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Abigail McArdle fights back to claim Great Lakes Classic CSI3* during GLEF week six

Saturday, 12 August 2017
CSI3* Great Lakes Equestrian Festival

Photo (c) Diana Hadsall Photography. Abigail McArdle and Chuck Berry 8. Photo (c) Diana Hadsall Photography.

On Friday afternoon, Abigail McArdle of the USA claimed the $40,000 Great Lakes Classic CSI3*, presented by Triple C Trailer Sales Inc., aboard Chuck Berry 8 (Chacco-Blue x Watzman) at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF). After Olympian Margie Engle (USA) took over McArdle's original lead with Cade (Heartbreaker x Darco), the 23-year-old professional rider returned with her second mount qualified for the jump-off to re-take the victory from Engle in an exciting tie-breaking round.

The first round course, built by Canadian course designer Michel Vaillancourt, saw 13 out of 32 finish faultlessly to advance to the jump-off, while nine finished double-clear.

McArdle was all business as she returned first to challenge the short course with Cade, owned by David McArdle, finishing in 33.54 seconds. The pair was able to hold on to their lead for three rounds until Australia's Scott Keach and Southern Cross Equestrian LLC's Fedor (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Orkaan) bested McArdle's time in 33.12 seconds. However, his lead was short-lived as only two rounds later show jumping veterans Engle and Royce (Cafe au Lait x Grandilot), owned by Gladewinds Partners LLC, took over the top spot in 32.18 seconds.

Fortunately for McArdle, she had one more shot to re-claim her title with her second mount in the jump-off, Chuck Berry 8, owned by Plain Bay Sales. She and the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding put the pedal to the metal and crossed the finish line one second faster than Engle in 31.81 seconds. Engle finished behind McArdle in second place, while Keach grabbed the yellow ribbon for third place and McArdle claimed fourth place with Cade.

"We got [Chuck Berry 8] at the end of the winter circuit, and we've brought him along slowly. He won the 3* in Tryon, and that was kind of his breakout moment. He's a sale horse so he could end up making somebody a really nice horse. Going clear with my first horse, Cade, who's my horse and a veteran 15-year-old, gave me a great confidence boost. After that, I knew where I could go faster [with Chuck Berry 8]. I tried to open up the stride down the first line [to leave out in six strides] and he was fantastic," McArdle says after her win. 


Source: Press release from Great Lakes Equestrian Festival / Photo (c) Diana Hadsall Photography.

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