Tampa, FL - Margie Engle was the top finisher with Hidden Creek's Pamina L during the $30,000 Tampa Bay Welcome Stake CSI 2* at the Tampa Equestrian Festival. The pair led the way by scoring the first clear round during round one, and then went on to be the only horse and rider combination to produce a double-clear effort. Today marked the second day of competition during the Tampa Bay Classic, held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds.
Twenty-five riders showed in the Covered Arena over Michel Vaillancourt's first round course. It began with a large oxer to a bending vertical and a sharp left turn to a triple bar, followed by a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination. Riders then continued to another bending line before making another left turn to vertical and liverpool fence. The course came to a close after a skinny vertical to an oxer-vertical double combination, followed by a large final oxer.
Riders found faults throughout the course, but the most difficult fences proved to be in the triple combination and the final oxer. Eleven horse and rider combinations attempted to master the track before Engle and Hidden Creek's Pamina L scored the first fault-free round. Six riders advanced to the jump-off, with Engle leading the way.
"There was an option on the outside line to the liverpool, and I chose to do the seven there," said Engle when she explained her first round. "A lot of riders were having trouble in the triple and the last double. Then the last jump was a little square so tried to give her a little bit of room to that one. For the double I just got there a little bit early because it was so tight."
The jump-off course began with the first round's opening bending line, followed by a tight left turn to the liverpool. Riders then had the option to make a difficult inside turn to a large oxer before continuing to the double combination and finishing over the unlucky final oxer.
Engle and Hidden Creek's Pamina L were the first to compete over the final test, and with five very fast combinations coming behind them the duo was ready for a race. Engle picked up a fast gallop to the first fence and easily made a quick trip to the next fences. After the liverpool, Engle tried to take the inside option to the next oxer but her horse slipped and they lost some time. The pair easily cleared the rest of the fences and stopped the clock in 32.72 seconds.
Lauren Hough and Casadora, owned by Laura & Meredith Mateo, were next to show over the shortened course. The pair had a difficult time making the inside turn to the oxer after the liverpool and pulled a rail to accrue 4 faults. Their time of 32.68 seconds would hold-up to take the third place prize.
Next on course was Nick Dello Joio with Malcolm, owned by Judy Richter and Ellie Belknap. The duo earned an unfortunate four faults at the first fence in the double combination, and with the slowest four-fault time of 34.16 seconds, they earned the fourth place ribbon. Todd Minikus and Alaska entered the ring next but the pair racked up a total of 13 faults by bringing down a rail at the second fence and then refusing after the liverpool. The pair took home the sixth place honors.
Hugh Graham was next to compete in the jump-off aboard Executive Privilege 3E, owned by King Ridge Stables. They also had problems at the second fence and the oxer after the Liverpool, for an 8 fault total and the fifth place award.
The final combination on course was Pablo Barrios and G & C LaGran, owned by Pablo Barrios and Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal. The crowd thought the duo would take over the top spot as the pair easily made it down the first line in a stunning six strides. They took a different inside route, which proved to be smoother and faster to save more time. The crowed held their breath as they made it to the difficult final fence, but the top rail came down. Barrios and G & C LaGran bested Engle's time after crossing the finish line in 30.83 seconds, but their four fault score would earn them the second place prize and seal Engle's victory.
"Pamina a very quick horse, kind of winds herself up with her tail, and she's almost better when I go in the jump-offs," commented Engle after her winning round. "The faster you go to the jumps the more careful she gets. She was really good at the beginning, very fast, but then we slipped just a little bit when I rolled back to the skinny oxer before the in-and-out. I thought I lost a little time there. Other than that she felt great and she was very quick at the beginning."
When Engle saw Barrios and G & C LaGran were laying down a very fast round she began to get nervous. "I thought Pablo had it," she expressed. "It was actually quicker how he went around fence 1, he could keep galloping and kept a little smoother line to the skinny. His horse is very fast and Pablo has been good all winter so I knew he was right on it."
