By Jan Westmark
If Hollywood made a movie about Olympic show jumper Margie Goldstein Engle — known in the horse show world as Marvelous Margie — the movie would feature a courageous small-in-stature rider from a non-horse family with a daredevil attitude and a great sense of humor who would grow up to become one of the most decorated show jumpers in U.S. history.
Margie began her riding career by cleaning kennels in exchange for riding lessons, and is the American Grand Prix Association’s only ten-time Rider of the Year. She has represented the U.S. in the Pan Am Games, the Sydney Olympics, the World Equestrian Games and has ridden in World Cup and Nations Cups.
Margie’s mother, Mona Pastroff Goldstein, wrote a book about her daughter called, “The Story of Show Jumper Margie Goldstein Engle: No Hurdle Too High” that is not only a great read but proves that anything is possible if you try.
How did you meet your husband?
Steve and I met, of course, at a horse show at Tropical Park in Miami when he was just out of veterinary school. He was the horse show vet at the show where l was competing. We have been married 22 years.
How is Steve part of your team?
I don’t think l could really do what l do without him. He takes care of both me and the horses. He’s one of the best chiropractors for horses l know and just a really good and special person! With all of the ups and downs in this sport, he helps me stay pretty grounded and is a very calm and steady person with very high values and morals.
If you had a week off, what would you do?
Go to the Cayman Islands with family and friends. Steve loves to scuba dive and l like to snorkel. Lately we have gone to Vegas with family and friends as there are always such good shows and restaurants, and l enjoy playing poker. A safari in Africa is also on our bucket list.
Have you had a “funny horse moment” that you still laugh about?
When l was younger and worked at the stable grooming, l used something on a white pony called blueing that is supposed to make them whiter. l put too much on the pony and she actually came out blue. l got a lot of teasing about that.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
The powers of healing
Who inspires you?
My parents have always been my biggest inspiration. They treat each other and others around them with respect. They have strong values and morals while still maintaining a great sense of humor.
What would be the best gift in the world?
More time with my family would be a great gift.
What’s your biggest weakness?
You’ve had riding accidents over the years. How do you handle those setbacks?
Most of my accidents, in hindsight, were preventable if l had just had a little more common sense. l try to learn from my mistakes and go forward. Once it happens, you just try to focus on doing whatever physical therapy is needed to get back riding.
What’s something everyone should try at least once?
At least once in life, everyone should donate time to a charity. It’s probably one of the most rewarding experiences for both sides that l can think of.
Do you have a personal motto?
Whatever your endeavor, be determined to give your best effort. And always treat people how you would want to be treated.
If horses weren’t in your life, what career would you have chosen?
When l was younger, l wanted to be a veterinarian as l always loved animals. And l also loved sports but l think l was too vertically challenged to be a basketball player.
If you could change something about the horse show world, what would it be?
Better exposure and marketing of our industry as well as more transparency overall
What’s your favorite piece of clothing to wear?
What’s your favorite thing to eat?
What three items are always in your refrigerator?
Boost, Claussen pickles and clementines are usually in our refrigerator. And no, l am not with child.
How would you like people to remember you?
As someone who always tried to be a good competitor while maintaining integrity and lived life to the fullest while having a sense of humor. I’m kind of hoping l will be here a little longer so l don’t have to be remembered right away!