Tag Archives: McLain Ward

Ward Wows the Home Crowd with Another Win on the Amazing Azur

McLain Ward and HH Azur. (Cara Grimshaw/FEI)

That longed for Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping title is only one more competition away for America’s McLain Ward (41) who, for the second night in a row, rocketed to victory at the Centurylink Center in Omaha (USA) with the brilliant 11-year-old mare HH Azur.

“She’s an independent woman. I don’t think she needs me very much! I have to try to keep a handle on her, but she tries to give you everything she has, and she has a tremendous amount to give!”

The double Olympic gold medallist has wanted this title for a very long time and, at his 17th Final it is almost in his grasp. But with only a three-point advantage over runner-up Gregory Wathelet (36) from Belgium and just a fence separating him from third-placed Swiss rider Romain Duguet (36) going into Sunday’s decider, it’s far from done and dusted.

Wathelet won’t be a pushover, and is thrilled to have re-established his partnership with Forlap who he brought to top level before the gelding was sold. This is something of a #TwoHearts story. “He lost his confidence because he was passed around to several different riders, so it was a bit of a risk buying him back,” said the 2015 European silver medallist, who is clearly delighted the 12-year-old gelding is back home where he started, and relishing his job once again.

“The biggest challenge for me is to keep my head right,” admitted Ward. “It’s something I need to master, and I hope I can do that this weekend,” the man from Brewster, New York said.

FULL RESULTS can be viewed here.

McLain Ward USA – 1st: “In our sport there are three major events – the Olympic Games, World Championships and the World Cup Final – that we all very much want to win in our career: It’s a big deal!”

Gregory Wathelet BEL – 2nd (talking about his horse, Forlap): “I never expected him to get his confidence back so quickly but three weeks ago he started feeling good again. Today I decided to go a bit for the time; it’s always easier when you have a horse that fights for you. I knew McLain would be fast so I went quick but not crazy.”

Romain Duguet SUI – 3rd: “I’m very happy with TwentyTwo (his horse TwentyTwo des Biches). I have her since she was five years old; she’s never spectacular but she jumps clear rounds. It wasn’t my plan to ride her in the Final but my other horse was injured. TwentyTwo is only 10 but she proved she can be really good this week. We go day by day at this Final.”

By Louise Parkes

Press contacts:

At FEI:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations & Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

At Omaha:

Marty Bauman
marty@classic-communications.com
+1 508-698-6810

Ward Wins First Round of Longines Final by a Whisker

McLain Ward and HH Azur. (Liz Gregg/FEI)

McLain Ward’s victory with HH Azur in the first leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2017 Final was so smooth that defending double-champion, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, showered his American opponent with praise. The double-Olympic team gold medallist, who posted the quickest time in 59.27 seconds, explained the course didn’t leave riders with a lot of options.

“It was big enough for the first night! In reality there was just a whisker between the top three. I was very fortunate.”

It was indeed a close-run affair as runner-up, Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann (35), may well have overtaken him but for a small error between the second and third fences which saw him stop the clock on 59.58. “It should have been seven strides there but I did it in eight, and that was the whisker I think!” he said.

“I’m one of McLain’s biggest fans. On the circuit in Florida I like watching him any time,” the 2012 Olympic champion Guerdat said, after finishing third with a thrilling ride on the fiery mare, Bianca. With this result turned into points, Ward has only a two-point advantage over von Eckermann going into the second competition, while Guerdat is only a single point further adrift.

There’s €1,300,000 in prizemoney and the glory of taking the coveted Longines title to be sorted out by Sunday afternoon.

FULL RESULTS can be viewed here.

McLain Ward USA (1st): “We’re very lucky to have Santi (Santiago Varela ESP) and Alan (Wade IRL) the two very best course designers here. They put the test in front of you and they’re not afraid to put up big fences but they make subtle problems that always have a solution. Nothing tricky, Alan’s track always rides smoothly if you solve the test.”

Henrik von Eckermann SWE (2nd): “My horse is quite green. I started riding her in September when I started running my own yard and she’d only been jumping 1.45m before.”

Steve Guerdat SUI (3rd): “I’m happy with my position and the way my horse jumped. She felt very good but I think we have the right winner. I’m happy for McLain today. We knew he would be the man to beat this week and I hope we have a good fight to the finish!”

By Louise Parkes

Press contacts:

At FEI:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations & Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

At Omaha:

Marty Bauman
marty@classic-communications.com
+1 508-698-6810

Sergio Alvarez Moya and Charmeur Win $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* at WEF

Sergio Alvarez Moya and Charmeur. Photos © Sportfot.

Kent Farrington and Dublin Top $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final; McLain Ward Takes 1.50m Series Overall

Wellington, FL – March 25, 2017 – Olympian Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) was the big winner in the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* riding Charmeur on Saturday, March 25, at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL. Alvarez Moya beat out two-time Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward (USA) aboard veteran partner Rothchild, and young up-and-comer Karen Polle of Japan riding With Wings.

Earlier in the night, Kent Farrington (USA) took the win in the $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final riding Dublin, and McLain Ward (USA) won the 2017 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Series overall.

Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set the course for the highlight event of the WEF circuit featuring 40 of the season’s top competitors from 17 different countries. Five entries conquered the first round course without fault to jump-off, and only two were clear in the tiebreaker.

Polle and With Wings were first to jump the short course in 39.54 seconds, with one rail down, and ultimately finished third. Alvarez Moya and Charmeur followed, setting the challenge with a clear round in 37.76 seconds. Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s Coach had one rail in 40.20 seconds to place fifth. Laura Kraut (USA) and St. Bride’s Farm’s Confu also dropped one rail in 39.81 seconds to take the fourth place prize. Last to go, Ward and Sagamore Farm’s Rothchild raced through the course, taking a different inside turn that no one else tried, but still crossed the timers in second place with a time of 38.30 seconds.

“I am super happy. My horse jumped amazing,” Alvarez Moya said of his ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Numero Uno x Gelha’s VDL Emilion). “I just went as fast as I could. I saw Karen go, and then I knew I had to start fast from jump one, and keep going to the end. My plan was to go one more stride to the combination, but I had a good eight strides, and I just trusted my horse. Then to the next oxer I had a good gap as well, so I could go and keep on pushing. I actually saw one stride less to the next vertical, but I thought that was maybe too much. I don’t think I left much room for the others, and it worked out well.”

Alvarez Moya had a fantastic WEF circuit, placing third in week three’s $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3* and second in week four’s $216,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 4* with G&C Unicstar de l’Aumone, third in week seven’s $380,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 5* aboard Arrayan, and again third in week nine’s $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5* with Charmeur before taking the biggest prize in week eleven.

Remarking on his success, Alvarez Moya stated, “For me, this is one of the best shows in the world. Most of the best and most competitive riders in the world are here. I think that to have so many weeks here, and to be so consistent, is a great opportunity to bring a horse up like this. I have had Charmeur since he was six years old, and I just feel very happy and very proud that we got to win a five-star grand prix here. I have a feeling that this is the grand prix that every rider in the circuit wants to win, and I was just lucky that I won this one, and not the others.

“The horse does not have so much experience at this level,” Alvarez Moya continued. “He just got better and better here at this show. I think it is a great place to bring horses up, and obviously to jump such a grand prix they have to be really ready. I think from here on, we can go anywhere in the world.”

Saturday night concluded Alvarez Moya’s time in Wellington for the winter circuit. The Olympian, European Championships silver medalist, and reigning Spanish champion is now headed to compete in next week’s FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final with top mount Arrayan before continuing his season in Europe.

For Ward and longtime mount Rothchild, the pair gave it their best on Saturday night, but settled for second place. Detailing his round, Ward stated, “I have to watch (Rothchild) a little bit on the slice to the verticals, so the first two jumps were a bit of a challenge for me. I went in and I looked at the cut inside the gazebo, and I decided not to do it. Then when I turned back on the oxer, I kind of saw the line, and I knew I was too slow one to two to have a chance, so I figured at that point it was worth the risk. I thought maybe at that point, the turn did so much that I did not have to go as fast to the last fence. I took a little bit off, but Sergio did not leave much room.

“I’m thrilled with the horse,” Ward said of the 16-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding (Artos x Elegant de l’Ile). “This is his eighth year jumping grand prixs in Palm Beach. He is just a remarkable animal. I am blessed to have had him, and I am really excited to be able to keep doing it with him.”

