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Ward Wins $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix to Culminate the 2003 Hampton Classic Horse Show

Bridgehampton, NY—August 31, 2003-- The 28th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show was once again the perfect end to the perfect summer. McLain Ward of Brewster, NY rode Hurricane, owned by Sarah B. Willeman & Turnabout Farm, to win his third $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix in Bridgehampton, NY. The former mayor of New York City, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, presented Ward with his award.

After the qualifying competition, the $30,000 Adequan Grand Prix held on Friday, August 29, 29 horses qualified to compete in the week’s highlighted event. Out of the starting field, only five horse-and-rider combinations managed to ride clear over Olympian Conrad Homfeld’s first round course to qualify to ride over the shortened jump-off course.

Going first in the jump-off, Ward was the only rider to leave all eight fences of the jump-off in place. With all the rails still remaining in the cups, Ward crossed through the timers in a time of 41.48 seconds to earn his third $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix win. Margie Engle of Wellington, FL to hold the is the only other rider to have accumulated three wins in the $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix.

Although he was the first to go, Ward exited the ring and knew he had done his best. “I thought I had won it- I was sure… I went as fast as I could push my horse to go. I don’t think I could have gone much faster,” he explained.

Although Ward was in the winner’s circle here in the Hamptons in 1998 and 1999 aboard Twist du Valon, this was a special win for him. “This was a big deal for me. It was a big course, as big as I’ve seen it,” Ward said.

Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL piloted Viktor, owned by Mr. Harry Gill, to a second place finish. The fastest of the four fault rounds, Minikus crossed through the timers in a time of 40.10 seconds. A former mount of Ward’s, he knew the horse’s strengths and was slightly worried to have him going in the ring behind him. “I know how fast that horse is, and how fast Todd is so I was a little worried, but I was happy to see them do so well,” Ward said.

Two-time $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix winner, Jeffery Wells of Pound Ridge, NY rode Penelope to finish third with four faults and a time of 42.03 seconds.

The 28th Hampton Classic Horse Show featured the top riders in the country competing in Bridgehampton, NY. The week long event, which ran from August 24-31, was highlighted by the $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix, a member event of the King Shavings U.S. Grand Prix League (USGPL) along with the $30,000 Adequan® Fiesta Day Grand Prix, the qualifying event for Sunday’s $150,000 Prudential Financial Grand Prix, and the $25,000 Sally Hansen Grand Prix on Saturday, August 30.

Numerous activities and exhibitions took place throughout the week while shopping was at its best in the Boutique Garden and Stable Row. .


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