The 2017 edition of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, just started last week. Plain Bay Team will join the show for the week IV, V and VI (CSI2 & 3*).
Throwback to last year, check out this great article about Abigail and Comeback victory in the U25 Grand Prix :
(by Phelps Media Group)
|Abigail McArdle secured the top two spots in Saturday’s $25,000 U25 Grand Prix, placing first on Comeback (pictured) and second on Contessina Della Caccia at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival.
Traverse City, Mich. – Aug. 13, 2016 – Grey was the theme for Saturday at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF). As overcast skies set the scene for the day’s highlighted jumper event, the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by the Moyer family, Abigail McArdle finished with the top two placings aboard two grey 8-year-old mounts owned by Plain Bay Sales.
“We got both Comeback and Contessina Della Caccia during the middle of Florida this year,” said McArdle. “They’re both sales horses for Adam Prudent and Plain Bay Sales. Comeback – we bought him as a Children’s Jumper. I decided to school him and I thought, ‘This is a heck of a horse, it’s not a Children’s Jumper anymore.’ So we’ve just been bringing him up slowly, but he’s still green. He’s going to be a super, super top young rider horse for someone.
“Contessina Della Caccia is so talented and extremely scopey,” continued McArdle. “I think she could go to the Olympics with a professional. Either way, I’m blessed to have both of these horses right now.”
|Abigail McArdle and Contessina Della Caccia
The U25 Grand Prix series continues to be a popular class among young riders who have aspirations to be more competitive in higher-level international competitions in the future. It’s a chance for young riders to showcase their talent in the show jumping sport and give them their first experience competing under FEI regulations.
Michel Vaillancourt designed a technical first round course, which only saw four of the original 15 entries, two of which were McArdle, finish with no faults to return for the jump-off.
McArdle was the first to jump-off and successfully navigated the short course faultlessly aboard Comeback, a Belgian Warmblood gelding, setting the pace to beat at 32.583 seconds.
|Alise Oken and Hitchcock VD Broekkant
Alise Oken and Hi Hopes Farm, LLC’s Hitchcock VD Broekkant were next to jump-off, but an unfortunate refusal at the second to last fence cost them a total of 13 faults, finishing in 50.501 seconds.
Friday’s $35,000 Welcome Stake CSI2* winner, Eugenio Garza, followed Oken and rode El Milagro’s Victer Finn DH Z to a 4-fault finish in 35.720 seconds.
|Eugenio Garza and Victer Finn DH Z
With only McArdle left to go with her second mount, and still in the lead aboard Comeback, the 22-year-old rider piloted Contessina Della Caccia, a Selle Français mare, to another double clear round in 38.055 seconds to also take second place, knocking Garza into third place and Oken into fourth place.
“I had to go early with my first grey so I stuck to my plan,” said McArdle. “I had specific numbers for each of my horses. The plan in the jump-off was to really go for it because I had to go first on Comeback. After seeing that Lisee had a bobble and Eugenio had a rail, I decided I still wanted to go pretty fast on my second horse, just in case I had a rail so I could still be second. I was still a little cautious though because I like to be clear.
“I loved the courses,” continued McArdle. “I think it was interesting. That inside turn – there was a leave-out in the first line and an inside cut, which was obviously the winning track and what I did. Then there was a nice double to the line coming home. I think it was suited for both of my horses and they performed beautifully.”
|Abigail McArdle and Comeback
McArdle has never competed at GLEF until this week, and was prompted to attend the event this year due to the addition of the new FEI-rated series.
“I absolutely love it here,” said McArdle. “I think the ring and the facility are great. I love that they’re offering FEI classes, that’s really nice. It’s a fun atmosphere being on Lake Michigan.
“We’d heard great things about it from different people from the Midwest, and we were very attracted to the FEI classes here,” continued McArdle. “We’re going to be here all three weeks and we’d like to come back again next year if they have FEI classes.”
Earlier in the day, the Grand Prix Ring at Flintfields Horse Park played host to 15 horse and rider combinations vying for the blue ribbon in the $5,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.