Polle and her 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Larino x L. Ronald) With Wings also finished out an excellent 2017 WEF circuit with their top three finish. The pair earned back to back victories in week nine’s $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup and $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5*, presented by The Bainbridge Companies, leading up to Saturday night.

“It is definitely a great feeling,” Polle noted. “I am really happy that Wings and I are so consistent at this level now, and that we are in these jump-offs. I thought the course tonight was really, really tricky. It was definitely the trickiest grand prix that I have jumped this circuit. It was very big. I had to work hard, but I thought it was very nice to ride.”

Equestrian Sport Productions CEO Mark Bellissimo wrapped up a fantastic evening of show jumping with his remarks and congratulated the top riders.

“I think there is consistently great sport at WEF,” Bellissimo stated. “The crowd has become a lot more engaged, and you can see the people really following the sport. I think there is top sport here, and we are very excited about it.

“I want to thank Rolex,” Bellissimo continued. “This festival went into a different transition when Rolex came on board. We started four five-star events and have some of the best riders in the world competing. I am hopeful that next year will be even more exciting and an even better series of outcomes.”

Margie Engle (USA) earned the Leading Lady Rider Award for week 11, presented by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Farrington Tops Suncast® 1.50m Final; Ward Takes Suncast® Series Overall

2016 U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington and his mount Dublin were the winners of the $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final on Saturday night at the Winter Equestrian Festival. After the final competition of the 2017 series, two-time Olympic team gold and one-time team silver medalist McLain Ward (USA) secured his lead in the standings and took home the championship title overall.

The 1.50m final held its first round on Saturday afternoon, with forty-nine entries starting over Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) first-round course, and 13 advancing to the evening jump-off. Only four riders cleared both rounds without fault.

Portugal’s Luciana Diniz was first to clear the short course in 44.26 seconds aboard her own and Arnaldo Diniz’s Lennox to end in third place. Ali Wolff cleared the track next in 48.93 seconds riding Quirie 2 to a fourth place finish. Canada’s Tiffany Foster upped the pace in 43.05 seconds with Artisan Farms’ Brighton to place second. Last to go, Farrington took the win in 41.90 seconds with his own and Tanma Corp.’s Dublin.

Kent Farrington and Dublin

“I am really excited. I thought the horse went great today; I thought both of my horses did,” Farrington stated following his win, as well as an eighth place finish aboard Sherkan d’Amaury. “I have been bringing them along this winter really slowly. I started them both in the 1.35m and built them up this whole winter. To finish off with them both going clear in the 1.50m final was a great accomplishment for them regardless of their results. The win was a bonus.”

Farrington purchased Dublin, a ten-year-old German Sport Horse (Cobra x Calido), at the start of the winter. The gelding previously showed with Carly Anthony (USA) under the ownership of Artisan Farms.

“He is extremely careful,” Farrington detailed. “He is actually quite difficult to ride. He is so careful that he borderlines on too careful almost, where he goes too high. I think this horse really needs to bond with a rider and have a lot of confidence. I actually carry a lot of speed with him, even in the first round, to give him confidence so that he does not go too high.

“Whether or not he will allow you to really have total control over him, I do not know,” Farrington continued, “but if we can find a good compromise in the middle like today, then I think he has a big future. Time still has to show us, but we are off to a great start, and we will see where it takes us from here.”

Remarking on his jump-off, Farrington added, “I trust that horse’s quality, so I know that I can really go at high speed to the jumps and trust that he is going to miss the rails. I thought he did an incredible roll back to the vertical by the in-gate. I do not think I even touched the reins there; he just flew back on that jump. That is probably where he won it.”

Saturday’s competition brought the overall Suncast® 1.50m Series standings down to the wire, but USA’s McLain Ward held onto his lead coming into the night’s event and earned the championship title for 2017. Ward qualified for the jump-off with two mounts, Tina la Boheme and HH Carlos Z, finishing sixth and seventh in the final class to secure his lead overall.

For his win, Ward was presented a two-year lease on a beautiful new Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE. Ward remarked, “It feels great to win the series. It would have been nice to win the final, but the horses jumped well all winter. I had some nice young ones that really stepped up well. I am really proud of how Tina La Boheme has continued to be a great competitor, and it is nice to have Carlos back. He is still maybe a touch rusty, but close.

“I think it is a great series, a very competitive series,” Ward continued. “These classes are hard. I think it gives an older horse a chance to get going in the season, and it gives a younger horse a class to step up into where hopefully they are not over-faced by the height. I was happy with both of my horses tonight, and we had a nice year.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Saturday, David Oberkircher and Southfield Farm’s Castelino van de Helle won the $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Engel & Völkers. Giavanna Rinaldi topped the $10,000 SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic, presented by Sleepy P Ranch, aboard Nuvolari Holdings’ Commissario.

Gochman Sisters Prevail in Engel & Völkers Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under

Mimi Gochman captured the championship honors in the Engel & Völkers Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, while her younger sister, Sophie Gochman, earned the reserve title. Both girls show out of Palm Beach, FL. Mimi Gochman piloted Scott Stewart’s Caldwell to the win in the handy and in one over fences trip, to second place finishes under saddle and in the stake round, as well as a sixth place ribbon over fences.

Mimi Gochman and the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding have come a long way over their two years partnered together.

“The first year I rode him, I had some complications getting his leads and stuff,” she detailed. “Now, I have him in a good stride, and he is a very good boy. He is very lazy, and it just took me a while to get things right on him. He tries so hard and is so sweet around the barn. I am really proud of our trips this week and happy that we finally got it right.”

Commenting on the success she has achieved with her sister at WEF, Mimi Gochman said, “It is really nice to do so well down here with my sister. We switch on and off all the time, sometimes she is champion, and today it was my turn. It is nice we share the victory.”

Sophie Gochman guided Garfield, an entry owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, to two second place finishes over fences, a third place ribbon under saddle, and a third place finish in the stake round.

“Garfield is 15, so he really knows what he is doing,” Sophie Gochman said of the chestnut Holsteiner gelding by Coriano. “I can trust him with any distance. He is so sweet and cute, but he can also be a bit of a shark at home and when jogging. I love him a lot! It feels really good to be reserve and have my sister be champion because WEF is a really competitive show, and there are so many good riders here.”

The eleventh week of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival concludes on Sunday with the $50,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 2* in the International Arena. The Visse Wedell, Realtor Small Pony Hunters will determine championship and reserve honors in Ring 11. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Shane Sweetnam and Cobolt Capture $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8

Shane Sweetnam and Cobolt. Photos © Sportfot.

McLain Ward and HH Carlos Z Top $25,000 Nutrena Jumper Classic; Scott Stewart Wins Tricolor Ribbon in CaptiveOne Green Hunter 3’3″

Wellington, FL – March 2, 2017 – It was an Irish victory on day two of CSIO 4* competition at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), as Shane Sweetnam and Cobolt captured the win in round eight of the Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Series at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

Also competing earlier in the day, McLain Ward (USA) returned to the winner’s circle for week eight with a win aboard HH Carlos Z in the $25,000 Nutrena Jumper Classic.

This week’s edition of WEF Challenge Cup competition was held as a one-round speed class with 59 entries starting over Ken Krome’s (USA) course with ten clear rounds. Sweetnam, aboard his own and The Blue Buckle Group’s Cobolt, clocked the winning time of 69.13 seconds. The pair edged out Todd Minikus (USA) and Wyndmont’s Valinski S, who settled for second place in 69.91 seconds. Reigning World Champions Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED) and SFN Zenith, owned by Springpaarden Fonds Nederland and W. van der Ham, placed third in 71.43 seconds.

“He jumped great today,” Sweetnam said of Cobolt. “Obviously these classes are never easy, so it was great to win it. I was thinking I would get caught because we went in the first half of the class. Normally the second half, towards the end of the class, can get really hot. Leslie (Howard) was pretty quick at the end there, but luckily she knocked a fence.”

Describing his round, Sweetnam stated, “I think the course builder did a good job. There were a lot of numbers, and a couple of rollback turns that you could make up time. In the last line there was a leave-out, which I did take a chance there. That could really help you win or lose a class. I felt the course suited my horse beforehand, and then it did work out well.”

Eleven-year-old Cobolt is a Swedish Warmblood gelding sired by Sweetnam’s winning mount Cyklon 1083 (x Camaro M). Sweetnam admitted that although the gelding has many similarities to Cyklon, it took some time for the partnership to develop.