Hidden Creek's Pamina L is an 11-year-old Westfalen mare that Engle has owned since the beginning of 2008. "She's a funny horse and she has a little bit of a different style," she explained. "It's better to let her go with her head up, she likes to jump that way. When I let her put her head up and gallop at the jumps she's very careful.
After Engle purchased the grey mare, the Tampa Equestrian Festival was their first competition. "We had just gotten her and she had done some small classes in Europe," noted Engle. "I moved her up to the grand prix classes here and she seems to like this venue quite a bit. She was really good that first year because this was her first grand prix. She was second in the first one and won one or two other classes during the week. She seems to like it here."
On Sunday, Engle plans to show Hidden Creek's Pamina L in the $50,000 Grand Prix of Florida, which will serve as the final World Cup Qualifier. The mare has spent most of the winter season resting and is now coming back to the ring. Engle is also looking forward to competing during the $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational presented by G & C Farm, which will be held Saturday, April 10, at Raymond James Stadium.
"The Invitational is probably my favorite class that we do in our country," said Engle. "When I was younger I would groom or hitch a ride just so I could watch the Invitational. We talked about it all year because we were able to watch all the top riders show there. It was such a nice venue, a real traditional class; it's different than any class we have in our country. "
The 2010 Tampa Equestrian Festival features two weeks of exciting hunter/jumper action and culminates with the the $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational presented by G & C Farm. This week is the Tampa Bay Classic, and the $50,000 Grand Prix of Florida CSI-W will be the highlight event on Sunday, April 4, at noon in the Covered Arena.
For more information about the Tampa Equestrian Festival please visit www.stadiumjumping.com.
RESULTS - Class 100, $30,000 Welcome Stake
Order - Entry # - Horse Name - Rider Name - Owner - JF1 - TF1 - AF1 - Time 1 - JF2 - TF2 - AF2 - Time 2
- 1 - 12 - HIDDEN CREEK'S PAMINA L - MARGIE ENGLE - HIDDEN CREEK FARM - 0 - 0 - 0 - 1.000 - 0 - 0 - 0 - 32.720
- 2 - 1 - G & C LAGRAN - PABLO BARRIOS - PABLO BARRIOS/GUSTAVO & CAROLINA MIRABAL - 0 - 0 - 0 - 6.000 - 4 - 0 - 4 - 30.830
- 3 - 300 - CASADORA - LAUREN HOUGH - LAURA & MERIDITH MATEO - 0 - 0 - 0 - 2.000 - 4 - 0 - 4 - 32.680
- 4 - 201 - MALCOLM - NICK DELLO JOIO - RICHTER/BELKNAP - 0 - 0 - 0 - 3.000 - 4 - 0 - 0 - 34.160
- 5 - 223 - EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE 3E - HUGH GRAHAM - KING RIDGE STABLES - 0 - 0 - 0 - 5.000 - 8 - 0 - 8 - 33.850
- 6 - 301 - ALASKA - TODD MINIKUS - CALLIE SEAMAN - 0 - 0 - 0 - 4.000 - 8 - 2 - 10 - 45.910
- 7 - 245 - CADENCE - MICHELLE SPADONE - PROCEDURES INC. - 0 - 1 - 1 - 85.700
- 8 - 290 - ATHENA - CHARLIE JAYNE - THE LONDON GROUP - 4 - 0 - 4 - 80.210
- 9 - 5 - G & C QUICK STAR - PABLO BARRIOS - G & C FARM/GUSTAVO & CAROLINA MIRABAL - 4 - 0 - 4 - 80.360
- 10 - 202 - SCARFACE - NORMAN DELLO JOIO - ANTHONY WEIGHT - 4 - 0 - 4 - 81.500
- 11 - 60 - RAIMOND W - LESLIE HOWARD - LESLIE & PETER HOWARD - 4 - 0 - 4 - 81.920
- 12 - 299 - FATALIS FATUM - DANIEL BLUMAN - DANIEL BLUMAN - 4 - 2 - 6 - 87.480
Photo Credit: Margie Engle raced across the finish line with Hidden Creek's Pamina L after scoring the only double clear round during the $30,000 Tampa Bay Welcome Stake. Photo By: Anne Gittins.