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Margie Engle Makes History with Third Consecutive Win in the $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix at the 2002 Hampton Classic

BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY— September 1, 2002 — For the third year in a row, Margie Goldstein-Engle of Wellington, FL, celebrated victory in the $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix to close out the 27th annual Hampton Classic Horse Show.

Engle made Hampton Classic history by becoming the first rider to win the $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix for three consecutive years. From the 37 horse-rider combinations who contested Sunday’s Grand Prix, Engle was the first to post a clear round despite being only the fourth rider to successfully tackle the challenge set by course designer Conrad Homfeld.

First back for the five-horse jump-off, there was no doubt of Engle’s intent to win as she blistered around the course in a time of 41.58 seconds aboard Hidden Creek’s Perin, her Sydney Olympic mount. Engle waited for the other four riders to find out if her time would hold, but none who followed even came close to besting Engle’s faultless performance.

“This is such a special event, the spectators are fantastic,” said Engle, 44, who claimed the winner’s share of $45,000 for the victory. “Making it challenging was that I went early in the class, but everything worked out just right. Perin is a world-class horse and he does it so easily. He’s just so big and powerful.”

The win was even sweeter for Engle as she had a mishap earlier in the day during the 6-Year-Old Young Jumper Championships, Eastern League Finals, when she fell off and her foot became entangled in the stirrup.

“Luckily my boot came off, but I was hoping it would stretch my leg!” joked the diminutive Engle.

Long-time United States Equestrian Team rider Debbie Stephens’ strategy to go slow and steady paid off with a clear round in a time of 47.68 seconds, over six seconds slower than Engle. Her best finish in all the years competing at the Hampton Classic, Stephens earned $33,000 for her performance with the small yet careful Chappie.

“This is the only horse show in America that feels like you’re in Europe!” commented Stephens, who had just returned from competing aboard. “I love this horse show!”

Local rider Laura Bowery of Bridgehampton, NY, had her best finish in the $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix, finishing third with Florin du Murier, an eight-year-old selle francais gelding owned by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Dimenna.

“I’m trying to teach this horse to go fast at these heights, and I was just thrilled with him,” said the 33-year-old Bowery.

Joe Fargis was fourth with Edgar after having four faults in the jump-off while 2000 Olympian Laura Kraut had the fastest time, 40.69 seconds, but eight faults left her in fifth position with Liberty.

The $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix also marked the opening of the U.S.A. East Coast World Cup Qualifying League. Engle takes the early lead in the standings on the road to the Budweiser Show Jumping World Cup Final to be held at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV, April 16-20, 2003.

The Hampton Classic is one of the nation’s premier show jumping competitions. Many of the world’s best equestrians competed for more than $250,000 in prize money during the Classic, benefiting the Southampton Hospital. Each day of the show was devoted to special events and social activities, and culminated with the $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix on Sunday, September 1.

In addition to the competition, spectators were treated to a variety of other exciting exhibits including the Boutique Garden’s numerous vendor booths, Stable Row’s 20 booths, three on-site public restaurants, and an Exhibition Horse/Children’s area.

For more information and full competition results, please visit the Hampton Classic website at or call 631-537-3177.


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