“He is similar to Cyklon. He looks similar and they have the same sort of attitude,” Sweetnam detailed. “He likes to go fast, and he is naturally quick. Cyklon is still going and I have a very special place for him. He has won everywhere, and I do not think there are many horses as good as Cyklon at what he does, so it is hard to compare them. We judge Cobolt as a different character.

“He is improving. He is getting better and better all the time,” Sweetnam said of the horse that he has only been riding for a year. “Sometimes it is easier to get a younger horse and develop them through because you get to know their buttons earlier. When you get an older horse that has done a bit with another rider, it can be hard to get them into your program. It honestly took me six months to really click with him, but since the start of the summer he has won a lot. Between Kentucky, Toronto, Tryon, and now here, he has had a great year.”

Ward Wins with HH Carlos Z

2016 Olympic team silver medalist McLain Ward (USA) returned to the winner’s circle during week eight at the Winter Equestrian Festival with a victory aboard veteran mount HH Carlos Z in Thursday’s $25,000 Nutrena Jumper Classic. Despite some time off due to an injury sustained in October, the speedy 15-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Chellano Z x Voltaire) was in fine form to top a field of 78 competitors.

Ken Krome (USA) set the course, which yielded 17 starters for the jump-off, and another ten clear entries over the short track. Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya and G&C Durania K were first to go in the jump-off, setting the pace with a clear round in 40.66 seconds to eventually finish third. Ward and Double H Farm’s pint-sized gelding soon took over the lead in 39.50 seconds. Later, Ireland’s Darragh Kenny jumped into second place with a time of 40.32 seconds riding Kerry Anne LLC’s Bolero III.

McLain Ward and HH Carlos Z

Following some recuperation for his injury, ‘Carlos’ started out in a few small classes this winter and came out ready to play on Thursday.

“We have just been giving him some time to heal and slowly getting him back,” Ward detailed. “This is the first time I have actually moved him up to a 1.45m event, so it was good.

“Carlos is a funny horse,” Ward continued. “He always feels a little bit like a pony, and then he steps up and does the job. He is just so fast everywhere. He felt like he got a bit stronger through the class today, and that is always a good sign.”

Commenting on his focus while getting Carlos back in top form, Ward added, “Funny enough, he is not a hot horse. He is actually a cold horse, and you have to really energize him. He is so careful, so I just try to keep him confident. He has been such a great speed horse over the years, and he anticipates everything, so you just have to monitor that a little bit.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Thursday, Katherine Strauss and All In won the $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series Welcome, and Christina Firestone (USA) and Arwen were victorious in the $1,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 1.40m.

Scott Stewart Wins Tricolor Ribbon in CaptiveOne Green Hunter 3’3″

Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL and Status, an entry owned by Rivers Edge, earned an impressive total of 40 points in the CaptiveOne Green Hunter 3’3″ division to win the championship title. Stewart piloted the gelding to two wins, as well as second and third place finishes over fences. The pair also won the under saddle.

“He’s really easy and laid back,” Stewart said of the coming six-year-old Oldenburg by Straviaty. “We bought him as a three-year-old. He did well in both the Pre-Green Incentive and Future Hunters class at Capital Challenge last year.”

Week eight is Status’ third show of the 2017 season. The gelding was reserve champion during weeks five and six in the same division.

Katherine Newman of Wellington, FL guided Dandelion, owned by Allwyn Court, Inc., to the reserve tricolor ribbon. The duo won an over fences, placed second in the other three jumping classes, and sixth under saddle. Dandelion is a 2006 Dutch Warmblood Mare by Heartbreaker.

“We imported her as a nine-year-old and took our time getting her in the ring,” Newman explained. “We started showing her in July of last summer in the Baby Greens. She moved up here at the start of circuit. She’s really laid back and is actually a huge tomboy, not mareish at all. She’s very easy and is really fun to ride.”

Newman was a successful junior rider in the equitation and jumper rings. As an aspiring professional, she runs Allwyn Court with her parents, Kathy and Gerry Newman.

Speaking of her winter circuit, Newman said, “I’ve had a great winter circuit here at WEF this year. I’m not as busy as a lot of the other people, but it’s been a really fun year so far!”

Competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival continues in the International Arena on Friday featuring the $10,000 Griffis Residential CSIO Speed Stake during the day and the $150,000 FEI Nations’ Cup CSIO 4* in the evening. The Young Hunter 3’6″ division will award championship honors in the Rost Arena. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

McLain Ward and HH Azur Repeat Victory in $380,000 Suncast Grand Prix CSI 5* at WEF

McLain Ward and HH Azur. Photos © Sportfot.

Augusta Iwasaki Wins THIS Children’s Medal 14 & Under

Wellington, FL – February 25, 2017 – Two-time Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward (USA) and superstar mare HH Azur jumped to victory in the $380,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 5* for the second year in a row on Saturday night at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL. Rounding out an all-star line-up, Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Fine Lady 5 finished second, and Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) and Arrayan placed third.

Thirty-nine entries started over course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio’s (USA) first round track on Saturday night, with 12 combinations qualifying for the jump-off. The race over the short course was a showdown of epic proportions, with an impressive roster including eight Olympians, three of the top-ten ranked riders in the world, and an Olympic champion going head-to-head riding their best horses.

Ward, riding Double H Farm’s and Francois Mathy’s HH Azur, jumped the winning round in 39.70 seconds. Lamaze, aboard Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable’s Fine Lady 5, stopped the clock in 40.07 seconds. Alvarez Moya and Alvarez Moya Horses SL’s Arrayan placed third in 40.10 seconds.

“I am thrilled with the mare,” Ward said of his 2016 Olympic silver medalist mount, an 11-year-old Belgian Sport Horse (Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Sir Lui). “This is her first big start of the year. We gave her a little bit of a rest with the World Cup Finals in Omaha in mind. We have planned only two major weeks for her here.

“For myself, I have to say I was probably a bit motivated tonight,” Ward continued. “I have been on a little bit of a four-fault run and getting a little frustrated. Eric has been winning everything. Sometimes Eric says I have a look; I think I had it tonight. I wanted it a little bit.”

Commenting on the short course, Ward noted, “I thought it was quite a well-balanced jump-off. Eric and I have very different horses, and there were pros to the jump-off for both horses. There were long gallops at the beginning and the end, which were not that hard with my mare’s stride, and her bravery, and scope. For me, those hairpin rollback turns in the middle were much more of a concern, because with a big horse like mine I knew I was going to lose momentum. It was a fraction between us. I had a little bit of a lucky rub on the second to last fence, but I have been having some unlucky ones lately, so I’ll take it.”

Lamaze, who was the 2008 Olympic Champion, was aboard Fine Lady 5, the 14-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II) that he rode to an individual Olympic bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games. The pair has already won big this winter, taking victory in week four’s $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3*, as well as week five’s $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 5.

Remarking on his night, Lamaze stated, “She has really jumped fantastic every time out. It was like she gave me all of the effort that she could. McLain was just that much better today. You might say he was lucky, but there was nothing lucky about the round that he had.”

Detailing the differences, Lamaze explained, “From jumps one to two, McLain already did seven strides, which I did eight. Then he did a nice seven (strides), and (then) I believe eight, which for me was really not possible. She does not have the biggest stride. She is very quick across the ground, but I knew that eight was not possible. I tried to be as quick as I could on the rollbacks, but they came a little backwards for me actually. Then I did my best coming home. I think that is where he got me.”

Finishing third, Alvarez Moya brought his 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Baloubet du Rouet x Grannus) Arrayan to Wellington this winter as he prepares for the FEI World Cup Finals in five weeks. Alvarez Moya showed in Wellington eight years ago, but decided to return to the event this season to stay on the top of his game competing against many of the best in the world.

“There are great competitors here,” Alvarez Moya noted. “We have Sunshine Tour in Spain that is not that far from my place, but it is a completely different level. Here is a bit more real competition. You have to go against these guys, and you have to try hard to do well in the grand prix.”

Alvarez Moya, who also jumped in last summer’s Rio Olympic Games with top mount Carlo 273, purchased Arrayan ten months ago. The Spanish Champion built the gelding up from the two-star classes and was pleased with their night.

“I was super happy when I finished the jump-off today; the way I could ride in the jump-off,” Alvarez Moya stated. “The turns suited me quite well. The left side is not very good; he gets very strong. I was really happy the way that he went.

