Tag Archives: McLain Ward

McLain Ward Pilots HH Azur Back to the Top in Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI5*

McLain Ward and HH Azur. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 22, 2020 – Two-time U.S. Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward won his third CSI5* in two weeks by taking top call in the $401,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI5*, riding his 2016 Olympic mount, HH Azur, during “Saturday Night Lights” on February 22, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

Santiago Varela (ESP), who has been tapped to set the tracks at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, was the course designer for the Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix, which welcomed six contenders from three different countries to a tie-breaking jump-off.

Continuing a banner month that included the birth of his second daughter, Madison, Ward is riding a wave of success and a little bit of luck.

“It’s been a pretty incredible few weeks. My team is doing an amazing job,” said Ward, who also won the Fidelity Investments® Grand Prix CSI5* during WEF five riding Noche de Ronda. “I’m lucky to have phenomenal horses and owners, to be able to have multiple horses that can win at this level. If we’re really honest with ourselves, sometimes you can do nothing right, and sometimes you can do nothing wrong. We’re in one of those streaks, and we’re going to enjoy it and try to keep doing our best.”

Claire Stevenson Rides Prem’ Dollar Boy to Win Ariat National Adult Medal

The Ariat National Adult Medal took place on Saturday in Ring 7 with Claire Stevenson piloting Prem’ Dollar Boy to top honors. The pair received a 77 in the first round. The top four horses returned to the ring for a test, where Stevenson and Prem’ Dollar Boy were able to rise to the top of the class.

Stevenson, of Southampton, NY, and her horse Prem’ Dollar Boy have just begun their equitation career together. The 17-year-old Selle Français gelding (Dollars Boy x De Va Hurie) was originally a grand prix horse and only started competing in the equitation during week three of the 2020 WEF. Stevenson describes Prem’ Dollar Boy as her “forever horse” and also one of the sweetest horses she knows.

“We take care of him ourselves, so whether it’s doing the stall in the morning or night check, he’s like a lap dog,” Stevenson described. “He’s also so fun to ride; regardless of what I’m doing with him, I have a blast. To get to have some success as well is a lot of fun.”

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

McLain Ward Scores Brilliant Victory in Fidelity Investments Grand Prix CSI5*

McLain Ward and Noche de Ronda. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – February 8, 2020 – Two-time U.S. Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward charged to a win in the $401,000 Fidelity Investments® Grand Prix CSI5* in front of a packed International Arena riding Noche de Ronda during “Saturday Night Lights” at the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival on February 8 in Wellington, FL.

Forty of the world’s best crossed the start timers to Anthony D’Ambrosio’s and Andy Christiansen’s (USA) first-round track with 12 posting perfect rounds to advance to a jump-off. U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington and Gazelle sat in the leading position on a time of 39.51 seconds when Ward entered the ring. To the roar of a home-country crowd, Ward and Noche de Ronda broke the timers double-clear and the ones to beat in 37.47 seconds.

“That’s about all Ronda and I had to give,” said Ward. “I think for any of us, at that level, when you get to go after the one that sets the time, you have a bit of an advantage. Normally, you come out by winning or crashing, one or the other. It all came off very nice and the horse really performed spectacular.”

Sterling Malnik and Charlie Are Victorious in the THIS Children’s Medal 14 and Under

Equitation competition began Saturday morning at the South Ring with Sterling Malnik of Ocean Ridge, FL riding to the win in the THIS Children’s Medal for riders 14 and Under. Malnik rode her mount, Charlie, to a score of an 84 in the jumping phase and then rose to the top in the test.

Charlie is a fairly new ride for Malnik, who has been working with the horse for three weeks. The pair, trained by Bill Schaub, have only shown in the THIS Medal twice and are already proving to be ones to watch.

Going into the test, Malnik knew that she could count on her 12-year-old gelding. “I was really nervous because I’ve never tested inside the ring before,” Malnik explained. “Thankfully I didn’t have to go first! Charlie is also very experienced and knows what he has to do, so he helped me out.”

