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McLain Ward makes repeat win at American Gold Cup with Tradition De La Roque in Fidelity Investments® Classic

Sunday, 30 September 2018
CSI4*-W American Gold Cup 2018

Photo (c) Taylor Rains/Phelps Media Group. McLain Ward and Tradition De La Roque. Photo (c) Taylor Rains/Phelps Media Group.

Saturday hosted the $70,000 Fidelity Investments® Classic CSI4* at the American Gold Cup, where McLain Ward (USA) captured yet another win in the day's highlight event, this time aboard Tradition De La Roque (Kannan x Oberon du Moulin), owned by Kessler Show Stables Europe B.V. The pair bested a total of 51 entries with a double-clear performance in 35.84 seconds.

"She's another horse of Reed Kessler's. This one is for sale. Reed has gone back to school and this was kind of her main campaign in the grand prix [classes] over the last few years. She has a lot of experience. This is only my second show with her so I'm really thrilled with the results. She's a really straightforward, kind horse," Ward says about his ride. 

Held on the Grand Prix Field at Old Salem Farm, Alan Wade (IRL) built a challenging 13-obstacle first round track set at 1.50m in height, which saw 11 cross the finish line with no faults to secure their spot in the jump-off.

Canada's Mario Deslauriers was the early double-clear pathfinder in the jump-off with Amsterdam (Catoki x Acord II), owned by Luja LLC and Wishing Well Farm LLC. They stopped the timers in 38.13 seconds, but would take home fourth place honors at the end of the day.

Student of Ward's and fellow NetJets® U.S. Show Jumping Team gold medalist, Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) was next to jump fault-free over the shortened course with Sagamore Farms' Fantast (Toulon x Rubens du Ri d'Asse) in 37.44 seconds to move into the lead.

However, it was Capt. Brian Cournane (IRL) and his own and Christine Stiller's Penelope Cruz (Ustinov x Peter Pan) who narrowly slid into the first place position two rounds later, finishing fourth-tenths of a second faster than Sternlicht in 37.05 seconds.

Next up in the order, Ward, who has been having great success with a new string of horses at this year's American Gold Cup, blazed around the eight-fence track with the 11-year-old Selle Français mare. In only their second show together, they posted a time of 35.84 seconds to overtake Cournane with one more combination left to go.

Eighteen-year-old Caitlyn Connors (USA) and Express Blue GP Du Bois Madame (Ultra Blue J x unknown), owned by Caitlyn Connors LLC, concluded Saturday's competition on the Grand Prix Field with the last double-clear effort in 40.81 seconds, securing Ward the win, Cournane second place and Sternlicht third place.

With Deslauriers claiming fourth place, Connors finished in fifth place, while Richie Moloney (IRL) and Equinimity LLC's Freestyle De Muze (Lord Z x Cento) rounded out the double-clear standings in sixth place in 45.98 seconds.

The 2018 American Gold Cup culminates with the coveted $204,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ New York CSI4*-W on Sunday, Sept. 30, at 2 p.m., where the top 40 athletes from Friday's qualifier will go head-to-head for the highly sought-after American Gold Cup. Prior to the event's start time, Ward will retire his legendary partner, Rothchild, in a special ceremony.


Press release from Phelps Media Group Inc

Photo © Taylor Rains/Phelps Media Group

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