Three-time US Olympic medalist McLain Ward masterfully led the retirement of his horse HH Carlos Z, leaving through the front door. (Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography)
The three-time US Olympic medalist and former World Ranking leader McLain Ward eclipsed the $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final in Washington.
Representing the last class for his 15-year-old gelding HH Carlos Z (Chelano x Voltaire) owned by Double H Farm, McLain Ward led a group of 18 pairs in a speed class course designed by Irishman Alan Wade to stopping the clock in 57.77 seconds and evaluated by Table C, which ensured 50 World Ranking Points.
World number 2 McLain Ward set the pace and showed the way forward for his rivals, shortening the lines and turning short and aggressive, to retire his horse in a big way with which he managed to take a total of 31 FEI victories.
“I wanted the horse to win a good class to finish on,” said McLain Ward. “I didn’t want him to end poorly. This is a nice moment, and I’m very, very grateful to Mr. Harrison and Double H Farm to have the opportunity to ride this horse and also for the opportunity to care for him and retire him in the way he deserves”, declared the winner.
The second place was for American rider David Ryan also marking a time of 58.50 seconds with the 8-year-old gelding Eddie Blue (Zirocco Blue VDL x Marlon) and for third place British amazon Amanda Derbyshire with her 11-year-old mare Lady Maria BH (Cartani x Corrado I) in 59.05 seconds.
For the Top 5 Danis Lynch of Ireland took the fourth place accompanied by 16-year-old stallion RMF Bella Baloubet (Baloubet du Rouet x Landadel) taking a time of 59.19 seconds, while fifth place was won by the US Olympic medalist Laura Kraut with 14-year-old mare Whitney (Indoctro x Concorde) in time of 59.36 seconds plus 2 seconds of penalty to totaling 61.36 seconds.
The best seed of the class and world number 1 Kent Farrington did not hurry the step with his 15-year-old mare Blue Angel (Luidam x Ascendant), being in the last place with a global time of 82.10 seconds.