“He was really strong when I first got him,” Alvarez Moya added. “I actually did not take him to a show for a few months because I could hardly ride him. He has gotten better and better. He does not have all of the experience, but he tries. He wants to jump clear.”

Concluding the night, Equestrian Sport Productions CEO Mark Bellissimo remarked, “First and foremost, I want to thank the riders. That was a great show this evening. The crowd was about as good as we have had here. I think we have created a culture in Wellington that understands and appreciates show jumping. To get 12 straight weeks of pretty much packed houses is a great testament to the sport and the athletes that are here. I am very excited about that. I want to thank Tom Tisbo and the Tisbo family for the Suncast sponsorship, and thank you to Rolex. This circuit changed greatly when Rolex came into the picture, and WEF continues to showcase the best in the sport. We have just seen some great show jumping.”

Cian O’Connor (IRL) jumped into fourth place in 40.21 seconds with Adena Springs and Ronocco Jump Ltd.’s Good Luck. World number-one Daniel Deusser (GER) placed fifth with Stephex Stables’ Cornet D’Amour in 41.05 seconds. Kevin Babington (IRL) and Shorapur placed sixth in 41.37 seconds, and 18-year-old Emily Moffit (GBR) guided Poden Farms’ Hilfiger van de Olmenhoeve to a seventh place finish in 45.87 seconds.

Also competing in the International Arena on Saturday, Kelsey Thatcher and Pony Lane Farm’s Everything were the winners of the $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Engel & Völkers. Emily Perez and Paola 233 won the $10,000 SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic, presented by Sleepy P Ranch.

Augusta Iwasaki Wins THIS Children’s Medal 14 & Under

August Iwasaki of Calabasas, CA won the THIS Children’s Medal 14 & Under on Saturday morning. The medal consisted of a first round and a final test that brought back the top four riders in reverse order. The test included a halt, counter-cantering a fence, and several changes of lead. The field of 34 riders was competitive as the cut off score for the test was an 85.

August Iwasaki and Small Advantage

Small Advantage, a 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Argentina owned by Iwasaki & Reilly, is a new mount for Iwasaki, who started riding him at the end of November. Prior to being shown in the equitation classes, the gelding competed in the 1.40m jumpers. Iwasaki and her mount were sitting in third place after the first round but moved up following her test to take the win.

“Part of the test was to canter down the quarter line and do three changes of the lead,” Iwasaki explained. “My horse is good at lead changes, but he likes to have a rail to bounce over and because there are obviously no rails on the ground in the class, I chose to do simple changes. Simple changes are easier anyway. He felt really good over the jumps. Sometimes he gets a little strong, but he’s new to things and just figuring it out.”

Devon Thomas of Millburn, NJ and her own Cordino finished in second, moving up from the fourth place position after the test. Thomas started competing the coming 16-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Corrado I in May 2016 and also shows him in the 3’6″ equitation classes. In third were Ava Ellis of Annapolis, MD and Campreoll, an entry of Missy Clark & North Run. Fourth place went to Tessa P. Brown riding Katie Strandberg’s Sephora.

The seventh week of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival concludes on Sunday with the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic and $50,000 Grand Prix CSI 2* in the International Arena. The THIS Children’s Medal 15-17 will also decide a winner. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Ward and Solem Bring the Heat in Palm Beach Series Grand Prix

McLain Ward and Quinta 106.

West Palm Beach, FL (February 3, 2017) – The pristine all-weather arenas at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center once again played host to some of show jumping’s top names during the final week of January, with two of the USA’s top Olympic riders jumping to victory over courses set by FEI Level 3 Designer Mark McGowan. Friday and Saturday’s $15,000 RV Sales of Broward 1.40 and 1.45m Grand Prix highlighted 5 days of hunter and jumper competition, with divisions ranging from Teeny Tiny Jumpers, 6- and 7-Year-Old Jumpers, Take 2 Thoroughbred Jumpers, and .65-1.35m Jumpers. Endless class offerings, spacious warm-ups, and exceptional footing and courses define The Ridge Palm Beach Series, tempting even the Olympians to come fine-tune their synergy in a stress-free environment.

3-Time Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward Goes 1, 2 in Saturday’s 1.45m Grand Prix

With one veteran mare and another fresh out of quarantine from Germany, US Olympian McLain Ward reiterated his versatility as a rider and skill in maximizing a horse’s potential in Saturday’s 1.45m Grand Prix. Kicking off the class with Quinta 106, Ward guided his new ride over the course with the ease, speed, and precision that have become his trademark. The fast but conservative double clear finished with a jump-off time of 36.566 and the lead, impressive for a horse not yet on American soil for a full week.

With established Grand Prix competitor Tina La Boheme, Ward put in another direct but conservative double clear, taking over his own lead from Quinta 106 with a final jump-off time of 35.865. The bay Selle Francais mare, who was an extremely successful campaign horse for Ward over the past year, jumped with the alacrity and expression that comes from a long break and Ward stated he is pointing both horses at the FEI ring later in the season.

“Tina is just getting back in the arena after a rest and Quinta only just arrived from quarantine on Tuesday,” said Ward of his two horses and his rides at The Ridge. “It’s a nice quiet atmosphere for the horses and allows riders to focus, and the courses and footing are good. It was a legit 1.45m today, but because of the reduced numbers, elements like the time allowed are a little more straightforward and I think for preparing horses for bigger things down the road that’s a big help. For Tina, I wanted to jump big to get her back in top form but didn’t want to take her to the FEI ring just yet, and Quinta and I are in just the first few shows of our partnership so we are just trying to figure out what she is all about. This is also a great event for young and advancing Grand Prix riders and horses, to get basic experience at this level but with enough of a challenge to allow them to develop.”

Quite a few top competitors chased after Ward’s first and second place standings, including Lauren Fischer and My Pleasure and the husband-wife team of Ireland’s Jonathan McCrea and the USA’s Christine McCrea. A last minute rally from Manual Fernandez Hache and Al Calypso boosted him into third behind Ward, bumping Fischer and the McCreas to 4th, 5th, and 6th.

Callan Solem and VDL Torlando Top Friday’s 1.40m Grand Prix

England, Ireland, and the USA had a tight battle for the lead during Friday’s 1.40m Grand Prix, with barely a second separating the top three finishers. With a line-up once again featuring some of the top Olympic and international riders from around the world, USA’s Callan Solem and her veteran partner VDL Torlando rose to the top of the pack.

Callan Solem and VDL Torlando

Choosing to utilize The Ridge’s open in-gate policy, Solem and Torlando went later in the day, using the time to their advantage. The scopey gray went double clear and with a final jump-off time of 38.937, stole the top spot from Jonathan McCrea and D Carolus with a 39.234. Olympic Gold Medalist Ben Maher and his two rides, Aristo Z and Tic Tac, sat third and fifth in the final results, while Audrey Robison and the spunky Gorky slipped into 4th between Maher’s two international mounts with a 40.628.

Solem, whose exceptional riding was indicative of her passion for both her horse and the sport, was also awarded the EQUO Stylish Rider Award for her winning performance. Presented with a bottle of Veuve Cliquot from EQUO and a special edition Palm Beach Series belt from Boy-O-Boy Bridleworks from Nona Garson, Solem’s excitement about the win was evident.

“I just love this horse,” said Solem of Torlando, a gelding she has owned and ridden for ten years. “He’s my best friend and he is the most serious about show jumping of any horse I’ve owned. He treats every show like it’s the Olympics, and it was fantastic to bring him somewhere a little different. This week was our first time here this year, and it’s a fantastic opportunity for the horses to get out and jump with a little less pressure and stress. It’s a great venue to practice being very competitive, or to try out a new riding style or piece of tack. It’s very representative of proper show jumping and the footing was perfect.”

Ridge Riders Win Big in Pony Jumper, Children’s/Adult, and Jr./A-O Divisions

Week 4 also crowned numerous Champion and Reserve Champion honors, as well as saw a number of the future generation of Grand Prix riders in its leadline and Teeny Tiny Jumper classes. A full hunter division runs alongside the Palm Beach Series each week at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, and a rich offering of both prize money and prizes highlights the circuit. From $200-$400 gift certificates from US Animo to the end of circuit prize of a brand new jumper saddle courtesy of Southern Stars Saddlery, riders and horses leave The Ridge Palm Beach Series with far more than just ribbons!

For full results for Palm Beach Series Weeks 1-4, visit www.TheRidgeFarm.com/Results.