Only three were able to jump clear around Vaillancourt’s challenging first round track to move on to the jump-off. However, it was Olivia Chowdry and her own Barbou De Ruet, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, who were able to produce the only double clear round of the class for first place in 39.033 seconds.
|Olivia Chowdry won the $5,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic with her own Barbou De Ruet.
“[Barbou De Ruet] a really fun, kind of quirky horse,” said Chowdry. “I’ve had him since June of last year. He’s been amazing and has really surprised me. Every show he gets better. He’s a trier; he really wants to be good. He’s careful and he’s quick, but he’s quirky. He’s got his tricks and he likes to toss his head and squeal.
“He was great today,” continued Chowdry. “The weather was a little crazy, but he was right where I needed him to be today. I usually show him in some bigger classes, but with it being our first week here and raining today, we decided we would do the lows today. He was super. He’s just wants to go faster and jump higher every time.”
Maria Yzerman and Player De Brocelia, owned by Les Cabrioles, LLC, finished in a faster time than Chowdry, tripping the timers in 38.115 seconds, but a collection of 4 faults in the jump-off garnered her second place honors. Duncan Peters and his own In Our Time rounded out the top three with 8 faults in the jump-off and finishing in a time of 43.014 seconds.
“This is my first time at GLEF,” said Chowdry. “We’re so happy. The horses are so happy here. The footing is fantastic. Even given the rain today, the footing has stood up really well. I felt really secure in the ring. The management’s awesome. It’s a really fun show!”
Jumper competition for Week Five concludes on Sunday with the main event, the $50,000 Grand Prix of Williamsburg CSI2*, at 2 p.m. in the Grand Prix Ring.
Week Six of GLEF runs through Aug. 17-21 at the Flintfields Horse Park and will continue to welcome riders and thrill spectators over the next three weeks throughout the second series of competition, which runs Aug. 10-28.
Results: $25,000 U25 Grand Prix, presented by the Moyer family
1 255 COMEBACK ABIGAIL MC ARDLE 0 0.000 0 32.583
2 249 CONTESSINA DELLA CACCIA ABIGAIL MC ARDLE 0 0.000 0 38.055
3 175 VICTER FINN DH Z EUGENIO GARZA PEREZ 0 0.000 4 35.720
4 191 HITCHCOCK VD BROEKKANT ALISE OKEN 0 0.000 13 50.501
5 143 KM WHATEVER RV MATTIAS TROMP 4 65.987
6 278 ZAMIRO 16 JULIA TOPS 4 69.329
7 199 FIRTH OF LORNE LEAH DE MARTINI 4 72.879
8 227 ARAMON RYAN MICHAEL GENN 4 72.963
9 223 WELCOME COR RYAN MICHAEL GENN 8 67.733
10 419 BOUCANIER TAYLOR REID 8 70.956
11 259 COSMA 20 OLIVIA CHOWDRY 13 78.539
12 427 MACH 5 DANA WILLE 16 71.030
Results: $5,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
1 258 BARBOU DE RUET OLIVIA CHOWDRY 0 0.000 0 39.033
2 182 PLAYER DE BROCELIA MARIA YZERMAN 0 0.000 4 38.115
3 101 IN OUR TIME DUNCAN PETERS 0 0.000 8 43.014
4 310 PENINSULA EMERALD LASS PAIGE MATTHIES 4 68.361
5 275 UTOPIE DE LA VIGNE LILY HAHN 4 70.752
6 155 CLEVERBOY 4 RACHEL TURK 4 71.366
7 274 VICTORIA VII LILY HAHN 4 71.853
8 112 QUESTA CAPRIOLE MACKENZIE SNIDER 4 71.897
9 181 QUITE LADY MARIA YZERMAN 4 71.947
10 153 WHAT’S UP ROC RACHEL TURK 4 72.200
11 279 ALAIKA KATHERINE BENARD 8 70.902
12 416 CABRIELLA VAN DE KAPEL KIVA ISCOL 8 75.020