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Ward and Sapphire Open Up Huge Leads in AGA Races Following Florida Open Win

Wellington, FL – March 27, 2007 – The 2007 American Grand Prix Association tour is only five events old, but McLain Ward, a three-time American Grand Prix Association (AGA) Rider of the Year, has already put himself in a excellent position to take home a fourth title, following his impressive victory in the richest grand prix ever held in the United States.

Entering its twenty-ninth year, the AGA Grand Prix Series of Show Jumping is the world’s richest and longest running series of equestrian show jumping events. The AGA series offers over $3 million dollars in prize money on a tour that encompasses thirty events and twenty different equestrian markets across the United States.

Ward, and his mount Sapphire, who concurrently leads in the race for AGA Horse of the Year, won the $395,781 CN Worldwide Florida Open on March 17 at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. Ward, who leads with 166 points, picked up an unprecedented 135 points for the victory, this was in addition to the three clear rounds he registered for the biggest win of his career. The CN Worldwide Florida Open win was Ward’s second of the 2007 season in five events. In February he captured the top prize in the $75,000 Bainbridge Idle Dice Classic, CSI-W. In that victory, by comparison, Ward only pocketed 25 points, along with two clear rounds.

Canadian riders rank second through fourth in the latest AGA Rider of the Year standings. Frankie Chesler-Ortiz, a second place finisher to Ward in the Florida Open, is second in the rider race with 93 points, while fellow Canadian Eric Lamaze, with four top finishes during WEF, is in third place with 65 points. Mario Deslauriers rounds out the top four, one point behind Lamaze, with 64. Danielle Torano is fifth with 56 points, and Todd Minikus is a distant sixth with 38 points.

Sapphire, Ward’s Olympic and WEG partner, has nearly a $69,000 lead over Chesler-Ortiz’s Picolien Zeldenrust in the race for AGA Horse of the Year. Sapphire, owned by Ward and Blue Chip Bloodstock has bankrolled a whopping $157,927.00, while Chesler’s mount banks in at $89,052.00. Third place in the race for Horse of the Year is held down by Paradigm, Mario Deslauriers’ top mount, with a total of $59,750.00 in prize money won. Hickstead from the Torrey Pines Stable, with $58,578.00, and Vancouver D'Auvray owned by Sir Ruly, Inc., with $52,770.00, round out the top five.

The next two events on the 2007 AGA tour are in Tampa, Florida. The $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa, CSI-W is on April 1st at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, and the grand finale of the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival, the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, CSI 4* is at Raymond James Stadium on April 7, 2007.

Following the two Florida events, the East Coast AGA tour moves to the Charlotte Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 15, for the $150,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte, CSI 4*.

On the West Coast, the $100,000 HBO Grand Prix of Del Mar takes place on May 5th at the Del Mar Fairgrounds Arena in Del Mar, CA.

AGA Rider of the Year Standings:

Standing

Rider

Total Clear Rounds

Total Points

1

Ward, McLain

5

166

2

Chesler-Ortiz, Frankie

3

93

3

Lamaze, Eric

5

65

4

Deslauriers, Mario

4

64

5

Torano, Danielle

3

56

6

Minikus, Todd

2

38

7

Deusser, Daniel

0

34

8

Fuchs, Marcus

2

32

9

Engle, Margie

2

30

10

Chapot, Laura

3

25

11

Levy, Kate

2

24

12

Berkley, Ken

2

23

13

Madden, Beezie

2

21



Pessoa, Rodrigo

1

21



Silverman, Lisa

1

21

16

Goutal, Brianne

2

20

17

Riley, Schuyler

2

19

18

Ashe, Molly

2

17

19

Bucci, Laurie

3

16

20

Garofalo, Judy

0

14

21

Kraut, Laura

1

13

22

Raether, Cara

0

11

23

Ballard, Erynn

2

10

24

Bloomberg, Georgina

2

9



Kerins, Darragh

1

9



AGA Horse of the Year Standings:

Standing

Horse

Owner

Total Money

1

Sapphire*

McLain Ward

$ 157,927

2

Picolien Zeldenrust

Sher-Al Farm

$ 89,052

3

Paradigm

Mario Deslauriers

$ 59,750

4

Hickstead

Torrey Pines Stable

$ 58,578

5

Vancouver D'Auvray

Sir Ruly, Inc.

