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Margie Goldstein-Engle wins the $130,000 Atco Nations Finale at Thunderbird Show Park

Monday, 05 June 2017
CSIO4* Langley 2017

Photo (c) Moi Photography. Margie Goldstein-Engle and Royce. Photo (c) Moi Photography.

It was a beautiful day and the perfect setting for American rider, Margie Goldstein-Engle and her big, bay stallion Royce to take another win at Thunderbird Show Park. Coming off her win with Royce in Friday’s Nation’s Cup, Engle rode a perfect first round, and then came back for a second clear round in the jump-off.

With a class of 31 starts Engle was 23rd in for the first round. Nicolas Pizarro was the first clear in the class after both Keean White and Jennifer Gates had faults. Next to join Pizarro in the jump-off was Eugenio Garza Perez as he managed to navigate the tricky expectations of the course. Heather Caristo-Williams had a successful ride on her horse after it's antics at the Nations Cup, finishing with just one time fault.

And there wasn't another clear until Engle came in at 23rd. But she wasn't the last to go clear, the Irish were in it, and Connor Swail, Daniel Coyle, and Andrew Bourns all went clear. Last in the ring was Mexician rider, Antionio Maurer who made it seven in the jump-off.

The first-round course really used the space of the grass ring. With room for big gallops but also some serious questions. Peter Holmes had perfect planning and with a tight five stride to a one stride with a very wide oxer coming out, it was a tough ride that created lots of rails. Riders needed to back their horses off enough to fit the five, but not too much that they didn't land so close off the first jump in the combination that they couldn't clear the wide oxer coming out.

That same line to combination was featured in the jump-off, creating even more expectation for the horses in their ridability to come back off a long gallop, roll-back to the line. Pizarro was first back and set the tone with a clear round. He was followed by Perez who had one rail and a time of 42.14. From there it became a battle of speed. Engle was third in and lay down a fantastic ride with a time of 38.70. Using Royce's big stride, she galloped the bigger stretches but balanced him back perfectly for the 1.60 verticals that were just waiting for a horse to flatten out. Engle had to wait as the three Irish team riders all went out to beat her time. But they just couldn't catch her. Swail put in another quick, accurate ride, but just not quick enough, he timed in at 39.11 for a second-place finish. Coyle also another clear round but still not fast enough, he took third with 39.47. Bourns and Maurer finished up the class but no one came close to Engle's time. And with that it was another win for the American rider, after winning on Friday's Nations Cup, she and Royce took the win in the $130,000 Atco Nations Finale.

Source: Press release from Thunderbird Show Park / Picture © Moi Photography

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