The $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final concluded on Saturday with a win for McLain Ward (USA) and HH Carlos Z. The competition had 62 entries over Anthony D'Ambrosio's (USA) first round course during the day, with 18 clear rounds to advance to the jump-off in the evening, presented by SOVARO®.
Out of 18 in the jump-off, only seven were able to clear the short course without fault. Ward and Double H Farm's HH Carlos Z won in the fastest time of 43.92 seconds. Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable's Rosana du Park finished second in 44.96 seconds.
Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) guided Citizenguard Cadjanine Z, owned by Pessoa and Alain van Campenhoudt, to third place honors in a time of 45.46 seconds. Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Stone Hill Farm's Tiger Lily placed fourth in 45.74 seconds. Pessoa also took fifth place honors aboard his own and Caroline Lloyd's Sans Soucis Z in 48.24 seconds. USA's Beezie Madden and Abigail Wexner's Quister finished sixth in 49.43 seconds, and Germany's Meredith Michaels-Berrbaum jumped the final clear round in 50.59 seconds aboard Artemis Equestrian Farm's Apsara to take the seventh place prize.
HH Carlos Z has been an incredibly successful mount for Ward, even winning last year's $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*, among many top accolades. Once again, the 14-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Chellano Z x Voltaire) did not disappoint with his victory in the 1.50m final.
"For Double H Farm, and myself, he is an ATM machine," Ward stated. "He can do any class at this show, as everyone has seen. He has been in great form, so we are thrilled with him. He is a super careful horse. He fights and digs his way to win some very big classes."
Speaking of the track and the unique format of the class, Ward remarked, "I was very surprised by the first round. I thought the course walked very difficult. The lines were very tricky. He (D'Ambrosio) has a height limit in that class, so the verticals can go up to 1.55m, but it is tough. It is the end of the circuit, and you have a lot of horses in form. With only 40 in the grand prix, people were trying to get some gas money to go home. It is a pretty competitive class always, and it is an interesting test. You have the afternoon round early in the day. It was very hot today, and I think that was a factor. Then the horses are put away and come back at night, and I think you saw some problems up the first line, and to me that was a lot to do with that."
Ward detailed the second round further, stating, "I lost my footing a little bit rolling back on the wall, but he was good to me. Then everything showed up so well that I decided to take the around option. I knew I was fast. I left a little room, but luckily the rest made mistakes."
Source: Press release from Equestrian Sport Productions News // Picture © Sportfot
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