Gladstone, NJ - It appears US show jumping phenom McLain Ward (Brewster, NY) has a new superstar in his arsenal after Anatares F flew to victory in the Longines International Grand Prix Of Ireland to close out CSIO Dublin in winning style.
Anatares F, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Grant Road Partners, has only been a part of Ward's string since July but their partnership has formed quickly.
After the first round, the top 10 horse/rider combinations came back for round two. Of those, six were clear again, and Ward was the fastest of the group stopping the clock at 43.45 seconds - more than a second faster than second place finisher Kevin Staut and Kraque Boom.
Fellow American Laura Kraut (Ward's teammate on the 2008 Gold-medal winning Olympic Team) also jumped double clear in the Grand Prix, Kraut (Wellington, FL) ended up fifth with Happy Hill Farm's Cedric.
Beezie Madden (also on the 2008 Gold medal team) took home the top honors in the Speed Championship earlier in the day to get things off on a winning foot for the United States. Riding Prima for Neopolitian Holdings, Madden (Cazenovia, NY) outran 20 combinations and stopped the clock at 69.90 seconds. Teammate Cara Raether was also fifth on Lyonell.
For Madden's effort throughout the show she was honored with the Longines Best International Rider Award at CSIO Dublin, which was the final CSIO on the Meydan FEI Nations Cup tour. Eight cities over three months have hosted the 10 best jumping teams in the world for Nations Cup action.
Ward was honored for his achievement throughout the summer when he was awarded the Longines Elegance Award based on his style and success throughout the entire tour. Ward won the Grand Prix at the first two shows: La Baule and Rome - both with his legendary mare Sapphire and chalked up consistent results every time he entered the ring. Finishing up with this win at Dublin, Ward has written another chapter in his legendary career.
Complete results from Dublin are available here: http://www.longinestiming.com/sports/equestrian/racearchives/dublin2010/index.htm and all the Meydan FEI Nations Cup information is available here: http://www.meydanfeinationscup.org/Pages/Default.aspx
Photo: McLain Ward and Anatares F (Erin Cowgill Photo)