McLain Ward claims national Grand Prix at WEC

McLain Ward  claims national Grand Prix at WEC

In the culminating competition of the 2024 Winter Spectacular Show Series at World Equestrian Center – Ocala (WEC), two-time Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward (USA) led wire-to-wire to win the $50,000 national Grand Prix. It was the end to an incredible week of competition during the Longines League of Nations™ CSIO5* as well as another successful winter circuit.

Ward was the first to return in a field of six in the jump-off. He was aboard Quimi del Maset, a 10-year-old Spanish Sporthorse gelding by Quasimodo Z x Indret del Masset owned by Sport Four USA LLC. He set the time to beat at 40.948 seconds with zero faults. The rest of the class had to chase, but none could better Ward’s time.

Coming closest was Daniel Coyle (IRL) with Ariel Grange’s Jasper, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding by Falaise de Muze x Gelha’s VDL Emilion, who was clear in 41.015 seconds. Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Casanyo PS, a nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Casallco x Grand Canyon owned by Starlight Farms 1 LLC, were third in 42.228 seconds with no faults.

“My horse has a very big stride, so he covers the ground very easily,” explained Ward. “I know I can do some numbers that maybe were going to be difficult for the others. Obviously in particular Erynn (Ballard) and Daniel (Coyle) are very fast, but it worked out in my favor today.”

Ward brought top horses Ilex and Callas to compete in the five-star division, and then had two additional horses, Quimi del Maset and Chicago CM, in the national division. Ward believes that Quimi del Maset is a horse with a “bright future” and is “an incredible talent.”

“Quimi is a horse that has an incredible amount of potential,” said Ward. “Unfortunately, he had an injury at the end of last year, but he has been on his way back. We competed several weeks in Wellington, but I wanted to get a new venue and just get a little fresh air, and what a great setup this is at WEC – Ocala.”

source: WEC