McLain Ward and HH Azur Top an All-Olympic Podium in Toronto

McLain Ward aboard HH Azur. (FEI/Anthony Trollope)

Toronto, Ontario, (CAN), 10 November 2016 – McLain Ward (USA) and his 2016 Olympic mount HH Azur captured the win in the fifth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2016/2017 North American League (Eastern Sub-League). The current World No. 4 rider delivered the only double clear effort of the evening, besting a five-man jump-off to clinch his fourth consecutive World Cup™ Jumping Toronto win in the $130,270 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto for the Hickstead Trophy.

A starting list of 22 horse-and-rider pairs competed over the first-round course designed by Portugal’s Bernardo Cabral set in the historic Ricoh Coliseum at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. A fair, yet challenging, track featured a triple combination, a massive triple bar set at 1.90m wide, and flowing turns that tested pairs’ adjustability in between fences.

“Experience tells us that when you build something like that, a little bit quick and not too big but delicate, not very rider demanding but horse demanding, the cream rises to the top,” Cabral said.

The 64-second time allowed proved to be appropriately set with not one competitor accruing a single time fault. However, despite the majority of the field giving the track a measured ride, six competitors would finish on a total of 4 faults, eight on 8 faults or more, one eliminated, and with two riders, Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Tiffany Foster (CAN), retiring.

The first clear of the evening went to the reigning Olympic Individual Gold Medalist Nick Skelton (GBR) and Big Star followed by Mac Cone (CAN), Kent Farrington (USA), McLain Ward (USA), and Shane Sweetnam (IRL).

“The course actually came very fast at you and I think that’s why a lot of the rails went down,” said Ward. “The jumps were quite careful; it wasn’t a huge course and there wasn’t a whole lot of time in between jumps.”

The track in the final round was a test of handiness and speed with all but one competitor riding double clear. It was Kent Farrington (USA) and Creedance who produced the quickest round of the night in 35.19 seconds but would finish on 4 faults, placing them at second. Rounding out the night’s podium was Nick Skelton (GBR) and Big Star, with a rail and a time of 37.26 seconds. Fourth went to Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Chaqui Z while Canada’s own Mac Cone finished fifth with Gasper van den Doorn. At night’s end, it was McLain who delivered the evening’s first and only double clear, recording a time of 36.02 seconds to secure the victory.

“Last week in Kentucky, Kent laid down such an incredible round so I was trying to catch him,” Ward added. “But when you’re pressing that hard often a mistake happens and it did: Kent and Nick both had a fence down today so it took a lot of that pressure off. But Shane [Sweetnam] is a trier and a competitive guy. I couldn’t take him for granted so I still wanted to put enough pressure on, but certainly I took a notch off of speed here or there.

“This venue has been very good to me so it’s like coming home. When you have a horse like Azur you just try and stay out of her way, and she’s normally giving a great performance. Every once in a while, I don’t mess it up.”

Kent Farrington continues to hold the top position in the Eastern Sub-League standings heading into the next event in Wellington, Florida on February 5, 2017.

Full results: http://www.longinestiming.com/#!/equestrian/2016/1258/html/en/longinestiming/resultlist_129.html

Full Standings for Eastern Sub-League: http://results.hippodata.de/2016/1258/docs/longines_fei_world_cup_nal_esl_standings_after_toronto_2016.pdf

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Ward and Vale Clear Seven Feet to Tie for Victory in $25,000 International Jumper Puissance

McLain Ward and ZZ Top v/h Schaarbroek Z. Photos by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Amanda Derbyshire and Luibanta BH Take $50,000 GE International Jumper Speed Final; Eve Jobs and Beth Von Brecht Victorious in Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers; Annabel Revers Earns Grand Junior Hunter Championship and Best Child Rider Title

Washington, D.C – The 2016 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) featured a wide range of equestrian sport on Friday showcasing the grace, power, and speed of some of the world’s finest horses and riders. Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire was victorious with Luibanta BH in the $50,000 GE International Jumper Speed Final. Eve Jobs riding Calizz and Beth Von Brecht aboard Melody earned wins in the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers. The Junior Hunters concluded their competition for the week, presenting their Grand Junior Hunter Championship to MTM Hands Down and the award for Best Child Rider on a Horse to Annabel Revers.

A fantastic day of competition concluded with the $25,000 International Jumper Puissance, presented by The Boeing Company, where six horses and riders attempted the impressive wall, and USA’s McLain Ward and Aaron Vale tied for first place with clear rounds jumping seven feet.

Reaching Great Heights in the Puissance

The Puissance began with the wall set at 1.72m (5’8”) in height and moved all the way up to 2.13m (7’) through five rounds of competition. All six horse and rider combinations cleared the first round at 5’8”. Danielle Torano (USA) jumped the Puissance for the first time riding her own and Jimmy Torano’s Cash and faulted in round two to finish sixth. Kama Godek (USA) and her own De Grande, and Andrew Kocher (USA) riding Eagle Valley Partners’ C’Havinia, each cleared 1.85m (6’1”) and knocked the wall down in round three to finish in a tie for fourth place. Lauren Tisbo (USA) and Tequestrian Farms’ Mr. Visto cleared three rounds up to 1.97m (6’6”) and dropped a block in round four to place third.

Aaron Vale riding Thinks Like a Horse and Don Stewart’s Finou 4, and McLain Ward aboard his own ZZ Top v/h Schaarbroek Z, cleared round four at 2.00m (6’9”) and continued on to a fifth and final round at 2.13m (7’). Two veterans of Puissance competition, with Ward having won this class seven times and Vale twice. Each rider guided their mount easily over the imposing height, ending in a tie.

Remarking on the excitement and great competition of the night, Vale stated, “Puissance at Washington on Friday night is always a big night. There are lots of people in the stands, and they always cheer a lot. It is good to have a class where two horses went pretty far. It was a good class.”

Ward agreed, “This has always been a special night at Washington. Both Aaron and I have a good history in this class and we enjoy it and the crowd enjoys it. It is nice when it works out well.”

Ward and ZZ Top, a 15-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Zandor Z x Latus), also tied for a win in the Puissance in Central Park in September, clearing 6’9”.

Commenting on his horse’s effort Friday night, Ward noted, “This is only the second time I’ve shown him, so as far as I know this is the biggest he has jumped. He is a wonderful horse. I have bought and sold him a couple of times now. He has been a great horse for many people and after this he will probably go and be a great teacher for somebody else next year.”

Vale plans to jump Finou 4, a ten-year-old Hanoverian gelding (For Pleasure x Concetto), in Saturday night’s $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, and used the Puissance as preparation to jump the big fences.

Aaron Vale and Finou 4
Aaron Vale and Finou 4

He explained, “He is a very fresh, energetic horse, so my plan was to jump him tonight to hopefully take the edge off him and give him some focus for tomorrow. He has a lot of power and he is pretty limber, so I had an idea he could maybe jump a big fence pretty well. The class was great fun and hopefully it sets me up pretty well for tomorrow night.”

Ward and Vale were awarded The Sweet ‘N Low Trophy, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Donald G. Tober, as well as The Armed Forces Cup, presented by The Boeing Company. They were also presented The Congressman’s Challenge Trophy, donated by the Late Honorable Rogers C. B. Morton and the Late Honorable F. Robert Watkins, for the owners of the winning horses.

Derbyshire Dashes to Victory in International Speed Final

Prior to the Puissance, the $50,000 GE International Jumper Speed Final was held in a faults converted format with a win for Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire riding David Gochman’s Luibanta BH. The pair was first to go, and cleared Alan Wade’s (IRL) speed course in a time of 54.72 seconds that held on through 21 rounds for the win.

McLain Ward (USA) and his own Malou were faster, but added two seconds to their time with one rail down, finishing close behind in 54.87 seconds. Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Stone Hill Farm’s Davendy S also dropped one rail, but with a very fast time, to place third on 55.19 seconds.

Derbyshire has been to WIHS six times helping with the Gochman Family’s Baxter Hill horses and riders, but this is the first time that she has competed herself. She just started showing Luibanta BH, an eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Luidam x Abantos), at the end of August and this is their fourth show together.

“I am very proud of her. She is eight years old, and she has never been to a venue like this before,” Derbyshire detailed. “She is fazed by nothing so far that we have ever put her to, so I am thrilled. She just tries her heart out every time. She really is so special.”

