Olympic Spotlight: Margie Goldstein Engle and Perin

Margie Goldstein Engle is long past due for a trip to the Olympics. The one highlight lacking in the equestrian career of Show Jumping's most successful rider has been a berth on an Olympic team. She finally gets that opportunity in Sydney this year.

The diminutive 42-year-old woman is only $25,000 away from career earnings topping $2 million. When she reaches that figure, she will be the second rider in the history of the sport to pass that mark.

In spite of being named National Grand Prix League Rider of the Year three times, NGL Eastern Conference Leading Rider three times, and American Grand Prix Association Rider five times, Margie has never been named to an Olympic team. She also holds the record for the most Grand Prix wins in a single year.

Margie's Bad Luck

So what has kept Margie out of the Olympics? Bad luck, mostly. In 1990 she missed most of the season after a serious fall from a horse that crushed her foot and ankle. She was back in the saddle while she was still using crutches.

In 1992, her horse backed over her, breaking bones and causing severe lacerations. Later that year, just before the Olympic trials, her best mount, Saluut II, was injured in an accident that scratched her from the Barcelona games.

Her luck began to change though, when she rode Hidden Creek's Alvaretto to a team silver medal in the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada. This followed a victory in the Budweiser American Invitational, and the Rolex/USET Show Jumping Championship.

She bought her Olympic partner, Perin, a 10-year-old Westphalian gelding in Germany less than a year ago, taking a chance on his outstanding jumping ability. That was another gamble that paid off, when she qualified with him for the Sydney Olympics. If her luck is holding, she'll come home with a medal.