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Veteran Margie Engle Flies to Victory in Medium Tour Final at WEF

Wellington, FL – March 18, 2007 – As the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington drew to a close this afternoon, fans of show jumping were treated to fantastic sport once again. The Stars and Stripes flew tall in the Internationale Arena and as the Star Spangled Banner played, one of America’s favorite riders took home the top prize. Ten-time AGA Rider of the Year Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, and her veteran partner Hidden Creek’s Perin raced to the win in the €25,000 Medium Tour Final 1.50m Classic at the CN Worldwide Wellington Finale, CSI-5*. Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Double H Farm’s Rufus finished second and Ingrid Norman’s Ivoire du Rouet and Francois Mathy of Belgium were third.

Today’s final 1.50m Jumper Classic was designed by Guilherme Jorge of Brazil and featured a first round course of 12 numbered obstacles, including a tough triple combination at fence ten. Eight riders cleared the course to advance to the jump-off. William Lowry (USA) and Rio Corde just missed the timed round by finishing with one time fault, while 13 riders had four faults.

Daniel Deusser (GER) and Hooligan de Rosyl, owned by Stal Tops, moved up in the order to be the first clean round of the afternoon and were the first to attempt the jump-off course. Deusser hustled across the ring from fence 15 to the one stride. They jumped fence 8 and made a quick rollback to 9, but had a slip on the ground. Hooligan de Rosyl jumped beautifully and came home clear in a time of 34.72 seconds.

They were followed by Kimberly Prince (USA) on Carnivale, owned by Overlook Farm Inc. Prince had a slower gallop through the course and had a tight spot to fence 9, but notched another clear round for a time of 38.37 seconds.

This season’s FTI Rider Challenge winner, Eric Lamaze of Canada, was next in on Claude Dufresne’s Quidam’s Ramero. Lamaze had a good round going until the rollback, when Quidam’s Ramero balked. Lamaze had to circle and finished the course with four jumping and five time faults in 50.23 seconds.

Markus Fuchs (SUI) and La Toya III, owned by Adolfo Juri, would be a threat to Deusser’s lead. They sped from jump to jump, but had an unfortunate rail at fence 9 for four faults in a time of 34.18 seconds.

Engle and Perin were next, and Engle started pushing before she even got to the first jump. Perin responded beautifully and had no trouble over the jumps. They had a slip in the rollback and were tight to fence 9, so Engle pressed Perin to the final oxer. Perin stretched out over the orange and yellow fence and stopped the timers with a clear round in 33.06 seconds.

“I was inside everyone’s tracks to the in and out, and I knew I was going to have to straighten him up to the in and out. He gave to me really nicely,” Engle remembered. “I was going to try and turn as quickly as I could (in the rollback). I tried to be a little cautious for me there, but he turned so quick that he slipped again. He only got his footing one stride away and just popped over like nothing. He was amazing. He just digs in and tries harder. To the last fence, I galloped down there and I checked him once so he didn’t flatten out. When I checked him, he came back almost too nice and it made it a little bit longer. He had to really stretch to the last one, but he jumped great.”

Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Curius had another clean round but were unable to catch Engle’s time. They finished in 35.36 seconds for fifth place. Mathy and Ivoire du Rouet had another quick jump-off, but were still over a second off Engle’s pace in 34.42 seconds.

The last to challenge was Pessoa on Rufus, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Landaris. Pessoa galloped across the ring from fence 15 to the one stride and had a fantastic rollback, but it was not quite enough. They finished in 33.88 seconds for second place. “I didn’t see Margie go, but she’s always really fast,” Pessoa said afterwards. “Taking the circumstances of the ground, I tried to stay on my feet. I tried to be quick, and I’m really, really pleased with how the horse performed.”

Double H Farm purchased Rufus in January. Pessoa believes he will be a good horse for his string and that he has the talent to move up to the grand prix ranks. “I’d been following him, and we were looking for a really good horse to buy as a prospect for the future,” he recalled. “He’s very, very careful, and he has a great mind. That’s what we’re looking for in a horse. He’s still in development, and I’m happy to end on a good note with him. I think later this summer he’ll be ready to step up.”

While Rufus’ grand prix capability is just on the horizon, Hidden Creek’s Perin has been a solid performer for over a decade, including Olympic Games and World Cup appearances and medals at the Pan American Games. “He’s 18 years young!” Engle exclaimed. “He’s an amazing horse. He’s won almost every major class we’ve put him in. I don’t think I’ll ever have another one quite like him. He’s my hero.”

Perin would be eligible for the AARP if he was a human, but he showed no signs of aging in today’s class. “He still loves it,” Engle confirmed. “I figured I was going to give him a shot. He’s had a long break, and he’s always good after a break. There’s nothing I’m saving him for!”

With his performance today, Engle is considering showing him in the Budweiser American Invitational at the end of WEF. “He just felt super today. Maybe I’ll save him for the Invitational now. I’d love to get one more Invitational out of him,” she confided. “I know with him that I could take a real shot, and he’s got the experience to go in something like that. If he comes out of this okay and we see how he is for the next few weeks, we’ll see. He owes us nothing.”

The Winter Equestrian Festival is finished in Wellington, but continues again on March 28-April 1 for the Tampa Bay Classic, CSI-W at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center. The second week of competition, the Tournament of Champions, runs from April 3-7 and culminates with the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, April 7 at 7 p.m.

Results of Class 106 25,000 MEDIUM TOUR FINAL 1.50M CLASSIC - CN Worldwide Wellington Finale CSI 5* - March 18, 2007

T/A: 80.00 T/A: 46.00

1 2242 HC'S PERIN MARGIE ENGLE 0.00 74.70 0.00 33.06 $9260


2 3652 RUFUS RODRIGO PESSOA 0.00 77.15 0.00 33.88 $6615


3 2773 IVOIRE DU ROUET FRANCOIS MATHY 0.00 79.79 0.00 34.42 $4630


4 2761 HOOLIGAN DE ROSYL DANIEL DEUSSER 0.00 76.71 0.00 34.72 $2645


5 2174 CURIUS GEORGINA BLOOMBERG 0.00 76.95 0.00 35.36 $1985


6 1507 CARNIVALE KIMBERLY PRINCE 0.00 78.23 0.00 38.37 $1320


7 2765 LA TOYA III MARKUS FUCHS 0.00 75.83 4.00 34.18 $1055


8 2916 QUIDAM'S RAMERO ERIC LAMAZE 0.00 78.08 9.00 50.23 $925


9 232 RIO CORDE WILLIAM LOWRY 1.00 80.17 $795


10 2410 IMPULSIVE SCOTT LENKART 4.00 73.08 $660


11 3512 NEPOMUK CONOR SWAIL 4.00 74.19 $660


12 655 BEQUIA YANN CANDELE 4.00 74.60 $660


13 3080 MAHON POINT MICHAEL MORRISSEY 4.00 75.60 $530


14 2698 MAZELLE ERIC FLAMENG 4.00 75.76 $530


15 3079 LARIOSO MCLAIN WARD 4.00 76.41 $395


Photo Credit: Margie Engle and Hidden Creek’s Perin, winners of the €25,000 Medium Tour Final 1.50m Classic at CN Worldwide Wellington Finale, CSI-5*. Photo © 2007 Peter Llewellyn/PMG Pictures.


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