Commenting on her round and going first to set the challenge, Derbyshire explained, “I saw the order online this afternoon, and I said, ‘Well, I just have to give it all I’ve got.’ So I did. I did the right strides everywhere and then I did leave one stride out in the last line. I was trying to go as fast as I could. I thought at the end they were all going to beat me, but thankfully they didn’t. Last time McLain and I were in a speed class together, he was first and I was second, so it was kind of nice for it to be the other way around for once. For sure it won’t happen very often, but it was nice tonight.”

Remarking on her first experience competing at WIHS, and one of the biggest wins of her career, Derbyshire stated, “This is pretty special. It has been so much fun. It has been tiring; we haven’t had much sleep, but it has been better than I ever expected.

“We have a show like this in England called the Horse of the Year Show, and I would say this is comparable to that,” Derbyshire added. “The ring is small, the crowds are big, and it is really special. I have watched the competition here for the last few years, the international classes at night, and this year I thought that I would like to do it. This year I got two horses good enough to do it, so I am lucky for that.”

Luibanta BH will now have a few weeks off before picking up again at the Holiday & Horses competition in Wellington, FL at the end of November. Derbyshire then plans to show the mare in Wellington’s Winter Equestrian Festival.

In the “Jump for TAPS” Challenge, 21 riders were clear over the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) jump in the speed class, raising $21,000 for the WIHS Official Military Charity.

Revers Leads Junior Hunters

The Junior Hunter divisions concluded their second day of competition at WIHS on Friday morning with the presentation of their championship awards. The Grand Junior Hunter Championship, sponsored by Shamrock Ventures, was awarded to Beechwood Stables’ MTM Hands Down ridden by Annabel Revers of Weston, MA. The pair was presented with the Ides of March Perpetual Trophy, donated by Linda Lee and Lee Reynolds. Revers then earned the award for Best Child Rider on a Horse, sponsored by Gotham North, and received the special DiVecchia Perpetual Trophy donated by Mr. and Mrs. Frederick DiVecchia.

On the way to earning the grand championship, Revers took championship honors in the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, sponsored by Sheila and Britton Sanderford, with MTM Hands Down. The pair placed first, first, and second over fences. David Gochman’s Papyrus ridden earned the reserve championship with a win under saddle ridden by Taylor St. Jacques and third, third, and sixth place ribbons over fences with Mimi Gochman in the irons.

Revers also took home the reserve championship in the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, sponsored by the Wasserman Foundation, with Beechwood Stables’ Kingpin. The pair won two classes and placed fourth in one class over fences. Emma Kurtz guided David Gochman’s Wisdom to that championship with a win under saddle and over fences, as well as two fourth-place ribbons over fences.

Grand champion, MTM Hands Down, is a 13-year-old Warmblood gelding that Revers has had for almost three years. “Cody,” as he is known in the barn, lives at Revers’ farm in Massachusetts and has a special bond with his young rider since she gets to see and ride him almost every day.

“He doesn’t live with my trainer, so I know him really well and I have a really strong bond with him since he does live at home,” Revers stated. “I think that is a really special thing for me since I have had him for so long. I feel like he has been knocking on the door and coming really close to having a major championship a couple of times, but this is the first really big thing that he has won in a while, so it is really exciting.

“He might not be your traditional hunter,” Revers detailed. “He goes in a little bit more of a frame than my horse Kingpin, but he is a really soft ride and I was happy that he was so brave with the atmosphere here today. He just has a great jump and a really comfortable canter, so he is a really fun ride for me.”

Revers and Kingpin had a fantastic year that included a Grand Championship at the Hampton Classic Horse Show and Best Child Rider titles at the Hampton Classic and Upperville Horse Shows.

“Kingpin is more of your traditional hunter,” the rider explained. “I can really get a good gallop with him and just find the distances. They come out of stride really nicely with his pace. I try to keep a very consistent pace around, which he is really good at, and I think his jump is just awesome. He is really fun and soft, and it is so fun to have confidence in him and be able to gallop and show off a good pace.”

For their winning stake round with a high score of 93 on Friday, Revers and Kingpin earned the award for best Junior Hunter stake to earn the Lyrik Challenge Trophy, donated by Ashley and Courtney Kennedy. Revers was also presented with the Georgetown Trophy as the high score Junior Hunter Rider on a Horse.

“That was probably my favorite round that I have ever had with him,” said Revers, who has owned Kingpin for almost two years. “I think that it was so good because I was able to keep the same pace all the way around and all of the distances just came up right out of stride. He jumped amazing, so I was really happy with it.”

Commenting on winning the Best Child Rider on a Horse award, Revers added, “It is really exciting. I was just excited to show that I could consistently ride well over the course of the show, which is something that I have really been working on over the last couple of years.”

Revers has trained with Olympian Peter Wylde for two years and had her trainer by her side throughout the week’s competition. Commenting on her success, Wylde stated, “Annabel is incredibly talented. She has a great eye. She rides forward to the jumps, which a lot of kids don’t, and she has a beautiful position. Horses jump well for her. She is harmonious with the horse, which promotes good jumping. She rode absolutely beautifully this week in every jumping round. Through her riding, these horses have gotten better and better. Cody (MTM Hands Down), I think went the best he has ever jumped for us this week.”

Revers’ next stop is the CP National Horse Show in Kentucky next week. She then plans to work on moving up to the High Junior Jumpers in the coming year.

The Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division, sponsored by Rose Hill Farm, also presented championship honors on Friday. The championship tricolor went to Laura Wasserman’s Boss, ridden by Katherine Dash, with a win over fences and under saddle. Hunter Holloway showed Vlock Show Stables’ Boris to reserve honors, with first, fourth, and sixth place ribbons over fences and a third place finish under saddle.

Mountain Home Stables’ As Always and Hunter Siebel earned the championship in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division, sponsored by the ALTEC/Styslinger Foundation, to conclude hunter competition for the day. The pair earned a win and two second-place finishes over fences and capped their week off with a third place ribbon under saddle. They were awarded the Chance Step Perpetual Trophy, donated by Brooke Carmichael McMurray-Fowler and Pam Carmichael Keenan. Hunter Holloway and Hays Investment Corp.’s The Governor won two classes over fences to take reserve honors.

Also competing earlier on Friday, the hunter phase of the WIHS Equitation Finals saw matching scores of 96 at the top for Hunter Holloway riding Any Given Sunday and Lucy Deslauriers with Class Action.  Kendra Gierkink, Taylor St. Jacques, Madison Goetzmann, and Maya Nayyar round out the top six riders heading into Saturday’s jumper phase. Holloway placed first in the WIHS Equitation Final Hunter Phase based on her higher score from the Judge 1 panel.

The hunter and jumper scores will then be averaged out to determine the top ten riders who will participate in the final work-off. The riders change horses by determination of a random draw by lot and then compete over the jumper course for final scores.

Jobs and Von Brecht Top Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers

WIHS hosted the Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers in their first jump-off classes of the week on Friday afternoon with wins for Eve Jobs and Beth Von Brecht.

The $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper time first jump-off class, sponsored by Staysail Farm, saw 21 entries, with seven clear rounds to advance to the jump-off and three double clears. Eve Jobs of Palo Alto, CA, won for the second day in a row. She topped Thursday’s speed class with Sandor de le Pomme and won Friday’s jump-off with another mount named Calizz. The pair clocked the winning time of 28.66 seconds and was presented with the Cover Story Perpetual Trophy, donated by Rolling Acres Farm.

Katherine Strauss and All In were the runners up for the second day in a row with their time of 29.30 seconds. Brian Moggre and Major Wager LLC’s MTM Flutterby stopped the clock in 29.75 seconds to place third. Madison Goetzmann and her own Wrigley were fastest in the jump-off in 27.46 seconds, but dropped one rail to finish fourth.

The $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper time first jump-off was held earlier in the afternoon, sponsored by The Strauss Family, with 23 entries and six advancing to the jump-off. Only one combination was able to clear the short course without fault. Beth Von Brecht and her own Melody jumped double clear in 34.41 seconds for the win. The pair was awarded the Eleanor White O’Leary Memorial Perpetual Trophy, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ashton Hill and Miss Linden Joan Hill.

Madison Dehaven and her own Chanel finished second with four faults in 32.61 seconds. Louisa Brackett and her own Memphis Belle placed third with four faults in 33.41 seconds.

