, but I also knew Margie was behind me,” King said. “After leaving a rail down at the second jump I had to put on the gas, and I tried to be as quick as I could. I pretty much knew I gave it to Margie when the rail went down.”

Engle also took third place aboard Wyndhurst Stables Inc.’s Calippo, a 9-year-old, Holsteiner gelding. The pair was second to go in the jump-off, setting the time to beat of 40.95 seconds, but a rail down at the ivy vertical, which proved to be difficult for three of the jump-off rides, relegated them to third.

With sporadic rain throughout the week prior to the grand prix, along with on-and-off again rain throughout the competition, the new Riso Horse 2000 all-weather ring proved safe for the riders and their horses. Engle confessed that after last year many of the riders were concerned about coming to Cleveland due to the footing.

“The footing is great, and it held up fantastically,” said Engle. “Without it there’s no way we could have [completed the course] without putting the horses’ safety in jeopardy. People were a little worried [about the footing], and this is a big, big plus. Florida is the only other place I’ve seen this, and it’s great the folks here have made the effort.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The horse show board of trustees’ Billie Steffee dedicated the new ring as a 40th anniversary present prior to the start of the Cleveland Grand Prix. The new 200- by 300-foot ring replaced the grass footing of the Polo Field. It features underground drainage and a computerized watering system, with footing of sand and textile.

Engle’s grand prix victory wasn’t her only winning performance of the week. She won the NAL Open Jumper Speed Stake aboard Hidden Creek’s Charlie Brown as well as the welcome stake aboard Wyndhurst Stable’s Quervo Gold. Engle also piloted Hidden Creek’s Kendall and Shay and Bob Griese’s Naram to win the level 5 and level 6 jumper championships, respectively.

Samantha Segedy of Aurora, Ohio, claimed the blue ribbon in the low junior/amateur-owner jumper classic aboard Hudson Equestrian Center’s 19-year-old Manhattan Skyline for the fourth consecutive year.

“Since winning the competition last year our relationship has really grown. I’m trying to get back into shape so we click together,” said Segedy, a marketing major at Miami University of Ohio.

Manhattan Skyline has been part of the Segedy family since he was 18 months old.

“When we originally got ‘Buster,’ his name was actually Buster Brown, but because he was so bumpy and choppy to ride, my mom named him Manhattan Skyline because when you look at the Manhattan skyline in New York, it is rough and bumpy,” said Segedy. “Victory with Buster is even sweeter because a lot of people would have given up on him. Many trainers have tried to beat him down and make him conform to them. What we have done is allowed him to be who he is while channeling his energy in a positive way.”

Categories:

ADVERTISEMENT

EXPLORE MORE

Follow us on

Sections

Copyright © 2024 The Chronicle of the Horse