McLain Ward and the 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Wings (Lexicon x Jersey) were the winners in the $50,000 International Open Jumper Speed Final, a faults converted class sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch. Twenty-five entries jumped the course and five cleared the obstacles without fault. Ward and Wings jumped with ease in a blazing fast time of 51.35 seconds for the win.
Wings is an experienced jumper that Ward originally purchased for his wife to ride, but ended up showing himself. "Someone called me in January about him because he was getting a bit older," he explained. "I bought him for Lauren, and he actually ended up being a little too careful for her, so I confiscated the ride. He was good for me this summer. He won a couple Grand Prix at Saugerties and won one class and was second in another at Harrisburg. He is actually an easy horse to ride, but electric-careful."
"He needs a solid ride; he's not one to take a joke," Ward described. "He is a fifteen-year-old horse and has shown very successfully with a Dutch rider for many years, so he has jumped a lot of indoor shows. This is his first time here with me, but he certainty has a lot of miles."
Talking about Palacios' track for the night, Ward remarked, "The course was very difficult. It was quite twisty and turny. There was a lot of misdirection. The horses didn't really know where they were going. It helped to have a nice old horse. He has a big stride, and he is a quick horse by nature. There was that big question at the end, the inside turn to the pink vertical, and I felt where I went in the order that was very risky. I felt that if I was fast up and to the Hermes vertical, that I would go around and take my chances and it would put enough pressure on them. I think you had to do the inside turn to catch my time and I don't know how doable it was."
Twenty-year-old Katie Dinan (USA), to a second place finish in 53.14 seconds riding Grant Road Partners' Glory Days. Another up-and-coming young rider, Meagan Nusz (USA), finished third in 53.31 seconds with Amalaya Investments' Vesuvius. Callan Solem (USA) and Horseshoe Trail Farms' VDL Wizard were fourth with a time of 55.56 seconds.
Final Results: $50,000 International Open Jumper Speed Final, Faults Converted, Sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch
1. WINGS: 1998 KWPN gelding by Lexicon x Jersey
MCLAIN WARD (USA), McLain Ward: 51.35
2. GLORY DAYS: 2001 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Cardento 933 x Diamond Serpent
KATIE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners, LLC: 53.14
3. VESUVIUS: 2002 KWPN gelding by Numero Uno x Expert
MEAGAN NUSZ (USA), Amalaya Investments: 53.31
4. VDL WIZARD: 2003 KWPN gelding by Gentleman x Ahorn
CALLAN SOLEM (USA), Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC: 55.56
5. ARIANA: 2001 KWPN mare by Oklund x Damiro
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Susan Grange: 56.14
6. VANILLA: 2002 Danish Warmblood mare by Nabab De Reve x Clinton
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 56.16
7. FIDELE: 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Winningmood van de Arenberg x Jus de Pomme
OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS (BEL), Stoetri Dorperheide: 56.31
8. SOLERINA: 1999 Irish Sport Horse mare by Cruising x Diamond Lad
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Sweet Oak Farm: 57.70
9. BONITO R: 2005 Hanoverian gelding by El Bonito x Rhytmo
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Stars and Stripes: 57.72
10. URAYA: 2001 KWPN mare by Farmer x Zeno
CHARLIE JAYNE (USA), Pony Lane Farm: 57.76
11. KAID DU RY: 1998 Selle Francais gelding by Brett Saint Clair x Royal Ardent
ALISE OKEN (USA), Hi Hopes Farm LLC: 58.74
12. UNEX CHAMBERLAIN Z: 2001 Zangersheide gelding by Chellano Z x Peter Pan
TIM GREDLEY (GBR), Unex Competition Yard Ltd: 59.86
Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media Inc.
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