Margie Goldstein-Engle Plays Jackofhearts to Win FreeJump CSI3* Welcome

Edited Press Release

Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA) had a lucky hand at Flintfields Horse Park during opening week of the Traverse City Spring Series, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, piloting Jackofhearts to win the $32,000 FreeJump CSI3* Welcome on Friday. 

Engle and the 12-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Heartbeat x Baloubet du Rouet) bested a big jump-off field of seventeen, taking over two seconds off the time to beat with a double-clear trip in 40.25 seconds. Nikko Ritter (USA) was second with Kandle, finishing on a short-track time of 42.67 seconds, while California-based Mark Kinsella (IRL) finished close behind in third in 43.09 seconds aboard Marquis Le Beau Courally.

Margie Engle and Jackofhearts – Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

“His strengths are his heart and desire; he wants to be competitive,” said Engle of gentle giant, Jackofhearts. “He’s one of those horses that likes to go fast. I don’t always go that fast with him, but I figured I had nothing to lose today because medium fast was really far down the list. I was late to go, so I thought I’d give it a shot and see how he handled it.”

Ahead of Sunday’s Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel Grand Prix, Engle maximized the gelding’s potential, using his size and speed to conquer the Peter Grant (CAN) designed track. “It was better for him for Sunday to gallop around and try to leave the stride out,” said Engle about an inside turn option in the jump-off track. “For a horse his size, it definitely would not have been quicker. He’s a big horse, so to make that turn inside and still have the momentum is a little bit difficult.” 

Nikko Ritter and Kandle – Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Outside of the show arena, Jackofhearts carries a big personality. “He’s a funny horse. You just try and keep him happy,” said Engle, who was presented as winner by Tony Hanley of Tony Hanley Shop. “I do a lot of trail riding although he’s a bit spooky about a lot of things but that’s what makes him careful. He’s aware of everything around him.

“When we got him, we couldn’t even get his head down; I almost had to look to the side to see the jumps,” joked Goldstein-Engle. “I do a lot trying to get him to relax and get him to give through his top line. My husband does the chiropractic work on him, and he’s done an amazing job with him.”

Mark Kinsella and Marquis Le Beau Courally – Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Engle and her team are no strangers to the Traverse City Horse Show, returning for the Spring Series and staying throughout the summer. “I love it here in Traverse City—each year we come here and they’ve made new improvements,” said Engle. “You can’t beat the weather anywhere in the world this time of year and in the summer. Every year you come, there’s another improvement so it’s hard not to keep coming back.”

Show jumping during the opening week of competition at Traverse City Spring Horse Shows, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel will continue through the weekend, culminating with Sunday’s $120,000 Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel CSI3* Grand Prix.

To see full results from the $32,000 FreeJump CSI3* Welcome Stake, click here.

Kate Laborde and Ivy Bonds Score Equitation Wins to Open Traverse City Horse Shows

Kate Labore and Kavalier PL Z – Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

Equitation action reached its peak on Friday during opening week of the Traverse City Spring Series, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, in the NetJets Ring. The TCHS 3’6” Equitation/WEC Equitation Cup welcomed Kate Laborde of Mountain Brook, AL, to the winner’s circle aboard Kavalier PL Z after being tested over fences and on the flat.

“I really liked today’s course,” said Laborde. “There were definitely some challenging pieces to the course where you had to figure out some questions and that’s what deciphered the placings in the end.”

Second place went to Estella Bonanni and Scothmallow, while Violet B. Tatum and For Keeps rounded out the top three.

“He’s really an amazing horse,” said Laborde of her eight-year-old Zangersheide gelding by Kafka Van De Heffinck. “He’s still a bit green so we have to work through that, but he was great today.”

With goals of equitation finals later in the year, Laborde and Kavalier PL Z will spend the rest of June at the Flintfields Horse Park with her stable Blackjack Farm, aiming for the Gladstone Equitation Classic on June 26 during the Adequan/USEF Junior Hunter National Championship – East.

Equitation action continued on Friday afternoon with the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (T.H.I.S.) National Children’s Medal. Riders were scored over a single round, with their test portion incorporated throughout the course. Of those to compete, Ivy Bonds of Aiken, SC, and Super Vision bested the rest with a top score of 90.

Ivy Bonds and Super Vision – Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

“I got him [Super Vision] back in November as a jumper and turned him into an equation horse,” said Bonds of the eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Etoulon VDL. “He actually just turned eight a few days ago so it’s great to have a younger horse that’s so honest.”

Following Bonds on the leaderboard was Ella Jane Howard and Charming Charley 5 with a score of 87, and closing out the podium was Lydia Rae Howard and Tinka’s Way Z with a score of 86.

“I thought the course was more similar to a hunter course today. It flowed nicely but then had the trot jump as the test element,” said Bonds.

With goals of Medal finals later in the year, Bonds and her team at Highfields Farm will remain at the Traverse City Horse Shows throughout the month to compete in the Adequan/USEF Junior Hunter National Championship – East, at the conclusion of the Spring Series.

For full results, please click here.