Competition continues on Saturday with the opening classes for the pony hunters followed by the $7,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by The Strauss Family, and the $15,000 Ambassador’s Cup SJHOF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by Staysail Farm. The jumper phase for the WIHS Equitation Finals will close out the afternoon session.

The evening session begins at 7 p.m. with the WIHS Equitation Finals work-off with the top ten riders. The $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, will conclude the night. For full results, please visit www.wihs.org.

Contact: Lauren Fisher
Jump Media
lauren@jumpmediallc.com
www.jumpmediallc.com

Land Rover Celebrates Winners of Central Park Horse Show

(New York, NY) – September 24, 2016 – Land Rover North America returned as the official vehicle for one of the world’s most iconic equestrian events, the Rolex Central Park Horse Show, which took place in the heart of New York City. Under the bright lights of the New York sky line, spectators saw some of the very best competitors in equestrian sport coming together to perform in Central Park’s Wollman Rink. Highlights included double victories from two-time Olympic Team Gold Medalist McLain Ward, a display from the world-famous duo of Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, award-winning pure bred Friesian stallion, Frederick the Great, along with a special ceremony to honor the U.S. equestrian Olympians from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

OLYMPIANS HONORED

The red carpet was rolled out in the arena as the Olympic stars arrived in in a Range Rover HSE and a Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheel Base to be honored in front of the sell-out crowd. Among those honored were U.S. Dressage Team Olympic Bronze medalists Steffen Peters, Laura Graves, Allison Brock, and Kasey Perry-Glass; U.S. Show Jumping Team Olympic Silver medalists Kent Farrington and McLain Ward; and U.S. Olympic Eventing Team member and winner of the Individual Bronze medal, Phillip Dutton.

Dutton commented on his appearance. “What an incredible honor! Being here in the city and being honored for my Olympic performance, it’s a dream come true and I am so proud to be here. The show is great; what a good concept to bring the sport to the people. The atmosphere was wonderful, and the team behind it has done a fantastic job.”

WORLD CLASS SHOW JUMPING HIGHLIGHTS

Rio Olympic Team Silver Medalist, McLain Ward, was unstoppable on Thursday as he clinched the top prize in the Open Canadian Pacific FEI Speed Class with a stunning round aboard the powerful, HH Carlos Z, in the time of 58.63 to seal their first Central Park Horse Show victory. Ward swiftly followed up his success with a second win in the crowd favorite Puissance competition. In the fourth and final round Ward went head-to-head with Andrew Kocher (USA) to face the imposing 6ft 9 wall against the iconic back drop of the New York City skyscrapers, with both unable to clear the wall the $50,000 prize fund was shared between them and were crowned joint winners.

ward McLain Ward spoke of his double-victory. “Carlos has been a great campaigner of mine over the years and is great against the clock. We weren’t really expecting the puissance win but ZZ Top VH Schaarbroek Z performed beautifully so we are really pleased. The atmosphere is phenomenal, the setting is so iconic and beautiful – it’s a great show.”

Friday culminated with the highly anticipated US Open CSI 3* Grand Prix presented by Rolex. Included in the formidable line up were World no.2 Kent Farrington and 2014 winner Georgina Bloomberg. Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set a tough course which saw only 10 horse and rider combinations advance through to the final round, in what promised to be a highly competitive jump off. Spectators were treated to a nail biting finish which saw Jimmy Torano clinch the title aboard his eight-year-old Day Dream in the time of 37.05 seconds to claim the coveted Rolex Grand Prix title. Sharn Wordley (NZL) secured second place with the only other double clear round in the competition and Conor Swail (IRL) had the fastest four-fault round to place third riding Cita.

DRESSAGE STARS SPARKLED UNDER THE BRIGHT LIGHTS OF NEW YORK CITY

The international dressage Grand Prix CDI4* made its first appearance in the Wollman Rink on Friday afternoon and was won by Olympian Judy Reynolds (IRL) and Vancouver K with a beautiful round to finish on a high score of 73.80%.

On Saturday night Ireland’s Judy Reynolds returned to the Wollman Rink for the US Open Dressage Freestyle Presented by Axel Johnson and claimed her second title at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show. Paired with her 14-year-old gelding, Vancouver K, Reynolds produced another stunning round with a final score of 77.051.

Three-time Olympic Champions, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, wowed the crowd with their breath-taking gold medal winning freestyle routine. The audience was on their feet as the world renowned pair performed for the first time since the Olympic Games in Rio.

Dujardin commented on the evening. “It is such an honor to be here. I am so glad that people get to see Valegro; he is such a special horse and he loves to perform so he has really enjoyed himself here.”

Michael Curmi, Brand Experience Manager, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC, said, “As a proud and longstanding supporter of the equestrian sport, we were thrilled to be a part of this unique event for a third consecutive year and are even more pleased with how the events unfolded.

“The Central Park Horse Show is one of the most anticipated equestrian events of the year taking place in one of the most exciting cities in the world. To be a part of something so special and to be able to help continue to build awareness of equestrian in the U.S. is incredibly gratifying.”

About Rolex Central Park Horse Show
Launched in September 2014, Rolex Central Park Horse Show is the first-ever outdoor, multi-day equestrian sporting event in New York City, showcasing some of the best show jumpers and dressage riders in the world as they vie for top prizes against a backdrop of skyscrapers in one of the world’s most iconic venues. As the event founder, Mark Bellissimo is the CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions and International Equestrian Group LLC; Managing Partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEF), Tryon Equestrian Partners and Colorado Equestrian Partners; and Publisher of The Chronicle of The Horse magazine. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will feature five days of multi-discipline equestrian sport and performances, ranging from Arabians and Dressage to Hunters and Show Jumping. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will also host the second annual U.S. Open in the following categories: Jumpers; Dressage; Hunters; U25 Jumpers; and Arabians. For more information, visit www.centralparkhorseshow.com or Facebook at www.facebook.com/CPhorseshow and follow @cphorseshow on Twitter and Instagram.

Ward and HH Carlos Z Win $40k US Open Canadian Pacific Speed Class at Central Park Horse Show

McLain Ward and HH Carlos Z. Photos copyright Sportfot.

Ward and Andrew Kocher Tie for Win in $50,000 Engel & Völkers Puissance; Daniel Coyle Tops $25,000 U.S. Open Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 FEI Grand Prix

September 22, 2016 – New York, NY – Day two of the 2016 Rolex Central Park Horse Show (RCPHS) featured international show jumping set to the backdrop of the New York City skyline on Thursday, September 22, in Central Park’s Wollman Rink.

Thursday was deemed “Canadian Pacific Day”, as competition highlighted the $40,000 U.S. Open Canadian Pacific FEI Speed Class, which saw a win for McLain Ward (USA) aboard HH Carlos Z. The evening’s competition also featured the $50,000 Engel & Völkers Puissance, where Ward and Andrew Kocher (USA) tied for victory by clearing the impressive wall in four rounds, and jumping off at 6’9″ inches. The $25,000 U.S. Open Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 FEI Grand Prix was held on Thursday as well, with a win for Daniel Coyle (IRL) aboard Fortis Fortuna.

The Rolex Central Park Horse Show runs through Sunday, September 25, with five days of multi-discipline equestrian sport for Arabians, jumpers, dressage, and hunters. The $216,000 FEI Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by Rolex, and Friday night ceremonies will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, September 25, from 9-10:30 p.m. EST.

The course designer for international show jumping competition in Central Park is this year’s Rio Olympic Games designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA). In the $40,000 Canadian Pacific Speed class, which was held in a faults converted format, Jorge saw 34 horse and rider combinations that included some of the world’s very best.

Two-time Olympic Team Gold Medalist and Rio Olympic Team Silver Medalist McLain Ward was the winner in a blazing fast time of 58.63 seconds aboard the 14-year-old Zangersheide gelding HH Carlos Z (Chellano Z x Voltaire). Ward and ‘Carlos’ have won in some of the greatest destinations and biggest competitions in the world and led the victory gallop for the first time this year in the world-famous Central Park event.

Conor Swail (IRL) won the class in the first two years of RCPHS competition, but settled for second place this year, with a time of 60.26 seconds riding Ariel and Susan Grange’s Cita. Hardin Towell (USA) and Evergate Stables’ Lucifer V finished third in 60.45 seconds. Emanuel Andrade (VEN) and his own Hardrock Z placed fourth in 64.77 seconds.

