McLain Ward had a slow start to his season this year, but he’s been picking up steam the last month or so. And with his latest win in tonight’s $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix on HH Carlos, he’s firmly back in the spotlight.
“As I always say to [owner Hunter Harrison], he’s one of these horses that it’s always worth getting dressed for,” said Ward, Brewster, N.Y. “He’s always going to fight and try and go big, and we really appreciate those athletes.”
Kelley Farmer and Mindful topped Round 1 of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby today at the Winter Equestrian Festival. The 2014 Chronicle of the Horse Hunter Horse of the Year earned matching scores of 90 and topped all the high option fences on their way to the top of Round 1. She has a 10-point lead over Say When and Canadian Darcy Hayes, with Tori Colvin riding Heritage Farms’ Vaillero into third.
It’s not very often that the horse you pick out as a yearling goes on to win in the International Ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center under your saddle. But Sarah Scheiring did just that when she piloted Eros SCF to the top of the $15,000 Adequan 6-year-old Classic today at the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Charlie Jayne smoked the competition in the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix with Chill R Z. Check out his flawless first round, then watch all six competitors jump off, with six rounds from Baronez (Kirsten Coe, fifth), Ohlala (Lauren Hough, fourth), Aristotles V (Jonathan McCrea, sixth), Rothchild (McLain Ward, second), Chill R Z and VDL Wizard (Callan Solem).
When there’s a line-up full of experienced hunters competing for the biggest hunter paycheck of the HITS Ocala circuit, you don’t expect a 5-year-old to step up for blue. But rider Adrienne Iverson wasn’t surprised that her partner Fandango HX earned a serious payday. He’s been a natural in the hunter ring since he started just six weeks ago.
As the final east coast qualifier of the season, the lineup of the $50,000 Live Oak International CSI-W included an awful lot of ambitious riders all jockeying for an invitation to the Longines FEI World Cup Final in Las Vegas this April. But Cian O’Connor had a much more modest goal: He just wanted to test out his rising star, Good Luck, with an outing on the grass. And that stallion outdid himself, rising to the top of the 46-horse class in a competitive class to earn blue for the Irish rider and owner Adena Springs.
There's plenty to see around the HITS Ocala showgrounds, and it doesn't all happen in the show ring. Here are a few of our favorite moments from today. Want to see more from HITS Ocala? Check out this gallery from yesterday's action.