Calgary, Alberta - July 9, 2012 - As the Spruce Meadows circuit wound to a close, junior rider Abigail McArdle and Cosma 20 reigned victorious during two major events. First, they captured the win in the $7,000 Purdy's Chocolates Junior/Amateur Challenge, and then they went on lead the victory gallop in $20,000 Clark Builders Junior/Amateur Grand Prix. The winner's circle has been a consistent stop for this talented duo, taking top honors in six events as they prepare to compete at the 2012 North American Junior/Young Riders Championships.
The first event for the pair was Thursday's $7,000 Purdy's Chocolates Junior/Amateur Challenge, which featured 34 competitors. McArdle showed that a good partnership is the key to winning. She made the decision to go wide through the first rollback around a spooky carriage following the first fence. She gave a full gallop at the end and managed to best the clock with a time of 37.19 seconds and all the rails intact.
"I have a younger horse who is not that experienced in the jump-offs, and I watched several people go and they were staying really fast in the first part, but at the end of the jump-off were three jumps with long gallops between them," explained McArdle. "Katie Prudent and I decided to be tentative and do two more strides in the first rollback and then make up the time galloping at the end, which obviously paid off."
McArdle and Cosma 20 were on fire, and they could not be beat the next day during the $20,000 Clark Builders Junior/Amateur Grand Prix. Sixteen horse and rider combinations advanced to the jump-off, where speed and accuracy was key. McArdle and Cosma 20 certainly had the speed, and through a tight turn to an oxer they showcased their scope and carefulness. The duo broke the beam at 37.65 seconds and led the final Junior/Amateur victory gallop at Spruce Meadows.
"Both classes were great, super competitive, and it's nice to end on such a good note," expressed McArdle. "Cosma went wonderfully in both those classes. What we have accomplished over these last five weeks at Spruce Meadows is really incredible. It will help me take a deep breath when we go to other shows."
McArdle will now travel to Lexington, KY, for the 2012 North American Junior/Young Riders Championships, where she will train with Frank Madden. "These wins helps me feel very confident going into Young Riders," she stated. "It's definitely a lot of pressure, but I thrive on the pressure and I'm excited to go there next. I'm just happy to have had such a successful show."