October 23, 2011--Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, riding Indigo, owned by Gladewinds & Shay Griese, won the $75,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix de Penn National, the crowning event at the 66th Annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show's on Saturday evening.
With this victory, Engle added yet another win to her impressive resume of 196 Grand Prix career wins yet this is the first time she ever won the Grand Prix de Penn National.
"It's great winning here. This one has always eluded me," said Engle. "I've been second five for six times and third a bunch, but this is the first time I won this one. It's really nice to be able to do well here."
The incredibly technical course by Steve Stephens proved to be too much of a challenge for the majority of riders. Five countries were represented in the field of 28 competitors, but it was three American riders who bested the course and made the jump-off. Beezie Madden, Mario Deslauriers and Engle were the only three riders to go clean in the first round.
Jumping third in the jump off she rode clean with a time of 36.74 seconds and there was no question Engle had this one in the bank. Deslauriers rode second on Cella, owned by Jane Clark, in the jump-off and was only a second behind Engle's time with 37.64 seconds and Madden, on Cortes'C, owned by Abigail Wexner, dropped a rail for four faults with a jump-off time of 36.87 and third place.
"I had the advantage of going at the end, which is always beneficial" said Engle. "He's has always been a consistent horse for me. He is a really good horse indoors. He's very compact and makes his own impulsion, so it makes him very easy to ride inside."
Deslauriers thought that he might have ridden a little too carefully in the jump-off. "My horse was quick enough, we just took one too many strides," said Deslauriers. "I am happy though, my horse jumped beautifully all week and I am very happy with her."
Deslauriers may have finished second in the Grand Prix, but he did not go home empty handed. He was named the Leading Rider for the Open Jumper division and his mount, Cella won the Open Jumper Championship.
Indigo was Reserve Open Jumper Champion. Indigo's groom, Bierget Maier, was also recognized, receiving the Caretaker of the Winning Grand Prix Horse award. Beezie Madden won the Leading Lady Rider Award for Open Jumpers.
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show is proud of its tradition of supporting equine and youth programs. The show benefits the Harrisburg Kiwanis Youth Foundation and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.