Ocala, Fla. - March 22, 2018 - Set in north central Florida in an area known as horse country, Ocala hosted the annual Live Oak International from March 15-18. The exciting event is unique in that it brings together top-level competitors from both show jumping and driving disciplines. Gallagher/Meller Sport Horses is proud to be a supporter of the exciting World Cup-qualifying event, and presented this year's Style Award to Clementine Goutal and the Leading Rider Award to Switzerland's Beat Mandli.
The M. Michael Meller Style of of Riding Award is presented to the rider who best demonstrates the values of horsemanship, skill and presentation in the show ring. This year, it was Goutal who embodies all of those characteristics.
"I'm so honored to have won it. I have actually never won a Style Award before. I've known Michael [Meller] for a really long time and it's so nice of him to give an award like that. The whole weekend was so fun and my husband was the first person to ever win this grand prix and so it's extra meaningful for me," Goutal expressed.
The American show jumper traveled to Live Oak from Wellington, Fla., where she has been competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). She rode Darlon Van Groenhove in the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix CSI3*-W to a ninth-place finish, while her sister, Brianne Goutal-Marteau, ended up in second.
Mandli, an Olympic medallist who competes for Switzerland, said, "I wasn't planning to win the leading rider prize. I just tried to have a nice weekend and perform as well as I could. To win the leading rider prize is even nicer. I'm super happy with the horses and how the show went."
Mandli was also third in the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix CSI3*-W aboard Galan S, so winning the Leading Rider Award was even sweeter for him.
"It was actually a big surprise for me that I was leading rider because I didn't win the class. Normally you have to win the class to really go there, but I'm super happy."
Founded by Katherine Gallagher and Michael Meller, the mission of Gallagher/Meller Sport Horses is to find and produce some of the world's top young show jumping mounts.