Cathleen Driscoll Captures Honor Hill Farm CSI2* Welcome Stake
Cathleen Driscoll (USA) continues to be impressed by the Plain Bay Sales-owned mare Magnolia. The 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare is confidently rising through the levels, and captured Friday’s $37,000 Honor Hill Farm CSI2* Welcome Stake during week two of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors.
“This was the biggest track we’ve jumped so far and she just handled it beautifully,” Driscoll said of Magnolia. “She’s a naturally very fast horse. I didn’t have to do the leave-outs that other people might do.”
Thirty-four entries took on the first round track, set by Portugal’s Bernardo Costa Cabral. Third to go in a field of five jump-off contenders, Driscoll used the mare’s footspeed to her advantage, keeping a similar striding throughout the short course as other contenders, but taking the speed up a notch, clocking in at 35.03 seconds.
Second place on a double-clear effort went to Shawn Casady (USA) and RMF Chacco Top, owned by Ashland Farms, in a time of 36.85 seconds. Just behind in third was Anna Wilks (CAN) and Ma Pomme De Tamerville for IN Showjumpers in 37.27 seconds.
“I’ve never had a young horse that can step up and immediately be competitive at this level,” Driscoll reflected after the mare’s second-ever FEI class. “She just blows us away every day. She was fast in the [Two Phase] yesterday, she was fast today, and she has confidence and cadence in the ring even when she’s unsure and learning this level.”
Coming off several second-place finishes, including the CSI3* Welcome Stake and National Grand Prix during GLEF I, Driscoll was determined to take home a win. “I was a bit of a bridesmaid last week so I was hungry for this win,” she continued. “It feels good to get it this week.”