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  • Writer's pictureCatie Staszak

Driscoll Dashes to Victory in CSI2* Qualifier

Cathleen Driscoll (USA) and Magnolia. Photo by Ashley Neuhof Photography.

When Cathleen Driscoll (USA) is on course with Plain Bay Farm's Magnolia, confidence emanates from the 30-year-old rider.

Driscoll and the 11-year-old KWPN mare, partnered for two years, seem to have found their best stride as of late, and they haven't finished worse than second in each of their last two-star Grand Prix starts. Friday at CSI Greenwich, they led another victory lap, besting 58 competitors in the CSI2* Qualifier.

The pair crossed the timers of Alan Wade's (IRL) 1.45m speed track in an uncatchable 58.65 seconds. Matthew Sampson (GBR) finished second with his longtime mount, Curraghgraigue Obos Flight (59.51s), followed by Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Ivory TCS (59.84).

"This mare is fabulous. I've won a lot of speed classes on her, [and] I can really count on her in these classes," Driscoll said. "I tried to pick and choose where I did the big numbers. I did the leave-out up the first line in the eight strides, as well as a leave-out to the liverpool, and just tried to stay on pace in the turns, as she's so careful and so naturally quick. I can always count on her to have a good result." It's been just over two years since Driscoll jumped her first international competition, stepping up to the level as stable rider for Katie and Henri Prudent's Plain Bay Farm. In that short span, she's stamped herself as an undisputed talent to watch, recording 22 FEI victories—including her first five-star win last month.

"Sometimes, I [need to] take a step back and look at the bigger picture. I can get a little bit caught up in the moment, but in the grand scheme of things, I'm still relatively new to this level," Driscoll reflected. "I'm really grateful and appreciative for how far I've been able to come in the last couple of years. Every opportunity I get to go in the ring and jump, I feel I'm getting better and better, and the results are really starting to show." This year marks Driscoll's first visit to CSI Greenwich. "I quite like these shows, where it's just FEI [competition]. It really allows us to focus on the top sport and on these couple of horses that we bring," she said. "This show has the feel of a European show—small and a little boutique. It's a wonderful venue, and we're glad to be here."

CSI2* Qualifier 1.45m

Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Magnolia / Cathleen Driscoll / USA / Plain Bay Farm / 0 58.65

2. Curraghgraigue Obos Flight / Matthew Sampson / GBR / Matthew Sampson / 0 59.51

3. Ivory TCS / Daniel Coyle / IRL / Ariel Grange / 0 59.84


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