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

McLain Ward and Catoki Are Two-for-Two at WEF

McLain Ward and Catoki. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 24, 2020 – U.S. Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward claimed his second win during week three of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in the $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m CSI3* aboard Catoki at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL on Friday, January 24.

Ward and the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Catoki x Cartello B) are a new partnership, but they have wasted no time getting to the winner’s circle. The duo topped a field of 59 over Kelvin Bywater’s (GBR) speed track by a nearly two-second margin over Mexico’s Santiago Lambre and his own Doloris. Ward stopped the clock in 57.54 seconds, while Lambre settled for second in 59.12 seconds.

“He’s naturally an incredibly fast horse, so in the speed classes you have a little bit of an advantage,” said Ward of the horse he owns with Marilla van Beuren and Bob Russell. “Santiago is a very fast rider, but this horse is, I think, the fastest horse I’ve ever ridden. I knew turning for home we were very fast, and if things come up basically as you want, he’s just naturally faster than most horses, so you don’t have to do anything extraordinary.”

Krista Weisman and Concept Claim Adult Amateur Hunter Young (Section A) Championship

Hunter competition in the Rost Ring continued on Friday with the crowning of Krista Weisman and Concept as the Adult Amateur Hunter Younger (Section A) champions. Weisman rode Concept to two first and two second-place finishes in the division.

Weisman, of Brooklyn, NY, was excited to get back into the show ring with Concept after recently having a baby. “We like to joke that he was on paternity leave over the summer and now this is his second show back in a year,” Weisman explained.

The pair had a successful return to the show ring and definitely stood out to the judges. “He has the most comfortable canter and feels like he is just floating along,” Weisman said.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

McLain Ward Charges into WEF Week 3 with Douglas Elliman Real Estate CSI3* 1.45m Victory

McLain Ward and Catoki. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – January 22, 2020 – U.S. Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward opened week three at the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) with a win riding Catoki in the $37,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI3* at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL on Wednesday, January 22.

With a second and a half to spare, Ward and the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Catoki x Cartello B) bested a field of 48 over Kelvin Bywater’s (GBR) two-phase course. Their time was enough to win over runner-up Darragh Kenny (IRL) aboard Billy Dorito, owned by Vlock Show Stables LLC, who posted a time of 31.22 seconds.

Ward picked up Wednesday’s top placing while introducing Catoki, a new mount in his string, to FEI competition in North America. The mount was previously campaigned in Poland before carrying U.S. rider Brian Feigus to top national-level placings over the past two years.

Standing at only 15.1 hands high, according to Ward, Catoki is small but mighty. “He’s barely a horse. He’s almost a pony, but fast as lightning and very careful. I think he can be like another [HH] Carlos.”

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

International Show Jumping Stars Converge at Toronto’s Royal Horse Show

McLain Ward riding HH Gigi’s Girl. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Olympic gold medalists and former No. 1 riders in the world rankings make up a star-studded field in the international show jumping division at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, from November 1 through 10, 2019, at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto, ON.

Four days of international show jumping competition will culminate in the $210,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto on Saturday evening, November 9. Riders from around the globe will try to unseat defending champion McLain Ward of the United States, who won last year’s featured event riding HH Gigi’s Girl.

This year, the two-time Olympic team gold medalist will defend his title aboard an up-and-coming mount, Noche de Ronda. With a longstanding history at The Royal that dates back more than 20 years, Ward marks it on his competition schedule each and every year.

“I’m not Canadian, but The Royal feels like a second home for me,” said Ward, who has won the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto an impressive nine times to date. “I love the city, the competition, and the sold-out crowd that we get to ride in front of every night. Seeing a horse show that embraces tradition and still has people attend in black tie is a special experience for me as a rider. I remember coming here with my dad and it continues to be a family affair for us. I am happy to be a part of it again this year.”

Joining Ward on the list of U.S. riders invited to compete at this year’s Royal Horse Show are Olympic medalists Kent Farrington, Laura Kraut, and Beezie Madden, along with Georgina Bloomberg, Lucy Deslauriers, Margie Engle, and Andy Kocher.