Commenting on two victories in one night, Ward noted, “For me, it is a good comeback, because my record here is not so good. I think my best score is 16 and I think I have fallen off twice, so I was actually having a little nervous laugh about that on the way down to the ring tonight.

“Carlos is a great campaigner for me,” Ward stated. “He just does every job at the horse show – other than the Puissance. If he is in form, he really is tough to beat against the clock, and I was thrilled with the way he handled the evening. It is a unique atmosphere and some horses handle it better than others, so I was thrilled that he handled it well, and I think I have a nice set up for tomorrow night.”

Remarking on his second place finish, Swail detailed, “I think right from the start Hardin put up a very good time. It seemed that it was going to hold quite well throughout the class, but there are a lot of world-class competitors here this year. McLain went in, and he is a very fast rider and he has a very fast horse, so I think everything came off very well for him.

“It was a little bit the same for me,” Swail continued. “I was trying to etch out somewhere that I could maybe leave out a step that no one else did. Even my turn to the last fence, I thought I could try something a little different just to try and pip McLain, but I did not quite get it.”

Swail started riding Cita this time last year and was happy with the mare’s performance Thursday night.

“She is an extremely careful horse, and she has proven to be a very good jumper,” he praised. “I was very pleased with her tonight. She did everything I asked of her, and second place was a good result for us tonight.”

Though his time did not hold up for the win, Hardin Towell had a great experience with his mount Lucifer V and feels confident in his horse heading into Friday’s grand prix competition.

“The last place I showed was Spruce Meadows, and this is definitely a lot different jumping,” Towell noted.  “I knew it was going to be a fast class, and my plan was to be quick. I hoped to be top three, and I could not have done anything different at the end. Maybe I could have been a little smoother, but I know my horse, and I was happy with how he jumped.”

Ward and Kocher Attempt 6’9″ in the Puissance

The evening’s competition concluded with the $50,000 Engel & Völkers Puissance, which saw a tie for McLain Ward riding Evergate Stables’ ZZ Top VH Schaarbroek Z and Andrew Kocher aboard Eagle Valley Partners’ C’Havinia. Seven entries started over the imposing Puissance wall set at a height of 5’3″, and the competition continued up through four more rounds as Ward and Kocher jumped head-to-head at the final height of 6’9″. Neither rider was able to clear the wall at that height, leaving them tied for the win.

Ward rode ZZ Top VH Schaarbroek Z in the Puissance competition after the gelding also competed in the Under 25 class with young rider Oliver McCarthy. It was a last minute decision to enter the class, but Ward already knew the horse well and got a little encouragement from longtime manager Lee McKeever.

“We had the horse here with my rider Oliver, and I have actually sold this horse a couple of times and bought him back a couple of times,” Ward explained. “I have not ridden the horse in five years, but he is an easy catch ride. He is a wonderful grand prix horse who really knows his job.”

Ward continued, “Everyone knows the story of Lee and me – we have been together 30 years – and when we were driving here tonight, he said, ‘Why don’t you want to do the Puissance? Are you getting a little chicken?’ I said we didn’t really have a Puissance horse, and he said that horse could do it. I thought about it for a few miles, and I said, ‘Do you think we can still enter?’ He kept saying that I was afraid, and we went back and forth for about 10 miles, and so I told him to enter me in the class.”

Ward is no stranger to Puissance competitions. In fact, he has won many (including seven times at the Washington International Horse Show), and noted that the highest he has cleared is a staggering 7’3″.

“I also attempted to jump an 8-foot wall six different times, but never cleared it. I have no intention of doing that again!” Ward laughed. “The last round I thought looked quite big tonight. It jumped up a little bit in the last round (from 6’3″ to 6’9″). It was interesting though, because I thought in the second to last round my horse jumped it better, and I thought in the last round Andy’s horse jumped it better. So it was pretty even at the end. I thought it was a nice, exciting class with horses jumping very well.”

Commenting on the Puissance class in general, Ward added, “It is a fun way to end the evening. It gets everybody into the competition, and I think the draw of this class is that it is something that everybody can easily understand – how high can you jump?”

Andrew Kocher and C'Havinia
Andrew Kocher and C’Havinia

For Andrew Kocher, this was his first time competing at the RCPHS and one of few times he has attempted the Puissance.

“This is my first time here, so we are having a really good time and we were excited to get invited for sure,” Kocher acknowledged. “That mare (C’Havinia) has never done anything like that. I have done the Puissance three times at Washington, and the first time was really bad, but this time I have been practicing for a few weeks. I didn’t have a big enough wall, so I put some hay bales in there to stack it up. It was fun.”

International Equestrian Group and RCPHS founder Mark Bellissimo enjoyed all of Thursday evening’s competition and spoke after the event, thanking riders and sponsors.

“We had great competition tonight. It is interesting to see classes like that happen on a night like this, with perfect weather and a perfect backdrop, so I thank all of the participants for their great effort,” Bellissimo stated. “We want to thanks Canadian Pacific – Hunter Harrison, Keith Creel, and Mark Wallace – they have been very generous supporters of the sport. Events like this are very complex and take a lot of support, and Canadian Pacific has been a great partner with us on this event and we really appreciate. We also have to thank Rolex, who is the title sponsor of the event since the first day. Also Land Rover and Adequan®, who have supported this event for three years. Those four have been stalwarts in making sure that this event has been successful, so I really want to thank them for that.”

Mark Wallace, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and Chief of Staff of Canadian Pacific, added, “It was great being here this week in New York. I was in Calgary last week for the CP International, and it was a different experience than this was under the lights in Central Park. It is a great event, and we have been a partner here for the last three years. It was fun to watch tonight, and McLain is a little bit a part of our family at CP. He has a close relationship with our CEO Hunter Harrison, so it was exciting to watch him win. Congratulations to everybody, and we are thrilled to be a part of this.”

Ireland’s Daniel Coyle Tops U25 Grand Prix

The $25,000 U.S. Open Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 FEI Grand Prix was the first competition held on Thursday evening with a win for Daniel Coyle of Ireland riding the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare Fortis Fortuna (Quidam de Revel x Carthago).

Course designer Guilherme Jorge saw 14 competitors in round one, with three advancing to the tie-breaking jump-off. Bryn Sadler (USA) and Showcase 81 LLC’s Bon Giorno were first to return over the shortened course, with one rail down in a time of 40.28 seconds to finish third. Coyle followed aboard Susan and Ariel Grange’s Fortis Fortuna, also dropping one rail, but in a faster time of 35.57 seconds for the win. Alexandra Crown (USA) and her own Von Cim were last to go, but were also unable to complete the course without fault, clocking in at 37.35 seconds to finish in second place.

Commenting on his win, Coyle stated, “It is great for me to be here, and to be here for my first time and win. It is the horse’s first time here as well, so I just tried to concentrate on getting a clear round to start off, and I did. It just kind of went my way in the jump-off, so I am really happy.”

Coyle continued, “Conor (Swail) rode the horse and very nicely gave her to me to ride. I won a few classes at Spruce Meadows and Angelstone with her this year, so she has been a very good one for me to get, and I am happy to have her. I had a plan tonight, and I tried to just stick to it.”

Competition in Central Park’s Wollman Rink continues through Sunday, September 25, with more multi-discipline equestrian sport for jumpers, dressage, and hunters. Friday features the U.S. Open Dressage Grand Prix CDI 4*, presented by Axel Johnson, at 1:30 p.m. The evening session includes the $5,000 Junior/Amateur 1.20m Jumper class and the $216,000 FEI Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by Rolex. For more information, visit www.centralparkhorseshow.com.

About Rolex Central Park Horse Show
Launched in September 2014, Rolex Central Park Horse Show is the first-ever outdoor, multi-day equestrian sporting event in New York City, showcasing some of the best show jumpers and dressage riders in the world as they vie for top prizes against a backdrop of skyscrapers in one of the world’s most iconic venues. As the event founder, Mark Bellissimo is the CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions and International Equestrian Group LLC; Managing Partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEF), Tryon Equestrian Partners and Colorado Equestrian Partners; and Publisher of The Chronicle of The Horse magazine. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will feature five days of multi-discipline equestrian sport and performances, ranging from Arabians and Dressage to Hunters and Show Jumping. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will also host the second annual U.S. Open in the following categories: Jumpers; Dressage; Hunters; U25 Jumpers; and Arabians. For more information, visit www.centralparkhorseshow.com or Facebook at www.facebook.com/CPhorseshow and follow @cphorseshow on Twitter and Instagram.