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McLain Ward and Noche de Ronda make it an American win in the Allianz Prize at CHIO Aachen

Saturday, 20 July 2019
CHIO Aachen 2019

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.
McLain Ward and Noche de Ronda won the Allianz Prize at CHIO Aachen. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



The best 32 riders over the first four days of competition at CHIO Aachen had qualified to Saturday afternoon’s Allianz Prize. The 1.55m competition with a winning round saw the ten best horse-and-rider combinations from the first round return to the winning round, where they all started on a score of zero.

First out in the winning round, Martin Fuchs (SUI) on the 10-year-old gelding Silver Shine (Califax x Balou du Rouet) clocked a time of 56.20 seconds which for a while looked unbeatably fast as the riders following him could not get anywhere near his time. 

But then came McLain Ward (USA). Riding the 10-year-old mare Noche de Ronda (Quintender x Loves Corinth), the American legend shaved a second off Fuch’s time when stopping the clocks on 55.29 seconds – pushing the Swiss rider down to second place. Last to go Steve Guerdat (SUI) on Venard de Cerisy (Open Up Semilly x Djalisco du Guet) did a blazing fast round in 53.51 seconds but as the final two fences fell to the ground the victory was Ward’s.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping Runners-up: Martin Fuchs and Silver Shine. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“She is a very new horse for me, we purchased her in March from a Mexican rider who had produced her since she was four,” Ward told World of Showjumping about his winning mount. “Now we are bringing the horse along the last steps, and she has done a brilliant job,” he continued. “We are getting to the end of the week and obviously the courses are getting more difficult, and the horses are getting a bit tired,” Ward explained about the demanding course that only saw two clear performances in the first round. “My horse already jumped two rounds during the Nations Cup the other night, so for her to come back again and perform the way she did, we are very, very thrilled.” 

As to where the American rider made the winning difference, Ward said: ”From one to two I did one less stride than anybody else. Only Steve did the same, so I needed a little luck today. My mare has a big stride and I tried to be fast everywhere.”

And Ward’s feeling about CHIO Aachen in general? “It is like the Vatican,” Ward smiled. “For showjumpers to win here, to only be a part of this, is special. To win here I think is a dream for any rider.”

Ben Maher (GBR) on F One USA (Toulon x Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve) took the third place with a time of 58.98 seconds, while Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) on Dinky Toy v. Kranenburg (Ugano Sitte x Kimball) took the fourth place with a time of 60.22 seconds.  The fifth spot went to Olivier Robert (FRA) on Vivaldi Des Meneaux (Chippendale Z x Bamako), with a pole down in 56.29 seconds.


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