SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (June 6, 2011) — McLain Ward, aboard Oh’ D Eole, has taken HITS-on-the-Hudson by storm, capturing Sunday’s $75,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, and earning his third consecutive Grand Prix victory. Ward also clinched the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson I on his own Oh’ D Eole last Sunday, and Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix aboard Blue Chip Bloodstock’s Domino.
The two-time Olympic Gold Medalist of Brewster, New York, outshined 28 starters on Sunday’s course designed by Danny Foster of Canada.
“It’s been incredible. [Oh’ D Eole] is really gaining a lot of momentum in the Grand Prix ring and this circuit has been great for us so far,” said Ward. “Danny [Foster] has always been consistent with building good courses and proved that again today with a really nice track.”
Foster’s first-round course proved difficult as nearly half the 28-entry class fell victim to his double and triple combinations. The course did not see a clear round until the eighth go, when Ward posted a time of 87.380 seconds – 4.619 seconds faster than the time allowed. Overall, the course only produced three clear rounds. Isabelle LaPierre of Breakeyville, Quebec, Canada in the irons of La Chaudiere Farm’s Vicki Vale joined Ward and posted the second clear round after 13 unsuccessful trips. Darragh Kerins of Wellington, Florida on Miranda Fischer’s Hot Wheels joined Ward and LaPierre in the jump-off after posting the third and final clear ride in the first round.
SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (June 4, 2011) — McLain Ward of Brewster, New York proved once again why he is considered one of the best riders in the world when he won his second Grand Prix in a row at HITS Saugerties. Just six days ago he captured the blue in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, aboard his own Oh’D Eole. This time around Ward, riding Blue Chip Bloodstock’s Domino, edged out 35 other starters to take home the top prize in Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health. Aside from being a coveted Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix qualifier, Friday’s class also benefited the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Canadian Danny Foster set the course which featured 16 efforts in the first round, including a triple combination mid-way through the route that proved troublesome for 16 of the entries in the class. “This was a difficult course and the wind was definitely a factor,” explained Ward, a decorated U.S. Olympian. “But I am excited about how well we did.”
The first clear ride of the afternoon came 11 trips into the class when Jonathan McCrea of East Windsor, Connecticut rode Candy Tribble & Windsor Show Stables, Inc.’s Colorado to a flawless first-round finish. The next two riders to show, Schuyler Riley of Wellington, Florida with South Beach Stables’ Lapacco, and Ward aboard Domino, also went clear, making it three for the jump-off with just about half of the class left to show.
SAUGERTIES, NEW YORK (May 30, 2011) — Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward is on the road to the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix after a big win aboard his own Oh’ D Eole in Sunday’s $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, to highlight HITS-on-the-Hudson I. Ward, of Brewster, New York, won the inaugural Pfizer Million last year and has his sights set on this year’s event on Sunday, September 11.
“This was a good class,” said Ward, moments after his victory gallop on Sunday afternoon. “It was difficult enough with a lot of technical questions, but it was intelligent and rode nicely. I think the weather was great and a little on the warm side, which can make a big difference.”
The course for Sunday’s $50,000 Grand Prix was designed by Jose “Pepe” Gamarra of Ellenton, Florida, who made his debut this week at HITS-on-the-Hudson. “I think the footing in this ring [Strongid C 2X Grand Prix Stadium] is the best footing I’ve ever seen anywhere,” said Gamarra. “The horses have improved all week long and the footing has played a big part in that.”
Wellington, FL – March 18, 2011 – McLain Ward (USA) took the win today in the $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic with Rothchild, owned by Sagamore Farms. The class was the feature event on Friday at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, which is in its tenth week of competition.
The G&C Farm 1.45m Classic is part of an initiative to increase FEI ROLEX ranking classes at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Thanks to the support of G&C Farm, owned by Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal, the FTI WEF was able to add eight new FEI ROLEX ranking classes to the schedule. There are now 27 ranking classes during the FTI WEF. G&C Farm has kindly sponsored the 1.45m Jumper division, which adds five of the additional FEI ROLEX ranking classes.
The FTI WEF’s tenth week of competition, sponsored by Artisan Farms, continues through Sunday, March 20. On Saturday, the Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic will run at 1 p.m. followed by the $50,000 Vita Flex Match Races at 7 p.m. Sunday will conclude week ten at The Stadium with the $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Riders Grand Prix at 10 a.m. and the $78,000 Pennfield Feeds FEI CSI 2* Grand Prix at 2 p.m., each held on the grass field at The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center Stadium. The 2011 WEF will continue through April 3 and award more than $6 million in prize money.
Wellington, FL – March 4, 2011 – The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival hosted its 10th annual $75,000 FEI Nations Cup on Friday evening, presented by G&C Farm, with an exciting victory for Team USA. Made up of Mario Deslauriers riding Urico, owned by Jane F. Clark, Margie Engle riding Indigo, owned by Griese, Garber, Hidden Creek and Gladewinds, Beezie Madden riding Coral Reef Via Volo, owned by Coral Reef Ranch, and McLain Ward riding Sapphire, owned by Ward and Bluechip Bloodstock, and led by Chef d’Equipe George Morris, the United States came out on top in the unique team competition.
