Wellington, Fla. – Dec. 1, 2018 – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and to celebrate, riders and spectators gathered around for Saturday evening’s $205,000 Holiday and Horses CSI 4* Grand Prix sponsored by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. The class saw 37-horse and rider combinations, but it was Margie Engle and Royce that raced to victory to claim top honors.
Anthony D’Ambrosio designed a challenging course for riders to tackle, including multiple combinations and difficult turns. The first round resulted in only three clear rounds heading into the jump-off. Marilyn Little rode Clearwater to the early lead, finishing clear in 74.81 seconds. Margie Engle and Royce held the second-place position with their clear round, and Carlos Hank Guerreiro and H5 Sunshine rounded out the top three.
The top twelve riders were called back for the jump-off, with jump-off scores combining with the first-round scores, leaving first place up for the taking. The first horse and rider pair to move into the top position was Alise Oken riding Hitchcock VD Broekkant. Oken rode a clear jump-off, finishing with a total of 4 faults in 54.39 seconds.
Oken’s lead was short lived as it was quickly taken over by the next rider in the ring, Santiago Lambre. Two other horse and rider pairs would move into first place following Lambre. Heading into the final four entries, Susan Horn managed to steal the lead aboard Kingsfield Farm’s Lillyfee, riding a clear jump-off in 60.14 seconds, only carrying one time fault from her first round. Carlos Hank Guerreiro and H5 Sunshine followed Horn, attempting to steal the lead finishing in 55.74 seconds. While Guerreiro had a quicker jump-off time than Horn, he had an unfortunate rail on course, finishing with a total of four faults for the class, and Horn maintaining her lead.
Following Guerreiro, Engle and Royce entered the ring on a mission to take Horn’s lead. The pair took each turn at a swift pace, leaving all the rails in their cups. After a quick jump-off of 49.04 seconds and remaining at zero faults, Engle and Royce made their way into the top position. Little and Clearwater were the final pair to enter the ring, with Engle’s pace set for her to beat. Little lived up to her reputation as an almost unmatched jumpoff rider, but she finished her short course with two rails down, resulting 8 total faults and a jump-off time of 48.14 seconds. The first place was ultimately awarded to Engle and Royce.
Susan Horn and Lillyfee would take home second place honors, with Eduardo Menezes aboard H5 Quintol rounding out the top three with 4 total faults with a jump-off time of 49.32 seconds. Engle would also receive the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady award to top off her successful evening.
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$205,000 Holiday and Horses CSI 4* Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults / Time / R2 Faults / Time
1. Royce / Margie Engle / Gladewinds Farm Inc. / 0 / 76.71 / 0 / 49.04
2. Lillyfee / Susan Horn / Kingsfield Farm / 1 / 79.88 / 0 / 60.14
3. H5 Quintol / Eduardo Menezes / H5 Stables / 4 / 74.50 / 0 / 49.32
4. Sweet Tricia / Nicholas Dello Joio / Sarah Ryan / 4 / 76.42 / 0 / 50.48
5. Baltic Star 2 / Kent Farrington / Tanma Corp & Kent Farrington / 4 / 75.61 / 0 / 51.88
6. Dingeman / Santiago Lambre / Integrated Services Florida LLC / 4 / 76.99 / 0 / 52.13
7. Hitchcock VD Broekkant / Alise Oken / Hi Hopes Farm / 4 / 77.85 / 0 / 54.39
8. H5 Sunshine / Carlos Hank Guerreiro / H5 Sunshine / 0 / 78.69 / 4 / 55.74
9. Uncle Blue / Spencer Brittan / Spencer Brittan / 5 / 81.24 / 0 / 56.43
10. Lou 66 / Jenna Thompson / Attache Stables / 5 / 81.76 / – / –
11. Rissoa D’ag Bois Margot / Stefano Baruzzo / Stransky’s Mission Farms, Inc. / 6 / 83.64 / – / –
12. Clearwater / Marilyn Little / Karen O’Connor / 0 / 74.81 / 8 / 48.14
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Margie Engle – $205,000 Holiday and Horses CSI 4* Grand Prix
On Her Plan for the Class and How Royce Feels at the End of His Competition Year:
“Royce has been showing kind of lightly this year. I think that this is only his 10th time showing but all the classes he has done have all been big. This is only his second show this year that wasn’t a 5*. I have been able to save him a little bit with Dicas coming up, Indigo, even at 18-year-old still pops up and does a couple for me and I have some young ones coming up and doing some for me, so all in all, he is really quite fresh. He has been home for a little over a month and Lisa Wilcox, has been working him for me. Whenever she works him, he goes that much nicer! She does a fantastic job and helps me with the flat work on quite a few of the grand prix horses does an unbelievable job. It just makes my job that much easier! I have a great support team. My husband does the chiropractic and he has Royce as comfortable as can be. He just felt great all week. Coming in tonight under the lights, he jumped nice and fresh. To be honest, I think he jumped better in the jump-off. He has jumped clean in almost every class he has done all year. I know it kinds sound of silly but both Royce and I have really matured. He has gotten seasoned and more manageable as he has gotten older and that also makes my job much easier. He always had the jump, has always been super careful and powerful but we lacked a little in ridability but now we have him where we can ride him and everything is falling into place.”
On Her Plan for the Jump Off:
“To be honest, I do not love this format of jumping. Last year when we competed under this format, I remember that two riders went clean did not get to come back, so at least I knew going into it that there was only one rider behind me who was also clear and the one ahead of me who was clear and had one down. I know Marilynn is very fast with Clearwater so I figured that I better take a shot and that way even if I have one down, I knew that I would still have a piece of it. Royce felt so good, I was just going to lead him but the more I was kicking him at the jumps, the better he jumped, so I just kind of went with it.”
On Her Plan for the Upcoming WEF Season:
“Royce deserves, and is going to get three months off. I am going to start a couple of my younger horses, I have some 8-year-olds that I will compete at the beginning of season while the jumps are a little smaller. I will also do Indigo a little bit and then he can tell me when he is done. He is 18-years-old but in his mind he is still only 7-years-old and more wild than all of the other horses I have put together. Dicas will start up again about the middle of circuit. He is still young and learning and I hope to alternate him and Royce a little bit. These guys have earned their rest.”