Lexington, KY – November 3, 2012 – It was a very emotional night at Alltech National Horse Show as McLain Ward piloted his top mount Antares F to victory during the Alltech $250,000 Grand Prix, benefitting the United States Equestrian Team Foundation. The win comes just days after the passing of his father, Barney Ward, who had been Ward’s most important supporter. Ward rode through his grief to beat six others in the jump-off, as the first to compete on his speedy partner.
Christine McCrea followed in second place aboard Romantovich Take One with the only other double clear effort, while the third place award went to Candice King and Whistler with a single time fault over the speed track.
“This has been the hardest week of my life,” admitted Ward. “My dad was my world. If I was right with my father, I was right with the world. My dad certainly had some flaws in his life, but he sacrificed an unbelievable amount for my family and me to live our dreams, and this is our dream. We shared the same dream,” he said with tears welling. “I owe a career and a life to what he provided for me and taught me to do. I didn’t know we would win today, but I knew we would go on and do well, that’s what he taught us to do in life. I think everyone knows how much I loved my father, and how much I am going to miss him. I loved him very, very much. I rode with a heavy heart today, but we forge on and do his dream.”
Harrisburg, PA – October 16, 2012 – The best young riders in the country gathered at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show this weekend to compete during the 2012 Randolph College/USEF National Junior Jumper Championships. Leading the way was 18-year-old Abigail McArdle of Barrington, IL, who helped Zone Five capture the USEF Prix de States Team Championship and later went on to earn the Individual Junior Jumper Reserve Championship aboard Cosma 20.
McArdle and Cosma 20 kicked the weekend off right with a clear first round on Thursday night, finishing in second place just shy of the leading time. Friday night highlighted the USEF Prix de States Team Championship. McArdle’s Zone Five Team members included Kalvin Dobbs of Carmel, IN riding Winde; Lillie Ross of Wheaton, IL aboard Pako; and Catherine Tyree of Chicago, IL on Wetter.
After the first round the team had 12 faults to their name, and all of the pressure came down on McArdle. As the anchor rider, she needed to lay down a clear round during the second phase to take the gold.
Lexington, KY – July 23, 2012 – Eighteen-year-old Abigail McArdle of Barrington, IL, proved to be unstoppable during the 2012 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC). With her talented mount Cosma 20, the pair laid down five clear rounds in three days to capture the Individual Junior Show Jumping Gold Medal at the prestigious event. This exciting victory came just one week after finishing the Spruce Meadows Tournament with six wins to their name, showing a bright future for this duo.
“It was really great to fulfill this accomplishment; it’s such an honor and I’m beyond happy,” expressed McArdle. “I had a lot of pressure going in, everyone expected me to do well. I really had to keep a cool head and do what needed to be done.”
McArdle and Cosma 20 started off the competition with a winning round in the first speed phase, topping the second place finisher by almost five seconds with the rails intact. As they moved on to the Team Competition, McArdle and Cosma 20 helped Zone 5 win the Silver Medal with two more clear rounds. The real pressure came the next morning, where two more rounds stood between them and the Individual Gold Medal.
Calgary, Alberta – June 18, 2012 – Abigail McArdle and Cosma 20 continued to take the 1.40m Junior/Amateur Jumpers by storm during the second week of the Spruce Meadows Tournament. The pair claimed two victories, winning the $3,500 Trimac Junior/Amateur Jumper event on Friday and the $5,000 AECOM Junior/Amateur Cup on Sunday. They produced double-clear efforts in each class to lead the victory gallop at the prestigious horse show. McArdle also competed in the Rocky Mountain Show Jumping, winning the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search for the second week in a row with Apartico.
McArdle and Cosma 20 were in top form this weekend, ready to face the challenging courses created by Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge in the All Canada ring. On Friday, seven horse and rider combinations advanced to the jump-off during the 3,500 Trimac Junior/Amateur Jumper class. As the last to go, McArdle knew she needed quick and tidy round to top the four double-clears, and that is exactly what she did. They crossed the finish line in 44.53 seconds with all the rails in place to take home the winning prize.
