McLain Ward and Zander Triumph in $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 5

Liza Boyd Clinches Champion and Reserve Titles with Fieona and Quatrain in Gold Coast High Performance Working Hunters

McLain Ward and Zander. Photo © Sportfot

Wellington, FL – February 7, 2013 – Week five of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) continued on Thursday with a victory for McLain Ward (USA) and Zander in the $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 5. The duo won over Great Britain’s Ben Maher riding Quiet Easy 4 and Peter Wylde (USA) aboard Lewin 5.

Week five of the FTI WEF circuit, sponsored by Adequan, runs February 6-10. The week will feature the the $82,000 Adequan CSI 2* Grand Prix on Saturday evening and the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday afternoon. The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival features 12 weeks of competition running from January 9 – March 31, 2013, and awards almost $7 million in prize money throughout the circuit.

Olympic course designer Bob Ellis is in charge of the jumper tracks in the International Arena for week five. For Thursday’s WEF Challenge Cup class, Ellis saw 64 competitors in round one and had twelve entries jump clear to earn a return for the short course. Six of those jumped clear in round two to take the top prizes.

McLain Ward and Zander’s winning time was 36.06 seconds, just edging out Ben Maher and Mrs. Phillips’ Quiet Easy 4, who were first to attempt the short course and set the mark high with their pace of 36.21 seconds. Peter Wylde and Lewin 5, owned by Societe Civile de l’Ecurie Meautry, stopped the clock in 37.72 seconds to earn third place honors.

Fourth went to Laura Kraut and Beverly Widdowson’s Belmont in 38.23 seconds. Fifth place was awarded to Mario Deslauriers and Legacy Stables’ Uraguay in 39.14 seconds, and the sixth place prize went to Ben Maher aboard Jane Clark’s Urico in 39.75 seconds. Kent Farrington and Robin Parsky’s Blue Angel had the fastest time of the day in 35.15 seconds, but one rail placed them in seventh.

McLain Ward’s winning mount, Zander, is a nine-year-old KWPN gelding by Cantos x Saygon, owned by Ward and Grant Road Partners, LLC. The group purchased Zander a year and a half ago, but he did not get to show as much as planned last year when Ward injured his knee. He has now had some time to develop and Ward thinks he has great potential.

“Zander is a horse that Grant Road Partners and I bought as a young horse, a seven-year-old, with the hopes that he had a great future,” Ward noted. “Obviously we were a little set back when we brought him to Florida last year as our first venture and then I got hurt. He lost a little bit of time, but maybe in hindsight that wasn’t the worst thing in the world. In the summer he did very well. He won the grand prix at Old Salem and he won the small grand prix in Valkenswaard. He did some really nice things.”

“We started out here week one in the grand prix and had a very unlucky four faults,” Ward added. “He had a time fault in one grand prix. He has been very good and I think he is just putting the last few steps together. Grant Road Partners and I are very excited about his future.”

Commenting on the jump-off, Ward detailed, “Ben didn’t leave a lot in the jump-off. It is a fast horse, fast in the air, very careful. I didn’t really know where I could catch him. Kent and I were speaking out in the schooling area and thought maybe we could do six up the first line, which was a great piece of advice because I walked it. Zander has a huge stride, so I was maybe able to cover the ground a little faster, but it was a hair. It wasn’t much.”

Ward has earned an impressive number of WEF Challenge Cup wins in his career and acknowledged that it has always been one of the toughest classes of the week.

“I’ve been doing it a long time,” he laughed. “They are unbelievably competitive classes. It’s a very competitive, difficult class to win and it always has been, for however many years I have been doing them. It takes a hell of a horse to win these, so it is nice when you have a horse that can win, especially a young horse. It just shows what a great future they have.”

In addition to the prize money for Thursday’s class, a $12,000 bonus for the SSG “Go Clean for the Green” contest was also up for grabs. A $3,000 bonus is available each week if the winning rider is wearing the SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves in all rounds of competition with the SSG logo clearly visible. The bonus has gone unclaimed for four weeks now, and the winning rider of week six will have the chance to win $15,000 just for wearing SSG gloves.

Also showing in the International Arena on Thursday, Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm’s Everly Chin de la Pomme won the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic. Emanuel Andrade and Hollow Creek Farm’s Walter 61 also won in the Griffis Residential High Junior Jumpers.

Liza Boyd Clinches Champion and Reserve Titles with Fieona and Quatrain in Gold Coast High Performance Working Hunters

Liza Boyd and Fieona. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography

Liza Boyd of Camden, SC, started her season at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) with big wins in the Gold Coast High Performance Working Hunter Division. Boyd was champion with Jack Towell and Kelly Maloney’s Fieona and also took home reserve honors on Janet Peterson and Finally Farm’s Quatrain.

Boyd and Fieona, a nine-year-old Oldenberg mare, placed third under saddle and first in both over fences rounds on day one of competition and finished day two with third and second place ribbons over fences. Boyd piloted Quatrain, a nine-year-old Westphalian gelding, to two third places on day one, followed by two blue ribbon finishes over fences day two.

This may be Boyd’s first week returning to Wellington for the FTI WEF, but she clearly won’t have to worry about playing catch-up to the competitors who have settled in during weeks one through four. “Everyone else has been down here and going, so it’s nice to be back in the groove and have such a good start. We’re excited to be here,” Boyd stated.

Boyd and Fieona look every bit the picture-perfect hunter pair, but the mare only began her hunter career in January. Fieona was Boyd’s brother’s Grand Prix horse for four years, competing last year at the FTI WEF in 1.50m classes.

“She had always been Hardin’s jumper and she was good at that. She was a little slow, though, so she wasn’t going to go on to do the 1.60m classes, so we decided to make her a hunter. She’s slow and high and round and she just loves it. I’m so pleased for our first week here, to have this kind of result,” Boyd said.

Fieona isn’t Boyd’s first successful jumper ring transformation. Her reserve champion mount Quatrain was also plucked from the jumper ring last year to start his new career in the High Performance divisions and to compete in hunter derbies alongside Fieona.

“I like having these horses out of the jumper ring because I know there’s nothing they can’t jump. They’re very brave and they’re good in the handy. I just change their frame a little bit, let them poke their nose out a little more, get them a little fatter and just let them have fun,” Boyd stated. “They’re both brave, good, solid horses and I’m so lucky to have both of them.”

Boyd looks forward to competing at the FTI WEF before returning home to South Carolina briefly to give the horses some down time. Boyd then has her sights set on the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, held during the final week of competition at the FTI WEF. “We’ll be back for the derby,” Boyd emphasized. “I’ll bring Fieona back, as long as she hasn’t been sold yet, along with Quatrain and my other horse Brunello.”

Week five of the FTI WEF, sponsored by Adequan, will continue on Friday with the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge in the International Arena. The Rost Arena will host the Ariat National Adult Medal. For full results, please visit

Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 9 through March 31. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded. For more information, please visit

About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.56 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2011. More information can be found at

Please visit or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

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