McLain Ward scored his fourth victory this week at the 37th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show when he guided Vocas to the top prize in the $30,000 Pilatus Cup on Saturday afternoon. This was also his second consecutive victory in the Pilatus Cup and his third victory in the class in the last four years.
Vocas was the only one of the five horses who qualified for the jump-off to finish the second round faultlessly, which he did in 34.22 seconds. Twisther and Jonathan McCrea, of Suffield, Conn., finished second (4 faults/31.87 seconds), while Carribas Z and Irish rider Richie Maloney finished third (4/32.61).
Twisther just caught the final oxer with a hind foot, and Carribas Z faulted at the double combination, the second-last fence. “I actually thought Richie’s horse was the fastest horse in the jump-off, so I was glad he had that one down before I went, and then John kind of gave it to me at the last fence,” said Ward, of Brewster, N.Y. Ward’s only disappointment today was that Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve, with whom he won Friday’s $50,000 Spy Coast Farm/Young Horse Show Series Grand Prix qualifier, didn’t make it to the jump-off. The chestnut gelding lowered two fences in he first round. Vocas won the $7,5000 Prudential Douglas Elliman 1.45m Open Jumper class on Thursday.
“It’s been a really good week so far. The horses have been performing really well, and I hope we can do it again tomorrow,” said Ward, referring to Sunday’s $250,000 FTI Grand Prix, which he’ll be seeking to win for the second straight year on Antares F.
The highlight of the Hampton Classic is the $250,000 FTI Grand Prix and FEI World Cup™ Qualifier on Sunday, September 2. This year, the Grand Prix is part of the new Taylor Harris Triple Crown Challenge which awards a $200,000 bonus should the same horse-and-rider combination win the $100,000 Wells Fargo Grand Prix of Devon, $250,000 FTI Grand Prix at the Hampton Classic, and $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix at the Alltech National Horse Show. Ward won the Wells Fargo Grand Prix of Devon on Antares F in May and now stands to win the $200,000 bonus should he ride Antares F to wins in the remaining two events in the Taylor Harris Triple Crown Challenge.
Source: Press release from hamptonclassic.com
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