Margie Engle and Hidden Creek's Tosca Win Inaugural 2009 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Challenge
RELEASE: January 15, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Ken Braddick
Margie Engle rode Hidden Creek's Tosca in the Dutch Warmblood mare's sixth grand prix Thursday to claim the inaugural $30,000 Braman Motorcars WEF Challenge Cup at the 2009 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.
The nine-year-old mare on whom Engle, of Wellington, FL, won the seven- and eight-year-old championship in Kentucky last year, won by 1/10th of a second over Georgina Bloomberg and Curius at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Laura Bowery on Henry Jota Romano placed third.
Thirty-four combinations started Round One of the WEF Challenge on the second day of WEF that runs for 12 weeks to March 29.
The course designed by 2008 Olympic co-course designer Steve Stephens produced eight clear rounds to go into the jumpoff.
Engle had two horses in the jumpoff, Tosca and Hidden Creek's Coraya Z as did Bowery with Henry Jota Romano and Campeon 007. She said that before Thursday, Tosca, owned by Hidden Creek Farm, Inc., had started in five grand prix, winning four of them.
The attitude of the mare in meeting challenges as they are presented, she said, puts her in mind of a "female version" of the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Team gold medalist Authentic ridden by Beezie Madden.
"She is very careful and very brave," she said of Tosca (Numero Uno-Gerolia by Zortin).
Bloomberg notched her second high placing in the first two days of WEF.
She said that she took a month off at the end of 2008 to "mentally and physically" prepare herself for the new year and had returned "very hungry."