Lexington, KY - May 11, 2008 - Powerful winds and rain on the final day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show instigated a change of plans for the $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix CSI 3*. Originally scheduled for 1:00 p.m. in the Sheila C. Johnson Arena, early announcements informed exhibitors that the prix would be held in the Indoor Arena at 2:30 p.m. This alteration did not daunt Hidden Creek's Pamina L, who Margie Engle maneuvered flawlessly for an expeditious grand prix win.
Out of thirty-four starters, 13 horses completed Richard Jeffery's track without fault. The course had a comfortable time allowed of 93 seconds, and it included numerous bending and direct lines and stride options. Difficult lines included a natural vertical bending to a triple combination and a three stride followed by a bending line to a liverpool oxer.
Schuyler Riley was the first to qualify for the jump-off aboard Lapacco, owned by South Beach Stables in Wellington, FL. She rode beautifully over the short course and finished with a speedy time of 32.15 seconds. Michael Morrissey rode Scaraberas, his first of two mounts in the tie breaker, and slowed his pace after he lowered the height of one fence. After knocking a second rail, Scaraberas, owned by Eugene Mische of Bradenton, FL, crossed the finish line with eight faults in 36.46 seconds. Robin Sweely of Madison, VA, revisited the arena with Acorn Hill Farm's Qarco V'T Merlenest, and they too had an unfortunate rail. Their time of 34.62 seconds would result in ninth place.
Pablo Barrios of Wellington, FL, rode very quickly but accrued eight faults in the jump-off with his mount Sinatra. Their prompt time of 31.38 seconds would have taken over the lead. New York, New York's Georgina Bloomberg and her mount District followed Barrios and matched his score with eight faults. Her time of 35.70 seconds would finish up in 11th place. District is owned by Gotham Enterprizes.
Shane Sweetnam and Little Emir, owned by Spy Coast Farm of E Setauket, NY, seized the top spot after they sped around the course with very tight turns. A slight rub at the last fence caused the crowd to gasp, but the rail remained in its cups as Sweetnam clocked in at 31.51 seconds. Mario Deslauriers stole the lead soon after with his mount Paradigm. They bettered Sweetnam's score with a time of 30.19 seconds, taking over the top position. Deslauriers resides in New York, New York.
Morrissey had a stellar trip with his second mount, Crelido. With a rapid pace and extremely snug turns, the duo galloped home in 30.44 seconds, which would hold up for third place. Alison Robitaille took a shot aboard Intrepide Du Valon and came close to Deslauriers' time, but their time of 30.74 was not quite close enough. Her horse is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Firestone of Upperville, VA. Sweetnam had another chance to capture the top spot with Spy Coast Farm's Memphis; however, they lowered the height of fence 6, a natural vertical, and finished with a time of 34.35 seconds.
Vegas and Christine McCrea had an unlucky ride in the jump-off, receiving four faults for a knockdown and another four for a run-out at the last element. Their score and time of 45.09 seconds would place them in 13th. Vegas is owned by Windsor Show Stables of East Windsor, CT. Ramiro Quintana and Cataro Ask, owned by the Cataro Group, added to the excitement with their clear round and their swift time of 33.20 seconds. Quintana hails from Wellington, FL.
The final horse to jump-off was Hidden Creek's Pamina L, and Margie Engle trotted into the ring with confidence. Despite Engle's small stature and Pamina's large size, the two fit together perfectly for Jeffery's challenging course.
Engle revved the mare's engine as they broke the start timers with strong momentum. The audience held its collective breath as Pamina sailed over the first few obstacles. After the mare rubbed the natural vertical at fence 6, the enthusiastic crowd exhaled and began cheering as Engle and her horse darted forward and sped with remarkable alacrity. As they rounded the last turn and cleared the plank jump, spectators exploded with cheers of encouragement as she skyrocketed over the very last oxer. The scoreboard flashed 30.03 seconds and revealed that the last ride of the night would take the victory. Engle and Pamina L stole the win with their precise ride and courageous speed.
"I'm feeling pretty good," smiled Engle after her win. "It's nice to have one that's competitive again. I got her toward the end of March right before Tampa. She came from Germany. She had two babies and was a brood mare, and she's only been in the sport for a year and maybe a few months. A girl up in northern Germany was showing her in some 1.10m and 1.20m classes. When she came here, she had never shown indoors before, and she won her first grand prix indoors in Tampa," she said proudly. "Then she was second in both grand prix classes the following week, and she only missed first place in both by fractions of a second."
"She still needs to learn to turn a little bit," Engle revealed. "She's naturally a quicker mare, and she's very careful. She has her own style that's kind of funny, and that's probably why she didn't get sold over in Europe. She doesn't go in a conventional manner; she likes to go her own way with her head up." She continued, "I love her. She's a tryer, and she's turned out to be even better than I thought. I knew she was careful, but I was concerned about her awkward style. She's gotten a lot more comfortable, and she's started to really follow through better. She just feels game."
Engle mentioned that relocating the prix indoors was a good decision. "I thought it was a nice option to have with this weather," she said. "Most places you go to, if you're stuck with this kind of weather, you're sunk. You either go out there or you cancel. It was a very nice option because I wouldn't have wanted to ride outside on a day like today. With this facility, I thought it was a very smart idea to move it indoors."
