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Press Release


McLain Ward and Rothchild won the Double H Farm International Open Jumper class at the Alltech National Horse Show in Kentucky, USA on Thursday, November 3

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Written by: Louise Parkes
Client: National Horse Show
Release Date: 2011-11-04

Kentucky, USA, 3 November 2011

New Yorker, McLain Ward, secured a sensational win in the $75,000 Double H Farm International at the Alltech National Horse Show 2011 in Kentucky, USA tonight (Thursday). But he admitted that his determination to succeed was partly driven by the disappointment of being pipped for the honours in Wednesday's opening international competition by fellow-countryman Todd Minikus. "I was upset to be beaten last night, I thought I'd done enough" he admitted, as he sat at the post-competition press conference beside tonight's runner-up, Christine McCrea.

The two Pan-American Games team gold medallists were followed in tonight's line-up by Lauren Hough in third place, while US riders filled the top seven placings. Ward complimented McCrea for her performance when winning the Pan-American individual Jumping title in Guadalajara last Sunday. "Chris won the gold, and I got the tin!" he joked - a final-round pole down costing him the bronze medal in the closing stages of the Mexican fixture.

Richard Jeffery's first-round track produced 14 clear rounds, the straight line of fences from the water-tray oxer at six to the Alltech vertical at seven and the following oxer at eight claiming a number of victims. But some of the biggest surprises of the evening included the mistake from British rider Nick Skelton's grey, Carlo, who landed on the back bar of the oxer at fence three, and the last-rail error by the notoriously speedy partnership of America's Richard Spooner and Cristallo who would have been otherwise expected to pile on the pressure in the second round.


It was Hough who led the way against the clock, and she rode a stormer with Quick Study to break the beam in 37.73 seconds which really put it up to the rest of them. Pace in the run from the vertical, three fences from home, to the penultimate oxer proved key to success, and McCrea, sensationally, shaved one-hundredth of a second off the target time when landing over the second-last in 30 seconds before galloping hard to the last.

Third to go however, Ward was quicker still. His 10 year old Belgian-bred chestnut spends a bit of time in the air, but is super-quick across the ground. "He's a fast little horse and big-striding, he jumped great in the first round and it felt like a good time to take a risk with him. With 14 clears you can't leave a lot on the table. In these classes its better to go early, because people coming after often make mistakes" he pointed out. And that was exactly what happened despite the quality of those who followed.

Analysing the result, McCrea said, "I went as fast as I could but I added a stride across the middle (from the third-last to the penultimate fence) - I did it in nine (strides), McLain did it in seven!" she pointed out, adding, "but my horse jumped great". Talking about the 11 year old Avenir, she said "he's super-fast but intense, a very hot horse, you have to be careful not to push his buttons too much. He can do anything, but you just have to get him working for you," she explained.

America's Charlie Jayne is never a slouch, but went out of contention when Athena hit the second-last, while Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa, going fourth from the end with Let's Fly, lost his chance with a mistake at the first element of the double which was now the third fence on the track. It was some of the rising stars of US jumping that filled the minor placings - Lucy Davis (Nemo) and Saer Coulter (Victory Da) who both rode alongside McCrea in the US team at the FEI Nations Cup competition in Falsterbo, Sweden this summer, slotting into fourth and fifth ahead of another new talent Reed Kessler (Mika) in sixth. Alexa Pessoa and Madison squeezed into seventh ahead of the highest-placed non-American, US-based Irishman Richie Moloney and Ahorn van de Zuuthoeve, who claimed eighth place.


Young talent is everywhere to be seen at the Alltech National Horse Show this week, and another young lady who made a big impression tonight was 20 year old Kaitlin Campbell who secured the winner's purse in the $10,000 Chansonette Farm Amateur Owner Jumpers class riding Rocky W. From Pennsylvania, and taking a Business degree at Washington University, she trains with Rachel Kennedy at ESP Farm in nearby Maryland and has honed her skills by also spending her summers with British-based Irish rider Dave Quigley over the last two years.

The Amateur Owner division is restricted to riders who have no financial gain from the their involvement in the sport and who must own the horses with which they compete. Rocky W, who was formerly ridden by The Netherlands' Ben Schroder, has been with Campbell for five years but missed two of those due to injury. "He's going better than ever now though" Campbell said this evening after putting in a copybook round to beat Meagan Husz and Banana D'Ive by just over a second in the speed competition in which Caitlin Hope and Total Touch finished third.

"I love winning and he loves winning - he's a very fast horse" said Campbell who competed in the World Cup qualifier at Washington last week and who is well-fancied for a top placing in Saturday afternoon's Amateur Owner Jumpers final - the class which precedes the feature competition of the week - Saturday night's Alltech National Horse Show $250,000 Grand Prix.


Double H Farm International Open Jumper - 1, Rothchild (McLain Ward) USA 0/0 36.1; 2, Avenir (Christine McCrea) USA 0/0 37.72; 3, Quick Study (Lauren Hough) USA 0/0 37.73; 4, Nemo (Lucy Davis) USA 41.89; 5, Victory Da (Saer Coulter) USA 41.89; 6, Mika (Reed Kessler) USA 0/4 37.19; 7, Madison (Alexa Pessoa) USA 0/4 37.69; 8, Ahorn van de Zuuthoeve (Richie Moloney) iRL 0/4 37.89; 9, Athena (Charlie Jayne) USA 0/4 39.25; 10, Urban (Blythe Marano) 0/4 40.07.

Chansonette Farm Amateur Owner Jumpers - 1, Rocky W (Kaitlin Campbell) 53.10; 2, Banana D'Ive Z (Meagan Husz) 54.14; 3, Total Touch (Caitlin Hope) 56.86.


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