Jumper action continued at the Equestrian Village Derby Field on Friday with the $32,000 Adequan® CSI3* WEF Challenge Cup Round 2. A competitive field of sixty-two riders took to the course designed by Germany’s Olaf Petersen Jr, with fifteen pairs returning for the jump-off.
Of those fifteen returning combinations, two riders laid down an identical track to take a rare tied win. Abigail McArdle (USA) and her own Olympia Van Het EikenHof (Elvis Ter Putte x Toulon) set a fast pace on the short course in a swift 39.85 seconds, taking her to the top of the leaderboard early on in the order.
Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire and her own Otto BH were twelfth to go in the jump-off with the goal of defeating McArdle’s time. Derbyshire rode a fast track, galloped across the finish line, and stopped the clock at a familiar 39.85 seconds, joining McArdle on the winning podium.
“When I first finished my course, I actually had no idea we had tied,” said Derbyshire. “When I finished on the lower end of 39 seconds, I just figured that Abigail [McArdle] was faster; she had held the lead since the beginning.
“I knew I could count on Otto for this class,” said Derbyshire about the twelve-year-old stallion by Norton D’Eole with the same dam’s sire as his winning opponent, Toulon.
The initial leader of the class, McArdle will return to the field for Sunday’s Grand Prix as well, atop Friday’s winning mount, Olympia Van Het EikenHof.
“I never thought I would have a horse like this again,” said McArdle of the ten-year-old mare. “The last horse I had at this level was a stallion named Victorio. He won a few of these classes and I never thought I would have another one like him, so to have Olympia at this level is a blessing.
“We got her as an amateur horse after my dear friend Taylor Land mentioned her to me and we saw a lot of potential,” continued McArdle. “She’s the easiest horse I’ve ever ridden in my life. She wants to be good every day and always wants to learn.”
Boyd Boasts Win in The Hamel Foundation / NHS 3’3” Medal
The Hamel Foundation / NHS 3’3” Medal closed out competition in Ring 6 at Wellington International on Friday with 20 entries hoping to score the highest placing. Ten entries returned to test on the flat before Elle Boyd of Camden, SC was named the class winner. Boyd brought forward Gut Einhaus, LLC’s 16-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Illusion Imperio Egipcio, whose experience she credits as a big part of their success.
“He’s a little bit older now, but he has taught me so much,” Boyd explained. “He was formerly a jumper which I think helps me immensely, because the equitation courses are very easy for him.”
Even with Illusion’s lengthy list of experience, Boyd spends plenty of time in the saddle at the home base for Finally Farm perfecting her technique.
“We spend a lot of time practicing more technical courses, so that when we get into the ring, the courses feel easier,” she added. “I think all of that hard work really shone through in our consistency today.”