Leading the charge from beyond North American borders are Israel’s Daniel Bluman; Great Britain’s Ben Maher and Amanda Derbyshire; Belgium’s Jos Verlooy; and a strong Irish contingent made up of Bertram Allen, Daniel Coyle, Conor Swail, and Shane Sweetnam.

Following the formula of eight U.S. competitors and eight international competitors, Canada will also have eight show jumping representatives in the international division at this year’s Royal. Based on the current Longines world rankings, Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON; Mario Deslauriers (father of Lucy) of New York, NY; Eric Lamaze of Wellington, FL; Amy Millar of Perth, ON; Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON; and Nicole Walker of Aurora, ON have all received invitations. They will be joined by the top two finishers from the $125,000 Henry Equestrian Canadian Show Jumping Championship, held November 2 and 3, who are not already qualified.

The international show jumping division officially opens on Wednesday, November 6, and features the $37,000 Jolera International Welcome in the evening session. A sentimental favourite, the $85,000 ‘Big Ben’ International Challenge, highlights Thursday evening while the popular $50,000 Canadian Open International Challenge, presented by 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, is featured on Friday evening’s Royal Horse Show schedule.

Saturday afternoon, November 9, is Family Day, presented by McDonald’s, at the Royal Horse Show. The entertaining K9-Equine Challenge, presented by the Toronto Star, pairs show jumping horses with agility dogs to see who can complete their respective courses in the fastest time. In an unparalleled evening of horse sport, the $210,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto will bring down the curtain on closing night of the Royal Horse Show.

To purchase tickets and for more information, visit royalfair.org/horse-show.

Contact: Lindsay Brock
lindsay@jumpmediallc.com

McLain Ward Wins $384k Gary Sinise Foundation Grand Prix CSI 5* with Noche de Ronda

McLain Ward and Noche de Ronda ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 19, 2019 – It was another marquee win in Tryon for McLain Ward (USA) with Noche de Ronda after racing to win the $384,000 Gary Sinise Foundation Grand Prix CSI 5* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort, halting the jump-off timers in 32.837 seconds. Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX) piloted Armani SL Z, a 2008 Zangersheide gelding (Cumlaude Z x Cumano) owned by David & Monica Garza, to a close second with a jump-off performance of 32.994 seconds, while third-place honors went to Kristen VanderVeen (USA) and Bull Run’s Risen, a 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Utopie x Indoctro) owned by Bull Run Jumpers, Inc., who put in a 33.68-second jump-off ride to secure the podium finish.

The crown jewel of competitions held at TIEC every fall series, the $384,000 Gary Sinise Foundation Grand Prix CSI 5* was moved from 7pm to 2pm ahead of significant rain in the region, but the competition could not be dampened as 50 of the world’s best challenged the Guilherme Jorge (BRA) track. Twelve pairs qualified for the jump-off test, and following a blazing round from Garza Perez, Ward was last to go piloting the Bob Russell-owned 2009 Oldenburg mare (Quintender x Loves Corinth).

“I knew when I saw Eugenio’s time that it was a tough task. He’s a fast rider, on a very efficient horse that doesn’t waste time. My horse is a bit of a bigger, slower horse, so I knew I was going to need to use my stride,” Ward detailed. “For [fences] one, two, and three, it was a little bit on the extreme edge – a lesser horse probably would have crashed at fence three, but she’s got incredible scope. And then, I just tried to stay to the plan on the rest of the way home.

“I mean, it’s not even a half-inch difference; sometimes you come out on top and sometimes you’re second, and there’s no difference in the rounds, to be frank,” said Ward. “My week’s been a little slow – I had a time fault earlier in the week. It’s been very relaxing here – Tryon has always been very good to me. The horses have been jumping well, but we just haven’t been winning a lot of prizes. So, it was nice to turn that around today on the best day of the week!”

For Garza Perez, the rounds put on the board before him in the jump-off didn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that Ward would ride right behind him, he admitted:

“When you have that guy behind you, you kind of have to go all out! It doesn’t matter what horse he’s on. He could be on foot and he’s probably going to be faster than you! I tried to go as fast as possible and play to the strengths of my horse. [Armani SL Z] was phenomenal today, and I couldn’t have asked more of him,” Garza Perez relayed.

