McLain Ward Keeps the Blue Ribbons Coming in $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Grand Prix Qualifier at Hampton Classic

[Bridgehampton, NY] There must be something in the air at the Hampton Classic Horse Show that gives McLain Ward an especially sharp edge, for when he rides here, it seems that he always rides to win.

Ward and Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve over the final jumpoff fence.

Fresh off the Olympic Games earlier this month in London, Ward proved that he is right at home on the green grand prix field in the Hamptons when he placed 1st and 3rd this afternoon in the $50,000 Spy Coast Farm YHS Grand Prix Qualifier CSI4*. This win follows two previous jumper wins that Ward claimed earlier this week at the Hampton Classic.

Ward qualified both Grant Road Partners’ Antares F and Luisburg Farm’s Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve over a first round track that ran the gamut in varying questions. The 12 obstacles constructed by Guillherme Jorge were meant to thin the field from among the 51 riders entered, all who were hoping to move on to the $250,000 FTI Consulting World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix coming up two days from now.

A triple bar set as the A element in a one stride right before the finish timers came down time and time again for riders that had the unfortunate luck of feeling their horses tire at the end of the course. And several horses didn’t like the look of the Spy Coast Farm triple combination midway through the track – there were several refusals there.

Beezie Madden tacked up two horses for this afternoons class, but Cortes ‘C’ had an unfortunate rail at an oxer, and she ran into trouble in the same area with Amadora, a new mount for her that is also owned by Abigail Wexner.

Kent Farrington was the only thing that stood in front of Ward and the top two placings, and just barely. He piloted Raylyn Farms’ Venus to a speedy jumpoff time that set Ward on a mission to beat when he followed with Antares F. But while both riders were clean, Ward finished just two hundreths of a second behind Farrington.

Farrington and Venus

Ward and Antares, picture perfect in Round 1

When Ward places anywhere lower than first, you can bet he’s going to return with a vengence, and that he did with Pjotter later in the jumpoff. He pulled off a clean round that was a full two seconds faster than his previous time, securing the win and easily qualifying for Sunday’s feature grand prix.

That class has been won by Ward a record six times, including last year when he won it with Antares F. Add to that fact the extra detail that this grand prix is the second leg of three in the new Taylor Harris Triple Crown Challenge, which awards a $200,000 bonus to the same horse/rider combination that can pull off wins in the $200,000 Wells Fargo Grand Prix of Devon, the $250,000 FTI Grand Prix at the Hampton Classic, and the $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix this November at the Alltech National Horse Show.

As the winner of the Grand Prix of Devon this past May, Ward is primed to take home this second leg of the challenge if all continues to go well. You can watch Ward try and do just that on www.USEFNetwork.com on Sunday, September 2nd starting at 2:00pm EST. For more information and results from the Hampton Classic, visit www.HamptonClassic.com, and stay with ProEquest all weekend as we report on the ground from Bridgehampton.

Richie Maloney and Slieveanora were 4th

Kirsten Coe and Baronez jumped into 5th

Until tomorrow...

 

Top Ten - $50,000 Spy Cost Farm YHS Grand Prix Qualifier CSI4*

Rider | Horse | Round 1 Faults | Jumpoff Faults | Jumpoff Time

  1. McLain Ward | Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve | 0 | 0 | 40.33
  2. Kent Farrington | Venus | 0 | 0 | 42.26
  3. McLain Ward | Antares F | 0 | 0 | 42.28
  4. Richie Maloney | Slievanorra | 0 | 0 | 43.78
  5. Kirsten Coe | Baronez | 0 | 0 | 45.87
  6. Darragh Kerins | Lisona 0 | 0 | 50.28
  7. Luis Larrazabal | G&C Flash | 0 | 4 | 41.90
  8. Darragh Kenny | Sandor de la Pomme | 0 | 4 | 42.85
  9. Derek Braun | Lacorolus | 0 | 4 | 44.82
  10. Rodrigo Pessoa | Winsom | 0 | 4 | 45.68
     

Photos ©ProEquest