Wellington, FL - March 18, 2011 - McLain Ward (USA) took the win today in the $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic with Rothchild, owned by Sagamore Farms. The class was the feature event on Friday at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, which is in its tenth week of competition.
The G&C Farm 1.45m Classic is part of an initiative to increase FEI ROLEX ranking classes at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Thanks to the support of G&C Farm, owned by Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal, the FTI WEF was able to add eight new FEI ROLEX ranking classes to the schedule. There are now 27 ranking classes during the FTI WEF. G&C Farm has kindly sponsored the 1.45m Jumper division, which adds five of the additional FEI ROLEX ranking classes.
The FTI WEF's tenth week of competition, sponsored by Artisan Farms, continues through Sunday, March 20. On Saturday, the Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic will run at 1 p.m. followed by the $50,000 Vita Flex Match Races at 7 p.m. Sunday will conclude week ten at The Stadium with the $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Riders Grand Prix at 10 a.m. and the $78,000 Pennfield Feeds FEI CSI 2* Grand Prix at 2 p.m., each held on the grass field at The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center Stadium. The 2011 WEF will continue through April 3 and award more than $6 million in prize money.
Michel Vaillancourt of Aiken, SC, is the course designer in the International Arena this week. Today's class was a Time First Round format where riders went for speed. There were 35 entries in the class, and eight were clear to lead the top of the ribbons. McLain Ward and Rothchild were extremely quick throughout the course and took the win in 70.83 seconds. The early leader was Pablo Barrios (VEN) on G&C LaGran, who stopped the timers in 74.22 seconds. Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) and Uno were third in 74.49 seconds. Barrios and his second mount, G&C Flash, were fourth in 75.12 seconds. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Amaretto D'Arco were fifth in 76.44 seconds.
Ward was very pleased with Rothchild, who has been a steady performer throughout the circuit. "He's naturally a very fast horse, which makes it nice to go against the clock because you don't have to do anything extra. You just almost ride a normal round. We had a plan and he has a big step, so we did a few leave-outs. I kept a neat track," he explained.
Ward went earlier in the class on Pjotter van de Zonnehoeve, so he was able to figure out what would work when he went for time on Rothchild. He noted, "I rode earlier in the class, just a quiet round to get Pjotter ready for the grand prix on Sunday. I had a feeling for the course. I saw a couple go around Pablo's time that had faults, so I knew the pace. I knew the plan was quick enough if I didn't have any jumps down."
Week ten of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival will continue tomorrow with the Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic will run at 1 p.m. followed by the $50,000 Vita Flex Match Races at 7 p.m.
Final Results: $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic
1 ROTHCHILD: 2001 SBS gelding by Artos x Elegant De L'Ile MCLAIN WARD (USA), Sagamore Farms: 0/70.83
2 G&C LAGRAN: 1999 Oldenburg gelding by Lancer II x Grannus PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), Pablo Barrios and Gustavo Mirabal: 0/74.22
3 UNO: 2001 KWPN gelding by Fuego du Prelet x Power SERGIO ALVAREZ MOYA (SPA), Mileworld Limited: 0/74.49
4 G&C FLASH: 2002 Hanoverian gelding by Forrester x Grannus PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), Pablo Barrios and Gustavo Mirabal: 0/75.12
5 AMARETTO D ARCO: 2000 BWP stallion by Darco x Tenor Manciais SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm LLC: 0/76.44
6 DONA EVITA: 2003 BWP mare by Darco x Fleuri Du Manoir LAURA KRAUT (USA), Brutsaert Trading: 0/77.10
7 RADIO CITY: 2001 Holsteiner mare by Liatos x Carthago GEORGINA BLOOMBERG (USA), Gotham Enterprizes: 0/79.53
8 LAPSUS DU LAVOIR: 1999 Selle Francais Gelding by Animo x Vol d'Amour LJUBOV KOCHETOVA (RUS), Ljubov Kochetova: 0/82.13
9 VICTOR: 2002 KWPN gelding by Elmshorn x Grandeur TIFFANY FOSTER (USA), Artisan Farms & Torrey Pines LLC: 1/87.53
10 CARISMA: 2002 Danish Warmblood mare by Willemoes x Racot EMILIE MARTINSEN (DEN), Emilie Martensen: 1/88.94
11 ROLLS: 2004 Oldenburg gelding by Kannan x Quilot LJUBOV KOCHETOVA (RUS), Ljubov Kochetova: 3/95.48
12 QUAINTON QUIRIFINO Z: 2000 Zangersheide stallion by Quidam De Revel x Grosso ZBEN MAHER (GBR), Quainton Stud: 4/71.47
Photo Credit: McLain Ward and Rothchild won the $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic during week ten at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com.