After round one competition, the United States was in the lead with just four faults for their total. McLain Ward and Sapphire and Margie Engle and Indigo each delivered clear rounds. Mario Deslauriers and Urico and Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo each had four faults. Deslauriers’ score was dropped to leave the team with a four fault total.
Coming back for the second round, Ward and Sapphire jumped clear again to keep their team at the top. Engle had an unfortunate rail at the last fence with Indigo, but Madden and Via Volo pulled it out in the end to also jump clear and leave the team with just eight faults in total.
Wellington, FL – February 26, 2011 – Saturday night at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival featured an exciting victory for McLain Ward (USA) and Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve in the $78,000 Fidelity Investments CSI 2* Grand Prix. The class was held on a beautiful Florida evening under the lights at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
Riders representing 12 different countries made up the international field this evening, showing over a course designed by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany. Thirty-seven entries began the class, and seven were able to jump clear in the first round. An exciting jump-off followed, as some of the best riders in the world battled for top honors. The United States took home the top three places with Olympians McLain Ward, Beezie Madden, and Margie Engle leading the class.
A father and daughter each riding for France, Marie and Michel Hecart, were the first two riders to jump clear over the first round course to advance to the jump-off. Marie rode Myself De Breve, owned by Haras De La Rogue, through the jump-off course with eight faults in 44.72 seconds to finish in sixth. Michel and Babbe Van’t Roosakker, also owned by Haras De La Rogue, immediately followed and jumped in 46.44 seconds with four faults at the last fence to place fourth.
Thirteen-Year-Old Lillie Keenan Victorious in WIHS Equitation Finals
Washington, D.C. – October 30, 2010 – Tonight’s $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix presented by Washington Convention and Sports Authority, CSI 3* was an exciting example of the sport of show jumping and a qualifier for the FEI World Cup Finals in April. Two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward of Brewster, NY, and Sapphire, owned by Ward and Blue Chip Bloodstock, came away with the win in the highlight class of the 52nd Washington International Horse Show (WIHS). Earlier in the evening, 13-year-old Lillie Keenan of New York, NY, won the WIHS Equitation Finals.
The WIHS continues through Sunday, October 31 with the best hunter, jumper, and equitation riders in the nation competing for top prizes at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C.
Sapphire and Ward repeated the success that they had in 2008 in the grand prix at the WIHS when they were the fastest clear round in a jump-off of seven. There were 24 entries in tonight’s grand prix class, which was designed by Michel Vaillancourt of Aiken, SC.
AMERICANS TAKE THE LEAD AS JUMPING CHAMPIONSHIP GETS UNDERWAY by Louise Parkes
Lexington, 4 October – The host nation took a firm grip on both the team and individual leaderboards as the Jumping Championship got underway at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA today. Mario Deslauriers steered the powerful gelding Urico into pole position in the exciting Speed event, which is both the first individual qualifier and the class that decides the rankings for tomorrow’s team competition. And he had the best back-up around in the shape of fellow-American McLain Ward who steered the great mare Sapphire home just a little slower to slot into runner-up spot.
As expected, the US riders, who are strongly tipped for medals this week, came out with all guns blazing. But there were plenty of surprises throughout the day and the biggest of these was the spectacular performance of Hungary’s Sandor Szasz who slotted into third place. Riding Moosbachhofs Goldwing the relatively unknown 39 year old stormed into the lead with a clear round in 71.79 seconds as the first half of the competition was coming to a close. But, with just four left to run before the lunch-break, Deslauriers and Urico raced through the timers in 71.25 seconds to re-set the target.
Lexington, Ky., Oct. 4, 2010 — U.S. riders Mario Deslauriers, on Urico, and McLain Ward, on Sapphire, set the pace in the first leg of the team competition at the Jumping World Championships, presented by Rolex. Their performance led the U.S. team to the top of the team rankings, with two more days of team jumping to go at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Deslauriers and Urico stopped the clock after a clear round in 71.25 seconds. Ward and Sapphire, riding almost five hours later in the field of 121 horses, fell just short, in 71.79 seconds.
Sandor Szasz of Hungary, who is competing in his first international championship and has never placed in a major international competition before, surprised his competitors and the roaring crowd in the Rolex Arena by urging Moosbachhofs Goldwing through the finish in 73.24 seconds.
Canadian Silver Medalist Jill Henselwood calls Pfizer Course “Most beautiful course in North America”
SAUGERTIES, NY (September 14, 2010) — Two-time US Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward of Brewster, New York and his majestic, “million-dollar” mare, Sapphire, owned by McLain Ward and Blue Chip Bloodstock, won the inaugural Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix on Sunday, September 12 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.
The legendary duo of Ward and Sapphire proudly added their names to the show jumping history books once more when they bested a field of 43 High-Performance riders before an energetic and enthusiastic crowd of thousands that lined all four berms surrounding the Strongid Stadium. Sunday’s line-up featured some of the best and most promising athletes and horses in the sport, including some of America’s brightest up-and-coming stars and several American and International Olympians.