Margie Engle (USA) returned to her Traverse City home away from home and to her winning ways Thursday.
Of the field of 18, Engle took the first and third positions in the first international class of the season, the $37,000 CSI3* 1.45m Speed , with Dicas and Cesna M, respectively. With several athletes bringing forth multiple rides, the comfort with Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) track increased as the class went on.
The first clear round of the season came from fellow American Jonathan McCrea, who navigated Windsor Show Stables’ Gazelle ES to the first Twydil Time To Beat of 70.49 seconds. The time would hold the lead until Engle stepped her second ride into the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring and let Dicas show off in the familiar atmosphere.
Though taking a slightly conservative approach to keep all rails intact, including a careful double of verticals and a skinny vertical, Engle knew Dicas had what it took to secure the top spot. “Today I just wanted to give him a nice round,” she said. “I didn’t do the inside turns; there were a lot of quicker rounds. I just wanted to get him in the ring once and qualify him for Sunday. He’s hopefully got a long summer ahead of him. I just wanted to go neat and nicely enough and he performed very well.”
Engle’s time of 68.44 seconds took over the Twydil Time To Beat and held the lead through the remainder of the class. McCrea and Gazelle ES held on for second.
“I’m thrilled with Dicas,” Engle said of the 13-year-old Rhinelander gelding (Diarado x Cassini I) owned by the Gladewinds Partners, LLC. “He’s been a great horse for me. I’ve had him since he was six. He’s really not the best size for me but he was just so good natured and David [McPherson] thought he might jump the bigger classes. He doesn’t ride as big as he is tall; he’s like a big basketball player. But he’s very quick on his feet.”
Engle is loaded with horsepower as the TCHS season gets underway, with her top-two horses, Dicas and Royce, and a slew of young, up-and-coming mounts she has big plans for. “I’m going to try to alternate [Dicas] a little with the younger ones coming up.”
One of Engle’s greener mounts, Cesna M, owned by Virginia Bartholomay, secured the third spot in the class, clear in 71.57 seconds.
As for her most famous mount, Engle commented, “Royce will come out. He’s been breeding a lot the past couple months and Lisa Willcox has been riding him with dressage work. He hasn’t done much jumping the past few months but he’ll start up hopefully in a week or two. I’ll alternate [Royce and Dicas] between the grand prixs and move the younger ones up and get them some mileage.”
To close the 2021 season in Traverse City, Engle snagged a victory with Royce in the $137,000 CaptiveOne Advisors CSI3* Grand Prix . The FEI World Equestrian Games and Pan American Games medalist picked up right where she left off, and the early win landed her the lead-off position in the 2022 CaptiveOne® Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus standings.
Returning to Traverse City for Engle isn’t just routine, it’s like coming home. The 10-time American Grandprix Association Rider of the Year has spent her summer and fall seasons in Michigan for several years, allowing her to campaign younger mounts through the international levels and to showcase the more experienced rides against top international competition.
“It’s just lovely to be here,” Engle remarked on her return. “The weather is ideal; I don’t know any place this time of year that’s any better than this. It’s cool, it’s beautiful for the horses, and it’s beautiful to look around. The jumps are nice, the footing is great, and it’s just great to be back here.”
International competition resumes Friday in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring with the $37,000 CSI3* Welcome Stake as athletes prepare for the feature event, Sunday’s $138,600 Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel CSI3* Grand Prix.
Final Results: $37,000 CSI3* 1.45m Speed
1. DICAS: 2009 Rhinelander gelding by Diarado x Cassini I
MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Gladewinds Partners, LLC: 0/68.44
2. GAZELLE ES: 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare by Diarado x Ukato
JONATHAN MCCREA (USA), Windsor Show Stables: 0/70.49
3. CESNA M: 2012 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Check In x Sandro Boy
MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Virginia Bartholomay: 0/71.57
4. FELLINI S: 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Vermont x Rash
PETER LUTZ (USA), Lovsta Stuteri: 0/74.20
5. KIRSCHWASSER SCF: 2010 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Amaretto D’Arco x Nabab De Reve
FREDDIE VAZQUEZ (PUR), Freddie Vazquez: 4/66.57
6. MAHAREES ROCK: 2010 Irish Sport Horse mare by OBOS Quality x Ballysimon
GABRIELA RUETTER (CHI), Lumiere Horses Inc: 4/67.06
7. DIOR P Z: 2011 Zangersheide gelding by Diarado x Havidoff
MICHAEL MORRISSEY (USA), Stephen Macken: 4/67.78
8. VDL STELLA: 2012 BH mare by Cardento x Baloubet Du Rouet
HANNAH HINK (USA), Hannah Hink: 4/69.45
9. FLINTSTONE: 2010 gelding by Mr Blue x Caretino
SARAH SEGAL (USA), Horatio Street Ventures LLC: 4/70.24
10. JACKOFHEARTS: 2012 Danish Warmblood gelding by Toulon x Baloubet Du Rouet
MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Gladewinds Partners, LLC: 4/71.52
11. ELITE GIRL: 2010 Oldenburg mare by Elvis Ter Putte x Carinue
SANDRA DALMAN (USA), Dalman Show Jumping: 4/75.00
12. CAMIRA: 2008 Westphalian mare by Cristallo x Falkenhof’s Lancer
SARAH SEGAL (USA), T.K. Farm: 4/75.95