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Ingrid Gjelsten and VDL Edgar M score their first California win in $117,000 TALUS CSI3* Grand Prix

Sunday, 25 February 2024
CSI3* Desert International Horse Park 2024

Photo © High Desert Sport Photo Ingrid Gjelsten and VDL Edgar M. Photo © High Desert Sport Photo.


Press release from Desert International Horse Park



If you looked through the start list for the $117,000 TALUS CSI3* Grand Prix on Saturday night of Desert Circuit 7, presented by TALUS, you may have recognized a special name and picked him as your winner. VDL Edgar M has jumped the Olympic Games, CSI5* Rolex Grand Prixs, FEI Nations Cups, has won FEI World Cup Qualifiers, and is now being piloted by Ingrid Gjelsten (NOR) who guided him to the win in the feature Saturday night class at Desert International Horse Park.

The 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Arezzo VDL x Marlon) is owned by Gjelsten and her family and in 2023, Gjelsten took over the reins from Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (BRA) who led the horse through its career highlights.

“I have been riding him for one year now,” Gjelsten said of her relationship with VDL Edgar M. “He’s a super horse; I really love him. He’s always trying his best for me. He’s so kind and just wants to do the job. He’s just amazing.”

Gjelsten and “Edgar” were one of four pairs to jump clear over Alan Wade’s (IRL) track, coming back in the second-to-last position. No one had jumped a clear round yet, but she had Ali Ramsay (CAN) behind her with the super-quick Bonita VH Keizershof Z, so she knew she had to put some pressure on. Gjelsten jumped the clear round she needed and took the lead, and Ramsay ended up with a rail down, which was when Gjelsten realized she would stand atop the podium.

Photo © High Desert Sport Photo Ingrid Gjelsten topped the podium. Photo © High Desert Sport Photo.

In second was Shawn Casady (USA) with Cool Quarz, owned by Morning Star Sporthorses, as the quickest 4-fault jump-off round. Just behind him in third was Camilo Rueda (COL) aboard Indus Van Het Keysereyck, owned by Lexi Silver.

It’s evident that Edgar is feeling at home with his newest rider and on the West Coast of the United States, a long way from the pair’s home nation of Norway. Saturday marked the second CSI3* grand prix that the duo scored a clear round in, this time being much more memorable as the sole double-clear effort.

Despite the cool and collected rounds Gjelsten put in, her nerves were quite high heading into the week’s feature event.

“I was quite nervous today actually,” she shared. “I was just trying to keep calm and not stress. I tried to stick to my plan. I know Edgar can do it so it’s all on me. I really wanted to do it today.”

Gjelsten is no stranger to elite venues, jumping at horse shows worldwide including stops along the the Longines Global Champions Tour, plus Valkenswaard, Riesenbeck, St. Tropez, and more. But attending DIHP for the first time has her in awe.

“Desert Horse Park is just amazing,” she shared. “It’s so nice here, all the rings. I really like it here in California. All the riders here are very good. There are some very fast riders here, so it’s very fun to compete against them. I knew Edgar could do it so it was very fun to ride here today.”


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