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McLain Ward Finishes One-Two With Goldika And Hurricane In WEF $25,000 CN Challenge Cup Series, Round VI, CSI***

WELLINGTON, FL – March 4, 2004 – After a streak of 10 wins followed by two weeks out of the winner’s circle in the International Arena, McLain Ward took the blue and the red ribbons today, and joked, “I had to make up for not being first!” Ward 28, of Brewster, New York, claimed the two top spots in the WEF $25,000 CN Challenge Cup Series, Round VI today at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. Topping a class of 66 horses over a course designed by Germany’s Dr. Arno Gego, Ward claimed victory with Goldika 559 owned by Double H Farm, and second place with Hurricane I owned by Turnabout Farm. Ward’s two horses were the fastest of seven double-clear performances in the 15-horse jump-off. Canada’s Ashley Vince placed third with Catch 22 owned by Trinity Farm.

$25,000 WEF Challenge Cup Series Winner: Goldika 559, ridden by McLain Ward, owned by Double H Farm
Photo Credit: Randi Muster

Dr. Gego built a 16-effort round one track that did not in include a triple, but did challenge the riders with three double combinations – two of them right in a row at fences nine and 10, and then the final fence, number 13 with time allowed at 84 seconds. Ward said the track was, “Good, not crazy, but basically consistent with what we’ve been doing. I thought the jumps were wider this week in general than they have been, but Dr. Gego is known for doing that. I was thrilled with the way my two horses performed.”

WEF Challenge Cup Second Place: Hurricane I, ridden by McLain Ward, owned by Turnabout Farm
Photo Credit: Randi Muster

With 15 horses clear for the 52-second time allowed tiebreaker, the first seven horses were not able to go clean over the seven-effort short course, which again included 13AB as the last fence. Going eighth in the order, Ward posted the first clear trip with Hurricane, a 14-year-old, bay 17.1-hand Hanoverian gelding trained by Missy Clark. The duo clocked in at 30.59 seconds. The next five riders chased Ward and all of them went clear, but none could catch the time except for Ward himself. Tackling the track as the 12th rider, Ward aboard Goldika 559, the 12-year-old bay Holsteiner German-bred mare, broke the beam at 28.91 seconds. Two more clears followed but to no avail. Vince followed Ward in the order and blazed the track in 30.62 for a third place ribbon in splits.

“I knew the last double was going to be difficult actually for Hurricane. I wasn’t so worried about it with Goldika,” said Ward. “But the rest of the jump-off was a great jump-off for Hurricane – rollbacks on big oxers. He’s a very scopey horse and he can do that. It was actually not a great jump-off course for Goldika because she’s more of a running horse. She can win classes with ground speed more than turning. But everything just showed up and she was really on form today. It was a great finish.”

The win was especially gratifying to Ward after his break from a string of victory laps that started off his 2004 WEF season. “Everything was going good the first three weeks and then the fourth week, I showed Goldika and she was a little injured in her back and I didn’t realize it,” explained Ward. “We had a bad grand prix and I was quite upset and disappointed. We actually had a nice week last week – the horses were very good, a little bit unlucky not to win a big class, but jumped well. I felt that with Goldika I had to redeem myself a little bit today and so it was a big win.” Goldika had previously won the class during Week I and Hurricane won it Weeks 2 and 3. “Hurricane was obviously great,” said Ward of today’s red ribbon winner. “The only thing standing between him and the win was Goldika. That’s a very nice win for both owners.”

In town this week for the CN-sponsored show is the Harrison Family, owners of Double H Farm and Goldika, as well as several other Ward-ridden mounts. Hunter Harrison is CN’s President and CEO. “Yes they’re here and very excited –a win is always nice for your horse but when it happens for the sponsor of the show that week, that’s a bonus,” said Ward.

Regular Conformation Hunter Championship Winner: Westcliffe, ridden by Ken Smith, owned by Christy Russo
Photo Credit: Randi Muster

After two days of competition in the Grand Hunter Field, three Championships were awarded today. Ken Smith riding Westcliffe owned by Christy Russo won the Regular Conformation Hunter Championship. Scott Stewart riding For The Music owned by Krista Weisman claimed the Reserve.

Regular Working Hunter Championship Winner: Primo, ridden by Scott Stewart, owned by Air Farm
Photo Credit: Randi Muster

Scott Stewart riding Primo for owner Air Farm won the Regular Working Hunter Championship. Rob Bielefeld aboard Lucky owned by Samantha Hallman earned the Reserve. First Savings Mortgage Company sponsors the Regular Working Hunter Division.

Second Year Green Hunter Championship Winner: Southern Lights, ridden by, Samantha Conroy and owned by Dr. Sheila Buchbinder
Photo Credit: Randi Muster

Samantha Conroy riding Southern Lights owned by Dr. Sheila Buchbinder won the Second Year Green Hunter Championship. Tommy Serio riding Jazz for owner Caroli Stables claimed the Reserve.

J.D. Godart is the course designer for the Grand Hunter Field and the Rost Arena this week.

For complete results visit


Show days for the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival are Wednesday through Sunday. Gates open at 8:00 am. Ticket Prices: Wednesdays are free to everyone; Children 12 and under are admitted free every day; Young Adults 13 to 18 and Seniors are $5 on Thursday through Sunday; Adults are $5 on Thursday and Friday, $10 on Saturday, and $15 on Sunday. The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club is located on Pierson Road off South Shore Boulevard. For additional information, visit or call 561-793-5867.


March 3 - 7 CN Wellington Open CSI-W

March 10 - 14 CSIO United States Cosequin Finale CSIO***

March 18 - 21 Zada Enterprises WEF Dressage Classic CDI***/Y

(Qualifier for Olympic Selection Trials)

March 24 - 28 Tampa Bay Classic CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian Center)

March 30 - April 3 Tournament of Champions CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian Center)

April 3 Budweiser American Invitational (Raymond James Stadium)


March 7 $75,000 CN Wellington Open presented by Estates of Wellington Green, CDI-W

March 12 $50,000 Samsung Nations’ Cup, presented by CN, CSIO****

March 14 $100,000 Cosequin U.S. Open Jumper Championship, CSIO****

March 28 $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa, presented by Kilkenny/ICH, CSI-W

April 3 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational,

Presented by Publix and The Tampa Tribune


Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

April 9 -11 Charlotte Jumper Classic CSI****

April 11 $150,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte For the Charlotte Bobcat Cup


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