Watch: Ward continues winning tradition at WEF

Credit : Sportfot

Thursday 07 March - 14h10 | Edited press release

Watch: Ward continues winning tradition at WEF

The ninth week of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) started off competition in the International Arena on Wednesday, March 6, with the $36,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m class which saw victory for McLain Ward (USA) on Tradition de la Roque. Week 9 continues through Sunday, March 10. Link to video below.

Week 9 of WEF will host a variety of two-star and five-star events all leading up to Saturday night’s $391,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate Grand Prix CSI 5*. Top national competition in the hunters, jumpers, and equitation will also be offered throughout the week. The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center will see competition from some of the world’s best riders through March 31.

Kristen Vanderveen (USA) took the early lead in Wednesday’s class aboard Bull Run’s Prince of Peace, but her time of 35.981 seconds was unseated by Rodrigo Lambre (BRA) after several rounds and she would finish in eighth place. Lambre and Mario Onate’s Chacanno finished sixth.

Fifteen trips into the line-up, Great Britain’s William Whitaker once again changed up the leaderboard clocking in at 35.32 seconds with the Rushy Marsh Farm’s RMF Echo. The time laid down by Whitaker and the 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Virus De Laubry x Jasmine D) was enough to place the pair third overall.

As the fifth to last competitor, Diego Vivero (ECU) took over the lead with the fastest clean round at the time in 34.97 seconds. He and Javier Estrada’s 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Bamako De Muze x Fiona Ter Elzen), Capiche ‘Ter Elzen’, wrapped up the class in second place. Slotting into fourth place was Erynn Ballard (CAN) riding Ilan Ferder’s Ceitasi, while Karen Polle (JPN) and her own Little Lord 90 were fifth. Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (MEX) and Just Nice van het Indihof, owned by Enny Salgado Negrete, were seventh.
Ward rode Kessler Show Stables Europe BV’s Tradition De La Roque and was the clear winner when the pair crossed through the timers in 33.27 seconds. The victory is the second FEI ranking class win for Ward and the 12-year-old Selle Francais mare (Kannan x Karioa Grand Pre) that was previously shown internationally by young professional Reed Kessler and is now being marketed by Ward.

“She has been great for us, and we are very lucky to have her in our stable,” he commented of Tradition. “She has been a real star down here and has now won several classes and had top placings in others, so we are really thrilled with her."

“I think Alan Wade is one of my favorite course designers in the world so I enjoy his tracks, and they always make sense to me,” Ward continued on his thoughts of the class. “As the first big class of the week, the route was probably a bit friendly but because it is a five-star it is also very fast.”

He added, “I got to go at the very end of the class so I was able to see what was the smart risk and what was maybe the not so smart risk.”

International jumper competition returns Thursday with the ninth round of the $134,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup as the highlight class in the International Arena. Video: McLain Ward and Tradition de la Roque's winning round. 

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