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Abigail McArdle and Victorio 5 add second Great Lakes Equestrian Festival win in Staller Grand Traverse Grand Prix

Monday, 05 August 2019
CSI3* Great Lakes Equestrian Festival 2019

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography. Abigail McArdle and Victorio 5. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.

Press release from Great Lakes Equestrian Festival


Offering the greatest prize money to date of the 2019 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, plus a chance to add valuable world-ranking points to their names, the $133,700 Staller Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI3* served as the finale event of Week V of the circuit.

Besting the skilled field of nearly 40 horse-and-athlete pairs, Abigail McArdle (USA) and Victorio 5 led the victory gallop as the quickest double-clear entry of the contest. 

With McArdle’s win, she has propelled herself to the top of the standings towards the new $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus, which will be awarded at the conclusion of Week VI. During Week IV of the series, McArdle and Victorio 5 won the $35,700 Devoucoux Welcome Stake CSI2*, so Sunday’s win upped their FEI victories at GLEF to two, helping McArdle’s place rise in the rankings. Points towards the bonus are calculated based on prize money earned throughout the six-week festival in Open Jumper classes 1.45m and above, and fans and athletes can follow along and check the $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus leaderboard, posted on, to track their favorite riders and see who is leading in the standings.

Representing the attributes of a true horsewoman and sportsman, Wolff was honored as the M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award recipient following the Week V grand prix. The M. Michael Meller Style of of Riding Award is presented to the rider who best demonstrates the values of horsemanship, skill and presentation in the show ring, and Wolff was hand-selected as the 2019 GLEF honoree. Meller established the award in 2011 in memory of his friend and an integral member of the equestrian community, Kate Nash Boone. Known for skills both inside and out of the ring with her horses, Wolff is an accomplished show jumper on the international scene who operates Ali Wolff, LLC based in New Albany, Ohio, and Wellington, Florida.

From the winner's circle

On Victorio 5:
“This is a partner I started with actually last year at this show. We started showing FEI At the end of the summer. He was the one that won the U25 at the beginning of the year. He has been super consistent for me and he is such a good horse, I can’t say how great of a horse he is for me.”

On her grand prix strategy:
“I wasn’t having such a great week and I woke up this morning and I said, ‘You know what, I am going to win this grand prix.’ Sure enough, we won the grand prix. For the first round, I walked my plan and I wanted to be really strong. I watched a couple people have a bobble going into the triple bar, so I wanted to be really strong there, pick my places to slow down and bring it home clean, especially by the gate – that was a tough line. After going clean in the first round, it was a bit of a running jump-off. You had to come a little bit slow to number one because you had to get that inside cut, which was difficult, and you had to try to be as smooth as possible. Then there was a spin-back, and I’ve actually been working on tight turns with this horse so that was fantastic for me. I had a little bit of a rub in the combination and I looked back like an idiot as I was galloping and thought ‘I’m still clear!’, so I kept going and was actually able to put a little bit of a curve in the eight strides and really just gallop that coming home, which was the fastest, for sure.”

“The crowd is fantastic and they are all really into it cheering during the round and after in the prize-giving. They were all waving and it was really, really awesome. I think that atmosphere make a lot for the different horse shows. They do a great job here. I thought the course was wonderful today. Ten clear was just perfect, and it’s really great. I love this show.”

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