Abigail McArdle and Victorio 5. Photo © Sportfot.
Wellington, FL – January 23, 2020 – Abigail McArdle (USA) and Victorio 5 topped a field of 85 entries to win the $37,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 CSI3* on Friday, January 23, during week three of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.
On their way to the win in Thursday’s featured class, McArdle and Victorio 5 were one of 11 entries to navigate the first-round course without fault and elect to return to face-off over the Kelvin Bywater (GBR) designed short course.
When McArdle returned to the ring, the time to beat had been set at 45.39 seconds by Lucas Porter (USA) and C Hunter, owned by Sleepy P Ranch, but quick foot speed and a skillful slice to one fence in particular would ultimately clinch the victory for McArdle with an unbeatable time of 43.98 seconds. Porter’s time held up for second place.
“I’ve never won a WEF [Challenge Cup] before; this is a first, so I’m very, very happy!” said McArdle, 25. “It was a very difficult first round track; I went for it in the jump-off, and it paid off.”
Maria Rasmussen Pilots R & R to Green Hunter 3’3” Championship
The Green Hunter 3’3” division came to a close on Thursday with the crowning of Maria Rasmussen and R & R as the champions. Rasmussen rode R & R to a first, two seconds, a fourth, and a fifth-place ribbon in the Equine Tack and Nutritionals Ring 6.
R & R is a fairly new ride for Rasmussen, who has only had the horse for one month. Owned by Jill Abrams of Wellington, FL, the eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding has already proven to be a great addition. “He has been fun, easy and talented right off the bat!” Rasmussen commented.
Rasmussen, of Royal Palm Beach, FL, was pleased with how reliable R & R was in the tough competition. “For pre-green horses it’s hard to be so consistent, and he gave it his all every round,” said Rasmussen. The gelding’s beautiful and rhythmic canter also helped the pair stand out to the judges and win the under saddle.
Although Rasmussen is having fun showing R & R, her main goal is to get him ready for Abrams to take over the ride. Abrams plans to show the gelding in the Adult Amateurs during this season of the Winter Equestrian Festival.
For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.