SponsorSponsor
  • USEF Network @WhispersAngel Not on Youtube, but we will have it available on-demand at http://t.co/D0gaNcvecG. 10/31/2014 12:13:31 AM
  • USEF Network That does it for our live coverage tonight. ūüĆÉ We're live from @TheNationalHS again at 7am ET in the morning! ūüĆĄ 10/30/2014 11:40:13 PM
  • USEF Network Congratulations to tonight's winners Olivier Philippaerts & Armstrong Van De Kapel! #nationalhorseshow 10/30/2014 11:39:35 PM
  • National Horse Show 21 clear rounds qualified for tonight's tiebreaker - it's going to be a foot race! #OpenJumpers #nhs14 Retweeted by USEFNetwork 10/30/2014 10:43:02 PM
  • DaydreaminEquestrian Winding down with some #nationalhorseshow livestream. GREAT commentary tonite - thanks @USEFNetwork!! ūüĎĆ Retweeted by USEFNetwork 10/30/2014 10:21:38 PM
  • USEF Network @sarah31733 Brian Lookabill & Angela Covert are the commentators. 10/30/2014 9:18:47 PM
  • USEF Network Tonight's $75k Intl. Open Jumper class at @TheNationalHS has begun! ūüĎÄ Watch it-> http://t.co/UyOxXlZ3KH http://t.co/LETtAgXDCF 10/30/2014 9:17:21 PM
  • USEF Network Giavanna Rinaldi & G.P.S. Brilliant Disguise were brilliant, winning another A/O Jr. Jumper class. #nationa... https://t.co/CdwzBN1A9i 10/30/2014 9:07:22 PM
  • USEF Network Set up for tonight's #nationalhorseshow feature, $75k Open Jumper class, is underway. http://t.co/t3rHwVJsOl 10/30/2014 8:32:07 PM
  • USEF Network Kalvin Dobbs & Woodstock O have won just won the second competition in the #nationalhorseshow U25 Championship http://t.co/dWevyyzqAV 10/30/2014 8:28:23 PM

News

Margie Engle and Royce Race to Victory in $75,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix at Kentucky Spring Classic

RELEASE: May 18, 2014
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Phelps Media Group Inc. International

Margie Engle and Royce (Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group)
Margie Engle and Royce (Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group)
Lexington, Ky. -
 For the second year in a row, Margie Engle and Royce galloped to victory in the $75,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington, at the Kentucky Spring Classic. This year was different though, as the talented duo had to best a 22-horse jump-off, showcasing not just power, but speed as well. Engle and Royce, owned by Elm Rock Partners LLC, made perfect turns and left each rail in place to finish ahead of eight other double clears and lead the victory gallop. Shane Sweetnam with Eregast van't Kiezelhof and Pablo Barrios aboard Ambosell set the early pace, but had to settle for second and third, respectively.

Forty-five riders showed over Michel Vaillancourt's first round track, which yielded a surprising 22 clear rounds, making the jump-off a true horse race, not unlike Saturday's Preakness Stakes. "They jump so well on this footing," explained Engle. "You get a lot clean. It's a good group of horses, and the horses love this footing."

For the tiebreaker, riders had to make three major rollbacks, including two at the beginning from a wide oxer to a tall vertical and back to an oxer-vertical double combination. The horses that were able to make the tightest turns without a mistake ended up at the top of the leader board.

The first to return were pathfinders Pablo Barrios of Venezuela and Ambosell. They set the target at 41.937 seconds, and while they were able to do it without fault, many that tried to catch them did not have the same luck. One of the only horse and rider combinations to do so was Ireland's Shane Sweetnam riding Eregast van't Kiezelhof for Spy Coast Farm. They were able to make the rollbacks nicely and gallop quickly to the final oxer to finish in 40.171 seconds.

