A $25,000 Nutrena Jumper Classic was held in the DeNemethy Ring at PBIEC on Saturday with a one-two finish for two-time Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward. The class saw 53 entries with 12 to jump-off and eight double clear rounds over the Alan Wade (IRL) designed course. Ward went first with Blue Chip Bloodstock's Dulien van de Smeets and set the leading pace at 40.03 seconds. He then beat his own time for the win aboard Double H Farm's HH Carlos Z in 39.46 seconds.
Stephan Barcha (BRA) and Quizas Diamant finished third in 40.67 seconds, Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Tinkabell were fourth in 40.79 seconds, and Laura Kraut (USA) guided Stars and Stripes' Bonito R to fifth in 41.49 seconds.
HH Carlos Z is a 12-year-old Zangersheide gelding by Chellano Z x Voltaire that Double H Farm recently acquired for Ward to compete, and the rider is excited about the new partnership. The horse, formerly known as Carlos VHP Z, showed very successfully under Belgian rider Nicola Philippaerts before a brief partnership with Denmark's Emilie Martinsen. He then spent a year showing under USA's Nick Dello Joio.
"We have always known Carlos. He was a very, very good horse," Ward stated. "We have a nice, new partnership with Hunter Harrison, and we thought it would be a nice addition to the string. He is very careful, a real winner."
"We have high hopes for him," Ward acknowledged. "He has won a few big grand prixs around the world. We kind of envisioned him as a bit like Goldika was for us years ago, a horse that can win any class at the show, even the grand prix."
Ward finished second on Saturday with Dulien van de Smeets, a promising seven-year-old mare. "She is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock, which is Tom Grossman, who was the half owner of Sapphire and Goldika as well," Ward pointed out. "That is a partnership that I have had for a long time, and this horse we have been developing here and has really done some wonderful things. She won a couple of The Ridge grand prix. She is coming along really excellent and looks to be a phenomenal horse."
"We are developing her, and she is on the market," Ward added. "She was bought by Tom to be resold, and I'm sure someone is going to snap her up pretty quick. I think she is jumping just as good as any horse on the circuit, but until then I am going to enjoy the ride."
Commenting on Saturday's class and course designer Alan Wade, Ward praised, "Alan is my favorite course builder in the world. I think he is the best in the game right now. He builds rider's courses, which I like. They are smooth. These are two really nice national classes that you can do whether you have some new horses or some younger horses that want to step up and have a good test for good prize money. I wish there were a few more national classes like this on the circuit. Everything is going FEI and here in Florida, we bring so many horses and we have so many different facets to our operations. You have international show jumping, but you are also producing horses and you have horses for sale, so it is a nice outlet where there is some highlight, some pressure, and it gives those horses an opportunity to shine."
Final Results: $25,000 Nutrena Jumper Classic
1. HH CARLOS Z MCLAIN WARD DOUBLE H FARM: 0/0/39.461
2. DULIEN VAN DE SMEETS MCLAIN WARD BLUE CHIP BLOODSTOCK: 0/0/40.034
3. QUIZAS DIAMANT STEPHAN BARCHA STEPHAN BARCHA: 0/0/40.673
4. TINKABELL RODRIGO PESSOA RODRIGO PESSOA: 0/0/40.797
5. BONITO R LAURA KRAUT STARS AND STRIPES: 0/0/41.495
6. FIRST CLASS VN EECKELGHEM DANIEL DEUSSER STEPHEX STABLES: 0/0/42.423
7. CHANDOR ANDRE CAMPOS FREIRE ANDRE CAMPOS FREIRE: 0/0/42.828
8. CALVIN KLEIN JONATHON MILLAR MILLAR BROOKE FARM: 0/0/43.095
9. WIESIELOTTIE PETER WYLDE WINLEY FARM: 0/4/42.828
10. APPEARANCE 2 JOHANNES EHNING NYBOR PFERDE GMBH & CO. KG: 0/4/43.626
11. ZIDANE ALEXANDER ZETTERMAN SPRINGFIELD SHOWJUMPERS: 0/4/45.505
12. GANGSTA ALEX GRANATO ALEX GRANATO: 0/8/42.620
Source: Press release from Equestrian Sport Productions
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