“For sure, I think it was a great decision to move the class forward – none of us want to get wet – and like McLain said, by the end of the class, the footing held up. It was fun to ride, and a tricky course. It’s been a great week here,” he continued. “We always like to come to Tryon these few weeks – the weather is amazing, the horses like it here, and it’s not too far from home – home being Wellington, [FL]. It’s a nice way to finish off the year – this will be the last show for us. It was fun.”

VanderVeen, who’s seen great success at the venue, particularly in CSI 5* competition, noted that her podium finish was a great way to cap a week of strong rides. “I always love spending time in Tryon – we spend a lot of time here. The week has been great: I’ve been very close in a few of the classes now, but not quite hitting, so it was great for everything to all come together tonight.”

To learn more, visit www.Tryon.com.

Top Stars to Sign USET Foundation’s “Riding for the Team” Book at WIHS

Olympic show jumper Margie Engle on her pony at five years old.

Gladstone, NJ – The U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation announces a unique opportunity for fans of equestrian sport with a book signing for the coffee table-style book, Riding for the Team, at the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) on Saturday, October 26, at 6:15 p.m.

The 302-page hardback volume contains memories, images, and stories from 47 top riders and drivers in all eight international equestrian disciplines who competed and won medals for the U.S. over the last 30 years, including show jumping stars like McLain Ward, Beezie Madden, Laura Kraut, Margie Engle, and more.

Copies of Riding for the Team will be available for purchase at WIHS at the US Equestrian booth on the concourse of the Capital One Arena and will be sold in line during the autograph signing. Some of the riders featured in the book will join fans next to the Land Rover booth on the concourse on Saturday night of WIHS to sign copies of the book.

In the book, McLain Ward recounts just what went through his mind at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games as he walked into the ring knowing that the U.S. team’s medal depended on his performance. “[I] took a moment to tell myself, ‘Okay, it’s a little bit disappointing. But now there’s a job to be done, and I have to focus on the things I can control and let the bigger outcome sort itself out.’” Ward gives readers of the book an insightful glimpse into the mental aspect of the sport.

Renowned equestrian journalist Nancy Jaffer compiled and edited the first-person accounts from the athletes for Riding for the Team. Along with stories of athletes at major games competition, the book features fantastic photographs, including behind-the-scenes moments and images of top riders in their younger years, such as Margie Engle’s pony ride as a five-year-old and Phillip Dutton in his Australian Pony Club days.

“The compelling stories collected in this volume, as told by the athletes who have become part of equestrian history, demonstrate how to make dreams reality, while acknowledging sacrifice as the other side of achievement,” Jaffer writes in the opening introduction. “Those who compete at the highest level share several characteristics in addition to the love and appreciation of the horse. All have demonstrated singular focus to achieve excellence, putting aside other pursuits as they strive to represent their country.”

The book is a sequel to Riding for America, published in 1990 and also compiled by Jaffer. Riding for America highlighted key figures on the American equestrian scene from 1976 to 1990. It followed the tradition of the 1976 volume, The USET Book of Riding: The First Quarter Century of the USET, which was produced by the late USET chairman emeritus and Olympic show jumping gold medalist, Bill Steinkraus.

Published by Trafalgar Square Books, Riding for the Team is available for pre-order on the USET Foundation website. A rare opportunity to learn more about the stars of American equestrian sport, the book also makes an excellent gift and is sure to be a treasured addition to any horseman’s library.

Proceeds benefit the USET Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that helps provide funding for the High Performance competition, training, coaching, travel, and educational needs of America’s elite and developing athletes and horses in partnership with the national federation, US Equestrian.

For more information on the USET Foundation, visit www.uset.org.

Amanda Derbyshire and McLain Ward Share Open Jumper Championship Honors at Devon

Devon Horse Show Open Jumper champions: Amanda Derbyshire (aboard Roulette BH) and McLain Ward.

