Margie Goldstein-Engle Wins $150,000 Budweiser AGA Championship

U.S. Olympic veteran Margie Goldstein-Engle of Wellington, FL captured top honors in the $150,000 Budweiser American Grandprix Association Show Jumping Championship, presented by Jaguar/Land Rover, during the last week at the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club. It was her 108th career Grand Prix victory.U.S. Olympic veteran Margie Goldstein-Engle of Wellington, FL captured top honors in the $150,000 Budweiser American Grandprix Association Show Jumping Championship, presented by Jaguar/Land Rover, during the last week at the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club. It was her 108th career Grand Prix victory.

Story originally posted by: HorseCity.com Contributor

U.S. Olympic veteran Margie Goldstein-Engle of Wellington, FL captured top honors in the $150,000 Budweiser American Grandprix Association Show Jumping Championship, presented by Jaguar/Land Rover, during the last week at the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club. It was her 108th career Grand Prix victory.

Engle out-dueled seven others in the jump-off, finishing two clear rounds with no jumping faults but with two time faults over the course, designed by Jose M. Gamarra of Bolivia. Engle, a seven-time AGA Rider of the Year, earned $45,000 for the win aboard her 2000 Sydney Olympic mount, Hidden Creek’s Perin, a 12-year-old Westphalian bay gelding.

"I was almost too conservative (in the jump-off)," said Engle, who also won this class in 1996 aboard Hidden Creek’s Laurel. "My strategy was to go clean and try not to go too slow. I was almost a little too careful."

Defending champion Schuyler Riley of Wellington, FL finished second with four faults aboard Ilian, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood. She earned $33,000. No one has won back-to-back titles in the AGA Championship since Michael Matz accomplished the feat in 1991 and 1992.

Riley had four faults in the first round and knew she had to go clear in the jump-off.

"Ilian is naturally pretty fast," said the 30-year-old Riley. "It was a blast to ride fast in the jump-off. I know that on any given day, Margie is one of the favorites to win no matter what horse she’s riding. This is a fantastic feeling."

Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL, the 2001 USA Equestrian of the Year, placed third for the second consecutive year aboard Oh Star, an 11-year-old Belgian-bred stallion. He had four faults and a time of 46.470 to earn $19,500. Richard Spooner of Glendale, CA, aboard Robinson, finished fourth with six faults.

Two-time Olympic Medalist, Leslie Howard of Westport, CT rode her mount Kenwi to victory in the $10,000 Jaguar AGA Speed Championship. Howard rode a clear round in just 50.191 seconds, breaking the earlier pace of 51.584 set by Todd Minikus. Minikus turned in the first clear ride aboard his mount, October Hill’s Ravina and held the first place position until Howard entered the arena 15 horses later.

Howard never lost her 1st place position, but two horses later, Jeffery Welles entered the arena aboard Equinox and pushed Minikus into third place after turning in a fault-free performance and a faster time of 50.250. There was only one other fault-free performance out of the original starting field of 27 competitors – Peter Leone and Rastella took home a fourth place finish after crossing the timers in 52.776 seconds.

Will Simpson of Westlake Village, CA, rode El Campeon Ado Annie to victory in the $10,000 Jaguar AGA Championship Welcome Stake. Simpson was one of only 3 double-clear rides out of a starting field of 18. He turned in a penalty-free jumping effort in 35.484 seconds, three full seconds ahead of Peter Leone and Lataro who crossed the timers in 38.495 seconds for a second place finish. Third place was awarded to McLain Ward and Rio, after posting double clear rounds and the third fastest time of 39.561 seconds in the jump-off.

Paige Rassas and Kairos took top honors in the $2,500 Land Rover 1.45 m Jumper. Rassas and the 10-year-old Dutch-bred bay gelding, Kairos, were one of 50 initial horse-and-rider combinations, and one of only 9 to have a fault-free first round performance. They rode the jump-off course clear and crossed the timers in 39.640 seconds for first place. Finishing their clear round in the jump-off but just splits shy of Rassas and Kairos was Canadian Ainsley Vance and her 11-year-old chestnut gelding, Catch 22, with their time of 39.901 seconds for second place. Robin Sweely of Madison, VA and her mount, Carling Clover, an 8-year-old Irish bay stallion, the third of only four pairs to jump double-clear rounds, had a finishing time of 40.389 seconds to finish in third place.

McLain Ward rode Sasha to victory in the Land Rover 1.40m jumper competition. Ward bested the starting field of 60, turning in double-clear rounds and the fastest time of 30.866 seconds. Second place went to Laura Bowery of Hampton Bay, NY, who cleared the jump-off track in 32.74 seconds aboard Gandini Sky Boy, followed by Michael Dorman of Jamison, PA, who finished in 32.83 seconds up on Enzo La Mulotiere, for a third place ribbon.

Click ">here for the Hunter, Jumper, and Equitation Circuit Champions from the 2002 Cosequin WInter Equestrian Festival.
Click ">here for the Grand Prix Show Jumping WInners at the 2002 Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival.