McLain Ward & Catoki. Photo © Sportfot
Five-time U.S. Olympian McLain Ward and Catoki claimed one final victory on Friday during the Rolex-sponsored final week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at Wellington International. They once again rose to the top in the $39,000 Bainbridge Companies CSI5* 1.45m Speed.
From 19 clears, Bob Russell, Marilla Van Beuren, and Ward’s co-owned 14-year-old Westphalian gelding had the speed to take the pair’s third FEI win of the 2023 WEF season. Catoki (Catoki x Caretello B) held firm to the title position by less than half a second with another lightning-fast finish in 57.75 seconds.
“I don’t even really remember the rounds after because they happen so fast on him,” Ward laughed. “We often joke that he probably doesn’t remember them either. I made a mistake in the speed class on Wednesday because I watched so many go that I had an error at the end just trying to be too fast. Today, I decided to stick to my plan and stay at his speed which always works out best.”