Tampa Equestrian Festival Week One Wrap-Up
RELEASE: March 27, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Phelps Media Group
It was a great return to the winner's circle for Margie Engle of Wellington, FL. She piloted Hidden Creek's Pamina L to victory in the $75,000 Bob Thomas Grand Prix of Florida. The class was the highlight of the first week of competition at the Tampa Equestrian Festival, held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center on the Florida State Fairgrounds.
The course was designed by Michel Vaillancourt of Canada. It featured 13 numbered obstacles in the first round. There were 28 entries in the class, and eight were clear to continue to the jump-off. The time allowed of 74 seconds was a definite factor, as four riders incurred just one time fault. There were four retirements and one elimination. Engle commented, "I thought it was a nice course. It was a little bit careful and technical in parts, and time was very tight."
The first to return for the jump-off was Leslie Howard on her first of two mounts over the shortened course. She and Lennox Lewis 2 were efficient through the course. Howard made an inside turn from jump 1 to 2, which some of the other riders would attempt as well. She finished in a quick time with no faults in 41.464 seconds. Her time would hold up for four more horses until Engle entered the ring.
Engle and Hidden Creek's Pamina L made two great inside turns in the jump-off, and the nine-year-old mare's hind end cleared the jumps with ease. Engle galloped down to the last single oxer and was clear. She had lowered the leading time down to 39.743 seconds.
Engle has only had Hidden Creek's Pamina L for six weeks. The German-bred mare was in quarantine at the beginning of the year. Engle showed her lightly and moved her up slowly, and they won a 1.40 meter speed class in Wellington before arriving in Tampa. "I thought I would try the WEF (Challenge Cup on Thursday) here and she was really good, so I figured I'd give her a shot today," Engle said. "Although she hasn't done a lot of big classes, she's naturally pretty quick. She's got her own style, but she's careful."
After Sunday's grand prix, there are only three remaining qualifying events for the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, presented by The Tampa Tribune
and Sweetbay Supermarket:
—March 27: $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup at Week Two of the Tampa Equestrian Festival
—March 30: $75,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier & the Just World Grand Prix of Tampa CSI*** W at Week Two of the Tampa Equestrian Festival
—April 2: $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup, CSI at Week Three of the Tampa Equestrian Festival.
Tickets for the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational are still available. Advance ticket prices are $25 in the white section, $35 in the blue section, and $40 in the red section. An Advance Family four-pack is available for $70 in the white section and $125 in the blue section (Prices are higher on the day of the show: $30, $40, $45, $85, $140). Group prices for 20 or more people are available with advance purchase only. They are $17 each in the white section and $30 each in the blue section. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at (813) 287-8844, (727) 898-2100 or www.ticketmaster.com
For more information on the Tampa Equestrian Festival and the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, please visit www.stadiumjumping.com
The 1.40 meter Jumper class on Wednesday was a Time First Round format for speed and was designed by Vaillancourt. He designed a track with 11 numbered obstacles and two double combinations. Eight horses were clear over the course.
The winner of the class was Lutopia, ridden by Molly Ashe Cawley and owned by Jane Forbes Clark. Lutopia was the sixth horse to go. Cawley had already gone on one horse in the class and got to know the track before Lutopia.
Lutopia is a veteran speed horse and has won classes too num