"Eregast van't Kiezelhof can really cover the ground, but he's not used to doing jump-offs so he has to learn that a little bit," noted Sweetnam. "I thought he did a good job. Maybe when he's done a few more jump-offs, he can be even a little quicker than that. I was happy with him though."

When Margie Engle entered the Rolex Stadium with Royce she knew there were multiple riders left to show and that she would need to give it her all. They picked up a quick gallop to the first oxer and never looked back, slicing the next vertical as sharply as possible and then rolling back quickly to the double combination. Engle and Royce left out a stride to the final fence, and all of the risks paid off when they blazed through the timers in a clear 39.801 seconds.

"I went faster than I normally do with Royce," admitted Engle. "Slow and clean wasn't going to be a big piece of it, and I've spent a lot of time just going slow with him. It was good practice for him to take a shot and practice going quicker. He's starting to ride so much better. He sliced so quickly to the second jump, and then back on the double. That's where it's nice to have scope, he just exploded over it."

Eleven riders tried to beat Royce, but no one was able to do so without error. Callan Solem was the only rider that came close after Engle's round, completing a clear round with Horsehoe Trail Farm's VDL Wizard, but her time of 41.939 seconds would only be good enough for fourth. Sweetnam and Barrios took home second and third, respectively, while Engle was the clear winner.

"It's never over until it's over," laughed Engle. "With that many in it, and with me going early in the pack, I knew there were fast ones behind me, but I feel like we're really starting to form a partnership now. He's not naturally a fast horse. He's a slower, scopier type, but he covers a ton of ground. I knew that I could turn hard to the double because he has so much scope that he can jump through there easily. He sliced the vertical in the middle really nicely too. He hasn't done many jump-offs like that, so I am really happy with him."

It has been a great two weeks for Engle in Kentucky, who just won last week's $75,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix with Indigo. Tonight, she defended her title in the $75,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix, having won it in 2013 with Royce. "Last year was kind of a turning point with him. I didn't go as fast as tonight, but it was the first time I really started to push him. I don't think I've ever ridden a horse with his scope and ability. The rideability is getting better and better, and I am really happy with the partnership."

Engle is part of the short list for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, and Chef d'Equipe Robert Ridland was onsite to witness Engle's victory. "Last summer I did the [Longines Global Champions Tour], and even showing two rounds was not really taxing on him," said Engle. "That was the first time I had to show him a couple days in a row, and I think he's got the ability to do that and not just do one class a week. At the World Equestrian Games it's a lot of rounds. His natural scope and carefulness is amazing."

The next stop for Engle and Royce will be the Devon Horse Show, followed by the Lake Placid Horse Shows, and then they will head to Hickstead and Aachen as part of the Observation Events for the short listed riders.

Engle concluded, "I am lucky to have nice owners. They have been really supportive, and they stood by me when I was injured. I feel really lucky to have people like that supporting me. Royce had a lot of raw ability when we got him, and they were fine with me taking our time and not going fast. Now it's paying off."

RESULTS: $75,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix
1   668 ROYCE           MARGIE ENGLE                       78.263              39.326
2   680 EREGAST VAN'T KISHANE SWEETNAM                     76.612              40.171
3   278 AMBOSELL        PABLO BARRIOS                      76.929              41.937
4   545 VDL WIZARD      CALLAN SOLEM                       76.823              41.939
5   595 BOO VAN HET KASTANDREW WELLES                      77.178              42.457
6   815 CARRABIS Z      RICHIE MOLONEY                     78.868              45.077
7   743 CHILL R Z       CHARLIE JAYNE                      78.142              45.379
8   690 CAMBITO         PAIGE JOHNSON                      78.185              46.109
9   744 VALESKA         CHARLIE JAYNE                      73.934              48.343
10  1211QUALITY GIRL    TODD MINIKUS                       75.039       4      38.919
11  11  AMMERETTO       DAVID BEISEL                       76.837       4      39.593
12  675 SOLERINA        SHANE SWEETNAM                     76.376       4      39.831

News

Competitions