“I’m just happy with today, who knows what tomorrow brings?”
That was American team veteran Margie Goldstein Engle after winning the $137,000 Four G Surfaces Grand Prix CSI3* at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in Traverse City, Michigan on Sunday. But it could just as easily be a motto for navigating uncertain times.
Week 5 of the Festival was Engle’s first FEI performance with Dicas since March, when the pair finished second in the World Cup Ocala at Live Oak International in Florida.
“It’s been close to five-and-a-half months [since Dicas has competed],” said Engle. “He feels nice and fresh and I thought maybe it was a little too early. I wasn’t sure if he was going to be good enough, but I have to give credit to both Bernie Maier and Lisa Wilcox at home who kept him fit thanks to all the flatwork and all the dressage they did. He didn’t get up here until about a week ago. They are the ones I owe all the credit to.”
Of the 47 entries to contest Peter Grant’s 16-obstacle track, only four posted clear first round efforts. Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu, Kent Farrington (USA) and Kaprice, and Catherine Tyree (USA) and BEC Lorenzo also joined the jump off.
Engle and Dicas were the only pair to produce a double clear.
“I knew that [Kent’s] horse was going to be way quicker than mine, and I thought mine was going to be a little bit empty after doing the first round because he has not jumped a big course in a while. I knew he was going to be faster, and I was just trying to put enough pressure on and go clean to see that the chips lay where they may,” she said.
But beyond Sunday’s performance, Engle is taking it one ride at a time with the 11-year-old German Warmblood. When asked whether she thinks this result sets her up well for the American Gold Cup in September, she responded:
“I’m just happy with today. I’m thrilled that he went well here today and he showed what kind of heart he has going around like that after not showing for so long. I’m just happy with today, who knows what tomorrow brings?”
Words to pandemic by.