SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (August 8, 2011) — McLain Ward and Grant Road Partners’ Antares F had another impressive week of show jumping at HITS-on-the-Hudson Week VI with back-to-back wins to dominate the competition in the Strongid C 2X Stadium. They took the blue in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, on Friday and closed out the summer circuit with a win in Sunday’s $100,000 Strongid C 2X Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health.
Course designer Bernardo Cabral of Lisbon, Portugal designed a first round track that proved to be one of the more difficult courses of the summer series, providing for some exciting show jumping. The course bested the entire starting field of 37 competitors, which included a slew of Olympians from around the world.
“I was looking for at least three or four clear,” said Cabral, who was still pleased with the outcome. “As it turns out, nobody was able to make it clear around the first time but there were rails just about everywhere on the field. Not a single spot in particular gave anyone trouble. I thought it was a proper course for a $100,000 class as far as difficulty goes and I think any of the four fault riders could easily have won today.”
Ward, who failed to go clear in the first round aboard two separate mounts, praised Cabral for his course.
“I thought Bernardo’s course was excellent. Actually, it was pretty phenomenal,” he said with a smile. “I think we’ve had an epidemic in American show jumping to drop the level of difficulty and not raise the standards to what they should be. We jumped for $100,000 today and I thought the course was very accommodating of that. This is the level we should be competing at.”