The American rider McLain Ward made the Omaha grandstand vibrate with his first victory of the FEI World Cup Final Jumping. Henrik von Eckermann and Steve Guerdat escorted him. (Photo © Liz Gregg / FEI)
Three-time Olympic medalist McLain Ward of the United States number 4 of the World Ranking, obtained the first victory in the 39th Edition of the FEI World Cup Jumping Final in front of his public, completing a fast round in 59.27 seconds with 11-year-old mare HH Azur (Thunder vd Zuuthoeve x Sir Lui vd Zuuthoeve) owned by Double H Farm & Francois Mathy.
The first leg of the World Cup Final was attended by 37 pairs, where the American made the Omaha stage vibrate to lead the €100,000 speed class in a course designed by Alan Wade of Ireland. Ward was able to overcome in a fierce fight to the Swedish Henrik von Eckermann who stopped the clock 31 hundredths of a second more slower, completing his round in 59.58 seconds with 11-year-old mare Mary Lou (Montendro x Portland L) owned by Karl Schneider, while defending champion and also Olympic medalist Steve Guerdat, was left in third place by scoring 60.06 seconds with 11-year-old mare Bianca (Balou du Rouet x Cardento) owned by Elias Stud Farm, looking for his Triple Crown, after which he won the 2015 and 2016 editions.
With regard to McLain Ward seeks from the first sleeve, ratify why which is one of the best riders in the world, being his best figuration a second place in 2009 Las Vegas World Cup Final with Sapphire. On the other hand the American riders accumulate to date nine victories in the Word Cup.
For the Latin Ranking a single participant was part of the competition, where Uruguayan Martin Rodríguez Vanni added 12 seconds to his final time with fouls, taking the 33rd place with 12-year-old gelding Liborius (Quiality x Landadel) totaling 84.36 seconds.