On Friday afternoon, Abigail McArdle of the USA claimed the $40,000 Great Lakes Classic CSI3*, presented by Triple C Trailer Sales Inc., aboard Chuck Berry 8 at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF). After Olympian Margie Engle (USA) took over McArdle’s original lead with Cade, the 23-year-old professional rider returned with her second mount qualified for the jump-off to re-take the victory from Engle in an exciting tie-breaking round.
The first round course, built by Canadian course designer Michel Vaillancourt, saw 13 out of 32 finish faultlessly to advance to the jump-off, while nine finished double-clear.
McArdle was all business as she returned first to challenge the short course with Cade, owned by David McArdle, finishing in 33.54 seconds.
The pair was able to hold on to their lead for three rounds until Australia’s Scott Keach and Southern Cross Equestrian LLC’s Fedor bested McArdle’s time in 33.12 seconds. However, his lead was short-lived as only two rounds later show jumping veterans Engle and Royce, owned by Gladewinds Partners LLC, took over the top spot in 32.18 seconds.
Fortunately for McArdle, she had one more shot to re-claim her title with her second mount in the jump-off, Chuck Berry 8, owned by Plain Bay Sales. She and the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding put the pedal to the metal and crossed the finish line one second faster than Engle in 31.81 seconds. Engle finished behind McArdle in second place, while Keach grabbed the yellow ribbon for third place and McArdle claimed fourth place with Cade.