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Ingrid Gjelsten caps off Desert Circuit with a win in $182,000 La Quinta Resort & Club CSI4* Grand Prix

Sunday, 17 March 2024
CSI4* 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



Ingrid Gjelsten (NOR) came to Desert International Horse Park with a dream, and she’s leaving a CSI4* Grand Prix winner. On the final Saturday night of the 2024 Desert Circuit, the 20-year-old took the win in the $182,000 La Quinta Resort & Club CSI4* Grand Prix with VDL Edgar M.

Over Peter Grant’s (CAN) track, rails came down and time faults accrued as the 33 entries tried their hand at an elusive clear round. Gjelsten went 28th in the order and produced the first clear. The only one to follow suit was Ali Ramsay (CAN) with Bonita VH Keizershof Z.

Going head to head in a match race jump-off, Gjelsten and Ramsay made their plans and each took their best shot at the title. Gjelsten kept a quick pace, but pulled one rail on her way, leaving the door open for Ramsay to snag a double-clear for the win. As fate intervened, Ramsay pulled the final rail on course, coming in just slower than Gjelsten, putting the Canadian in second.

“I was very nervous so I was trying to not go crazy,” Gjelsten said of her approach to jumping off first of the two. “My plan was to keep calm. I know Ali is very fast so I was just trying to do my plan. I was quite sure that she was going to be clear. I know my horse can do it. He is just amazing. I just need to believe in him and believe in me.”

Photo © High Desert Sport Photo Ingrid Gjelsten atop the podium in her winning presentation. Photo © High Desert Sport Photo.

The belief in her horse and herself was what got the task done tonight. Gjelsten has taken very significant milestone victories during her time at DIHP and the final night was the biggest victory of her career so far.

Looking down the list of starters, many thought by the time Gjelsten went there would be a handful of clear rounds she’d be up against, but she ended up being the first, but she didn’t even know it at the time.

“It was a very nice feeling,” she said of securing the first clear. “It felt amazing. I didn’t know if there was anyone else clear so I was just focusing on myself and I was very happy when I saw that I was clear. I was thinking about the time. The time was very short. I watched the first ones go and I went in my car to sit there alone. I usually go and sit by myself for a little bit to keep the nerves down.”

Mathijs Van Asten (NED) ran into a tiny bit of trouble on the clock, producing a clear but just one time fault, taking third to the two ladies on the podium.

VDL Edgar M, a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Arezzo VDL x Marlon) has jumped to the highest levels in the sport, and Gjelsten wants to get to that level, too. With him as her partner, and Jessica Kürten as her trainer, she feels there’s nothing she can’t do.

“He’s just amazing,” she said of VDL Edgar M. “He just wants to do the job. I really like him, he’s my best horse. He gives me so much self-belief. I feel like I can do anything with him. He’s just the best. My goal is to do the top sport and do some World Cups and just keep going.”

DIHP may have just become one of her favorite places based on the wins she’s gotten under her belt, so expect to see Gjelsten back in the Grand Prix Arena chasing more dreams in the future.

“It’s so nice,” she said of the venue. “The atmosphere is so amazing. I feel it in my horse also; he loves it. It’s very fun to ride under the lights. My favorite part about being in the desert. The show is just amazing. It’s so many nice rings here and the atmosphere and the grass field and riding under the lights is very special and very fun. I will come back for sure.”


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