Grande Gil Becomes First Saddlebred Triple Crown Winner Since 2004
RELEASE: December 13, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Daniel Rieffer
With Grande Gil’s win at the American Royal in November, the five-year-old gelding has claimed the first American Saddlebred Triple Crown since 2004, sweeping the three-gaited open championships at Lexington Junior League, Kentucky State Fair and American Royal—the three shows which comprise the Saddlebred Triple Crown.
The last Saddlebred to accomplish the feat in three-gaited was CH An Heir About Her in 2004. That same year, CH Boucheron took top honors at each of the Saddlebred Triple Crown events in five-gaited competition.
Grande Gil (I’m The Prince x Steel Hearted Woman) is a 2002 foal, bred by Happy Valley Stables in Rossville, GA. Ownership of Grande Gil was transferred from Joan Hamilton of Kalarama Farm in Springfield, KY, to Misdee Wrigley Miller of Hillcroft Farm in Paris, KY, on November 13, 2007.
Kalarama’s Neil Visser rode Grande Gil to the Lexington Junior League Three-Gaited Championship in July, then to the Three-Gaited World’s Grand Championship in August. Miller, an amateur, was Grande Gil’s mount for both his wins at the Royal—the Three-Gaited Over 15.2 and the Three-Gaited Championship—giving Grande Gil nine consecutive victories going back to his Three-Gaited Junior win with Visser in the irons at the 2006 American Royal.
Grande Gil’s first notable finish came in 2005 when he grabbed Reserve World’s Champion honors in the American Saddlebred Registry National Three-Year-Old Futurity.