Calgary, Alberta – June 12, 2012 – After successful competitions at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows and the Devon Horse Show, junior rider Abigail McArdle has now traveled to Spruce Meadows, one of the leading international events in the world. During the first week of show, McArdle piloted her top mounts Cosma 20 and Bravoman to excellent finishes in the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers. She also traveled to Rocky Mountain Show Jumping for their June Classic, where she was victorious in the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search with Apartico.
“The rings at Spruce Meadows are fabulous and my horses have been super consistent,” said McArdle. “It’s been cold and rainy here, but it’s helped because the horses have all stayed really fresh. The courses have been really difficult, and it’s very tough competition. It’s not like any other place where we show; I love being here. It’s such a wonderful experience and every class feels like it is really special.”
McArdle kicked off the week with a fourth place finish in the $5,000 – Gienow 1.40m Junior/Amateur Jumpers aboard Cosma 20, but stepped it up on Friday to finish second in the $10,000 Friends of the Meadows Junior/Amateur Jumpers with a double-clear effort. She also qualified for the jump-off on Saturday, placing third in the $10,000 ConocoPhillips Junior/Amateur Cup.
Lexington, KY – June 7, 2012 – Abigail McArdle, of Barrington Hills, IL, has been named the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Rider of the Month for May.
McArdle competes in the East Conference Junior Division of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series aboard Cosma 20. The month of May was a success for McArdle and her riding partner, as they earned two first place finishes: one at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show and one at the Kentucky Spring Classic.
The Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series honors one rider each month as the Rider of the Month. The honor goes to the one rider who earns the most points on one horse in Series competition that month.
“We would like to congratulate Abigail McArdle on being our Rider of the Month for May,” said George Morris, President of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame. “Abigail and Cosma 20 have had many successes this year, and we know she will continue to show well in the future.”
Devon PA – May 30, 2012 – During Junior Weekend at the prestigious Devon Horse Show, young rider Abigail McArdle showcased her skills and earned top ribbons in both the equitation and the jumper rings. She placed in the top three during three of the equitation events with Apartico, and qualified for the jump-off during the $15,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Classic aboard Cosma 20.
The equitation classes were held at the beginning of the week, and McArdle kicked off the competition with a score of 89 in the WIHS Equitation Classic – Jumper Phase, which garnered the second place honors. She then went on to place third in the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Classic, as well as the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search with Apartico.
“It’s so nice to walk into the ring at Devon and in the first class lay down a trip and get a second in the Washington,” expressed McArdle. “Even though we didn’t win, we had very consistent trips in every class. There were great courses with a lot of different tests. You could have a forward line and then have to collect, and then need to make a bending line. It really showed off the relationship between Apartico and myself because we work really hard on the flat. It showed off which horses were adjustable, so that’s where all of my flatwork paid off and we could really shine.”
Lexington, KY – May 22, 2012 – The Kentucky Spring Horse Shows proved to be hugely successful for young rider Abigail McArdle of Barrington Hills, IL, who dominated the High Junior Jumper division with her eight-year-old mare Cosma 20. The unstoppable duo captured the division’s championship award during the competition’s two consecutive weeks, and also won each of the $10,000 High Junior Jumper Classics.
McArdle was thrilled with her new mount’s performance and commented, “It’s one thing to win a Junior Jumper class, but I think it takes it to a whole new level to be that consistent at that level on a new horse. I am really lucky; Cosma 20 is so talented and went clear in every first round that we jumped. She’s only eight, and I have really big hopes for her in the future.”
During the first week of the horse show, McArdle and Cosma 20 placed third during the first High Junior Jumper class with a four-fault effort in the jump-off. They then went on to a double clear victory during the $10,000 High Junior Jumper Classic, which netted them the division’s championship tricolor. The talented pair continued their winning ways the following week, with a victory in the first High Junior Jumper class, and another blue ribbon effort during the $10,000 High Junior Jumper Classic as the lone clear effort over Olaf Petersen Jr.’s challenging course. With two championship awards to their name, McArdle and Cosma 20 will now travel to the prestigious Devon Horse Show to compete against the country’s top horses and riders.