For the second consecutive year, two-time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward of Brewster, NY, finds himself going into the $250,000 FTI Hampton Classic Grand Prix with the potential of winning the Taylor Harris Triple Crown Challenge. This unique challenge awards riders a $200,000 bonus should the same horse-and-rider combination win three of the country's best grand prix events in the same year.
The first event was the $100,000 Wells Fargo Grand Prix of Devon held on May 30th. It was there that Ward won the first leg on Rothchild and now stands to take home the bonus should the pair win the remaining two events in the Challenge. The second event, the $250,000 FTI Hampton Classic Grand Prix will take place on September 1st at the Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton, NY. Having won the Hampton Classic Grand Prix a record six times in his career it will be an exciting moment as Ward and Rothchild enter the grass arena.
Ward has been in this position before. Just last year, during the inaugural year of the Challenge, Ward had one leg of the challenge in the record books after collecting the blue at Devon on Antares F. But the pair couldn't pull off the win at the Hampton Classic when Kent Farrington of Chicago, IL, came in on Voyeur and shut down Ward's streak.
Although Ward didn't lead the victory gallop in the $250,000 class he did win four major jumper classes in 2012.
If Ward can pull off a win and get another step closer to taking home the bonus, the final leg of the challenge will be the $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix, held on November 2nd at the Alltech National Horse Show in Lexington, KY.
McLain Ward and Rothchild won the first leg of the THIS Triple Crown Challenge at the Devon Horse Show - photo by The Book LLC
"It's exciting to watch someone like McLain Ward head into the second leg of the Challenge," said Michael Taylor, the President of Taylor Harris Insurance Services. "Knowing he's won the Hampton Classic Grand Prix six times in his career makes it all that much more possible to have him grab another leg of the Challenge. Taylor Harris Insurance is a proud supporter of equestrian sport and the excellence it requires to walk out with the blue ribbon. We are excited at the possibility of McLain emerging victorious in South Hampton and heading to the Alltech National Horse Show having won two legs of the Challenge."
Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) was founded in 1987 to provide specialized insurance for all types of equine risk including property and casualty. Taylor Harris works with their clients to ensure they are equipped with the insurance coverage that's right for each individual case. THIS places all policies with the highest rated and most secure insurance carriers, which are also selected for their prompt and reliable claims settlement. Their goal is providing insurance protection for all personal and professional equestrian related risk and delivering peace of mind for their clients.