The $25,000 Suncast® Championship Jumper Classic was held in the International Arena in the afternoon with a win for McLain Ward riding Ilan Ferder and Missy Clark's Zhum CW. In a class of 18 entries, nine jumped the first round course without fault to jump off, and Ward and Zhum CW completed the fastest double clear round in 38.663 seconds.
Finishing in second, Peter Wylde and Lewin 5, owned by Societe Civile De L'ecurie Meutry, jumped clear in 39.118 seconds. Shane Sweetnam and Sweet Oak Farm's Solerina were third in 39.146 seconds.
McLain Ward first rode Zhum CW in November and immediately won the $10,000 Holiday & Horses Welcome Stake one day later in the pair's debut in the show ring. Ward has now shown the nine-year-old KWPN gelding by Querlybet Hero x Cambridge a few more times and is getting a better feel for the ride.
"I think I have ridden him three more times, so that's good," Ward smiled. "He was great the other day; I think he ended up second in the 1.40m and then we did the 1.45m and he was very good. He kind of went well all week and he was excellent today. Our turns were a little rough, we have to work on those a bit, but he is super careful and he has a big step. It was a good start to the circuit and a good finish to the week."
In the jump-off, Ward was going for speed. "I like to try to win always and this is a good series, this Suncast series," he stated. "I knew the turns were a little bit difficult in the jump-off and again that is not his greatest strength at this point in time, so I tried to make it up with a little bit of foot speed. We had a little bit of a funny angle on the Suncast fence, but the horse really gave a great effort and it worked out."
Zhum CW lives at Ilan Ferder's farm and works in their program. Ward described, "I go ride him once in a while, but Ilan and Kirsten (Coe) prepare him nicely and they do a great job, so it is a good team effort."
Emphasizing Zhum CW's careful jumping style, Ward further detailed, "He is a little bit his own way, but he is always in the hunt with you. He is in the fight with you and he delivers a lot of clear rounds, so we will just kind of keep moving up the ranks and hopefully it keeps going his way."
Final Results: $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
1. ZHUM CW MCLAIN WARD ILAN FERDER & MISSY CLARK: 0/0/38.663
2. LEWIN 5 PETER WYLDE SOCIETE CIVILE DE L'ECURIE MEUTRY: 0/0/39.118
3. SOLERINA SHANE SWEETNAM SWEET OAK FARM: 0/0/39.146
4. CAPALL ZIDANE RONAN MCGUIGAN RONAN MCGUIGAN: 0/0/39.816
5. TEIRRA ALISE OKEN HI HOPES FARM LLC: 0/0/40.091
6. QUICK DU POTIER ALONSO VALDEZ PRADO ALONSO VALDEZ PRADO: 0/0/41.453
7. NOUVELLE LAURA KRAUT EVITA GROUP: 0/4/41.001
8. S& L SLINGBACK ADRIENNE STERNLICHT ADRIENNE STERNLICHT: 0/8/45.174 9. CROSSFIRE 10 EMANUEL ANDRADE HOLLOW CREEK FARM: 0/8/46.412
10. VICTOR E CHRISTINE MCCREA CANDY TRIBBLE: 1/88.728
11. HH CABALLERO QUENTIN JUDGE DOUBLE H FARM: 3/90.954
12. ZINNIA ANDREW WELLES ANDREW WELLES: 4/85.999
Source: Press release from Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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