She discussed how Pamina L felt today indoors. "It was interesting. I've never gone straight into any ring with her for a big class. This was the first time she's ever done that, so I was a little unsure," Engle disclosed. "She got a lot of mileage at the three weeks in Tampa. In fact, when Mike [Pulaski] saw her, she went so well that he wanted me to do her in the Invitational. But, she had only started doing the grand prix two weeks before that, so I didn't want to scare her."
"She handled the course well," she stated. "She's actually lined out a little bit. When I first got her, she would over-jump almost too much and get really, really high. But, I was pleased with her today. She didn't feel like she over jumped, and she went in the ends of the ring pretty well. She used to be very spooky about them and wanted to cut in, but she seemed to handle all that well."
Engle described Jeffery's course as "nice" and said the track included some technical questions and a few options. "It wasn't overly big. But, for going straight in a new ring, I thought it was a very nice course. The jump-off got quite fast, which I figured it would with 13 horses," she noted. "I knew there were a lot of fast ones in there. I knew I was going to have to take a bit of a shot and it was kind of nice to be able to go last. She went first the other day, so going last worked well. I knew what I had to do."
Engle will continue to show Hidden Creek's Pamina L for the rest of the summer. "I keep moving her up, and as long as she tells me she's doing it easy, I'll just keep trying with her. So far she's been handling everything well and doesn't seem to back off, and so I plan to give her some more mileage since she hasn't shown a whole lot."
Earlier in the day, the High Amateur-Owner and Junior Jumper Classics were held in the Walnut Arena. They competed over courses designed by Guilherme Jorge of Brazil. Sixteen exhibitors participated in the High Amateur-Owner Classic, and only five jumped the first round penalty-free. Paige Johnson of The Plains,VA, earned the blue with Chiron S, owned by Salamander Farm, after she broke the beam in 30.238 seconds. Jessica Leto piloted her horse Kruimel to second place honors with their clear time of 32.253 second. Leto resides in Foxpoint, WI. Third place went to Piola and Whitney Weeks of Southport, CT. They too executed a double clear performance, and they came home in 35.536 seconds.
Tracey Weinberg of Lovettsville, VA, and Larone lowered the height of one fence in the jump-off and stopped the clock in 35.536 seconds, which would hold up for fourth place. Mexico City's Pablo Velazquez accrued eight faults in the jump-off aboard his mount Manila VDL. They had a time of 39.244 seconds.
In the High Junior Jumper Classic, Daniel Bluman captured first place with Aldebaron II, owned by Pelle Wedenmark of Wellington, FL. Bluman was last in the order to return to the jump off, and his fast time of 30.265 seconds sealed the win. Christina Kelly and Carracci Z finished in second place with a clear round and quick time of 31.454 seconds. Kelly's mount is owned by Barbara Kelly of Nicholasville, KY.
With the Kentucky Spring Horse Show drawing to a close, exhibitors will start preparing for the Kentucky Spring Classic, held next week from May 14-18. Highlights of the Kentucky Spring Classic include the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix CSI 3*, the $20,000 Bluegrass Classic, and the $55,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI 3*, which is a member event of the AGA Grand Prix Series.
For more information on the Kentucky Spring Horse Show and the Kentucky Spring Classic, please go to http://www.kentuckyhorseshows.com
. a Num Horse Name NAT R1 Faults R1 Time J/O Faults J/O Time
Results of $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix II, Sec 2(a)
T/A: 93.00 T/A: 42.00
1 1205 HIDDEN CREEK'S PAMINA L MARGIE ENGLE USA 0.00 87.53 0.00 30.03 $13750
HIDDEN CREEK FARM
2 1183 PARADIGM MARIO DESLAURIERS CAN 0.00 86.17 0.00 30.19 $11000
3 1224 CRELIDO MICHAEL MORRISSEY USA 0.00 90.53 0.00 30.44 $8250
4 334 INTREPIDE DU VALON ALISON ROBITAILLE USA 0.00 87.69 0.00 30.74 $6050
M/M BERTRAM FIRESTONE
5 955 LITTLE EMIR SHANE SWEETNAM IRE 0.00 87.97 0.00 31.51 $4400
SPY COAST FARM
6 652 LAPACCO SCHUYLER RILEY USA 0.00 85.89 0.00 32.15 $3850
SOUTH BEACH STABLE
7 862 CATARO ASK RAMIRO QUINTANA ARG 0.00 86.49 0.00 33.20 $3300
THE CATARO GROUP
8 954 MEMPHIS SHANE SWEETNAM IRE 0.00 89.68 4.00 34.35 $2750
SPY COAST FARM
9 384 QARCO V'T MERLENEST ROBIN SWEELY USA 0.00 91.93 4.00 34.62 $1650
ACORN HILL FARM
10 552 SINATRA PABLO BARRIOS VEN 0.00 89.44 8.00 31.38
11 707 DISTRICT GEORGINA BLOOMBERG USA 0.00 88.75 8.00 35.70
GOTHAM ENTERPRIZES LLC
12 1223 SCARABERAS MICHAEL MORRISSEY USA 0.00 92.68 8.00 36.46
Photo: Margie Engle and Hidden Creek's Pamina L, winners of the $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix CSI 3*. Photo (C) 2008 Diana DeRosa. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/hidden-creek-engle-commonwealth-csi-05-08.html">Hidden Creek's Pamina L and Margie Engle Soar Sky High for Victory in $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix CSI 3*</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com