While many 60 somethings might be thinking about putting their feet up and eyeing up retirement, Margie Engle, who turned 64 this week, far from hanging up her spurs, has landed the overall Martha W Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider title at the Winter Equestrian Festival [WEF].
“It is a great honor,” said Margie, who represented the USA at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. “I have not won the overall award in several years and there are a lot of top female athletes competing here. To be competitive with them is a great feeling.”
The Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award is given in memory of fellow realtor and horsewoman Dale Lawler and was presented weekly during WEF to the high-score female rider based on performances in that week’s WEF Challenge Cup and featured grand prix event.
Consistent throughout the 13 weeks of competition, Showjumping Hall of Fame member Margie claimed the weekly Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady title during week 11. At the end of the WEF circuit, Margie had amassed a total of 970 points, putting her at the top of the leaderboard ahead of USA’s Lillie Keenan who was the runner-up with 727 points.
Margie competes today in the climax event of WEF, the $500,000 CSI5* Rolex grand prix on the Stadium Derby field – start time 11am. The entry list of 50 riders reads like a Who’s Who of the WEF show circuit and even a seasoned gambler would be hard pushed to pick a cert.
Margie is in the running as much as anyone riding Royce, the 18-year-old 16.2 hands Oldenburg stallion, who is a fellow ‘seasoned’ professional and has been with Margie since he was seven. They won the Rolex five-star in 2018, the same year that Margie previously took the Leading Lady Rider award at WEF and Royce was selected as USEF’s grand prix horse of the year.
“I could not do it without the horses, grooms, sponsors, and owners who continue to support me,” Margie said, after winning her Leading Lady Rider award. “I’m so thankful to have a horse like Royce who takes care of me, and today [Thursday] gave me a great clear round as a birthday present in the WEF Challenge Cup.”
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