Devon, Pa. – June 1, 2019 – Since Tuesday, international horses and athletes have been competing for valuable points towards the week’s coveted Open Jumper championship, sponsored by Hermès. Following their top performances throughout the 2019 Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Roulette BH, ridden by Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire, and Double H Farm’s HH Azur, ridden by the USA’s McLain Ward, were crowned the 2019 Open Jumper champions and winners of the Little Big Man Challenge Trophy. Both horses tied with 15 points at the conclusion of Saturday’s $72,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake CSI4*, which was won by Derbyshire and Roulette BH.

Becky Gochman and Stephanie Danhakl Shine in Amateur-Owner Hunter Championships

The Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions wrapped up on Saturday with each section awarding the grand champion title to the athletes who accumulated the most points throughout two days of competition. The Devon Grand Amateur-Owner 3’6″ Hunter championship was awarded to Becky Gochman and Catch Me, while the Devon Grand Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunter championship, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds, was presented to Stephanie Danhakl and Enough Said.

Smith Lilly Rides Off in Three-Gaited Park Horse Stake with Extreme Ways

Saturday evening in the Dixon Oval closed out with several championships in the breed divisions. In the exciting Three-Gaited Park Horse Stake, Smith Lilly and Ceil and Kenny Wheeler’s Extreme Ways took the top spot after impressing the judges with his performance, manners, presence, quality, and conformation against six other competitors. They were awarded the championship cooler, sponsored by Misdee Wrigley Miller, as well as the Betsy Van Duren Memorial Perpetual Trophy.

For more information, visit www.DevonHorseShow.net.

Media Contact: Rebecca Walton
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
info@phelpsmediagroup.com

Star-Studded List to Compete at Longines Masters of New York

New York, NY – Thirteen Olympians and four of the top-ten riders in the world will ascend on the northeastern United States for the Longines Masters of New York, running April 25 through 28, 2019, at NYCB LIVE, Home of the Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum.

The Longines Masters of New York features the 2019 edition of the Longines Grand Prix of New York and the fourth leg of the innovative Riders Masters Cup, which pits Riders Europe and Riders USA teams against each other in multi-phase transatlantic duels. All the action will be made even better with decorated riders representing 12 countries across the globe coming to New York with their very best equine athletes to compete.

From world No. 2 rider McLain Ward and four-time Olympian Beezie Madden of The United States to former world-ranking leader Harrie Smolders of The Netherlands and Darragh Kenny of Ireland, equestrian powerhouses will turn out in full force for the Longines Masters of New York. But they will be contested by some of the sport’s rising stars in Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts, France’s Edward Levy, and Egypt’s Nayel Nassar, as well as Adrienne Sternlicht, Lillie Keenan, and Jennifer Gates of The United States.

See The Masters One Riders.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jennifer@jumpmediallc.com

Victory in $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* Goes to McLain Ward and HH Azur

McLain Ward and HH Azur. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – The highlight event of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*, was held as the final “Saturday Night Lights” class on Saturday, March 30. Topping the ultimate test at WEF were McLain Ward (USA) and HH Azur in a thrilling eight-horse jump-off.

In a field of 40 entries, some of the best horses and riders in the world vied for the chance to take home the top prize money of the circuit. They were riding over a course set by 2016 Rio Olympic Games designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil.

There were eight that found the key to a clear round to advance to the jump-off.

Sophia and Madison Mitchell Take Top Honors in Week 12 Alessandro Albanese 15-17 Equitation Division

In the final days of the Winter Equestrian Festival, Sophia Mitchell and Madison Mitchell added their names to the list of champions for the Alessandro Albanese Equitation 15-17 division. The Week 12 class saw 49 horse-and-rider combinations and therefore was held in a California split format which allowed for two champions and two reserve champions.

Sophia Mitchell piloted Lily Walton’s 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Contendo I x Anytime), Callahan, to an impressive total of 30 points to receive the title of section A champion.

Madison Mitchell, a working student for Don Stewart, picked up the section B champion title with Damon, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Massimo x Dubertha) owned by Cleopatra Georgiades.

For full results, please visit pbiec.coth.com.