$ 52,770

6

Pavarotti

Todd Minikus, LLC

$ 33,957

7

La Toya III

JURI ADOLFO

$ 30,000

8

Hidden Creek's Quervo Gold

Hidden Creek Farm, Inc.

$ 27,000

9

Pristanna

Stal Tops

$ 26,385

10

Little Big Man

Laura Chapot & Chado Farm, Inc.

$ 22,250

11

Vent Du Nord

Kate Levy

$ 22,000

12

Carlos Boy

Krista Weisman

$ 20,457

13

Obelix R

South Shore Farm

$ 20,277

14

Coeur

Double H Farm

$ 20,000

15

Ilian

South Beach Stable

$ 16,500

16

Oliver III

Higher Ground Farm

$ 14,392

17

CoCu

Jane F. Clark

$ 13,200

18

Ublesco

Trelawny Farm, Inc.

$ 10,734

19

Casar (DE)

Cloverlea Farm

$ 10,000

20

Quidam's Ramiro

Claude Dufresne

$ 9,750

21

Onira

Cloverleaf Farm

$ 8,000

22

Judgement

Iron Spring Farm

$ 7,957

23

Robin Van Roosendael

Looking Back Farm

$ 7,800

24

Hooligan De Rosyl

Stal Tops

$ 7,500

25

Anthem

The Summit Group

$ 7,000



25

CIM Christo

Gotham Enterprizes

$ 7,000

2007 AGA Tour Events

6

Grand Prix of Tampa, CSI-W

$ 75,000

Apr 01, 07

Bob Thomas Equestrian Center

Tampa, Florida

CSI-W

7

Budweiser American Invitational, CSI 4*

$ 200,000

Apr 07, 07

Raymond James Stadium

Tampa, Florida

CSI 4*

8

Grand Prix of Charlotte, CSI 4*

$ 150,000

Apr 15, 07

Charlotte Bobcats Arena

Charlotte, NC

CSI 4*

9

HBO Grand Prix of Del Mar

$ 100,000

May 05, 07

Del Mar Fairgrounds Arena

Del Mar, CA



10

Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix

$ 50,000

May 12, 07

Kentucky Horse Park

Lexington, KY



11

Memorial Day Classic Grand Prix

$ 25,000

May 28, 07

Los Angeles Equestrian Center

Burbank, CA



12

Budweiser Grand Prix of Devon

$ 75,000

Jun 07, 07

Devon Horse Show Grounds

Devon, PA



13

Budweiser Upperville Jumper Classic, CSI 3*

$ 100,000

Jun 10, 07

Upperville Show Grounds

Upperville, VA

CSI 3*

14

Oaks Classic

$ 30,000

Jun 10, 07

The Oaks

San Juan Capistrano, CA



15

Budweiser Grand Prix of Lake Placid CSI 3*

$ 75,000

Jul 01, 07

Lake Placid Show Grounds

Lake Placid, NY

CSI

16

Hermes I Love New York Grand Prix, CSI

$ 75,000

Jul 07, 07

Lake Placid Show Grounds

Lake Placid, New-York

CSI

17

Rocky Mountain Grand Prix

$ 40,000

Jul 21, 07

Colorado Horse Park

Parker, CO



18

Merrill Lynch Cleveland Grand Prix

$ 65,000

Jul 22, 07

Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field

Moreland Hills, OH



19

Oregon High Dessert Classic Grand Prix

$ 25,000

Jul 28, 07

J Bar J Boys Ranch

Bend, Oregon



20

Sussex County Grand Prix

$ 50,000

Aug 11, 07

Sussex County Fairgrounds

Sussex, NJ



21

Kentucky Summer Classic

$ 40,000

Aug 12, 07

Kentucky Horse Park

Lexington, KY



22

Budweiser Grand Prix of Indianapolis

$ 65,000

Aug 19, 07

Wild Air Farm

Zionsville, IN



23

Fidelity Investments Jumper Classic

$ 75,000

Sep 09, 07

Grand Prix Field

South Hamilton, MA



24

World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix - CSI-W

$ 50,000

Sep 16, 07

The Oaks

San Juan Capistrano, CA

CSI-W

25

Los Angeles International CSI-W

$ 50,000

Sep 22, 07

Los Angeles Equestrian Center

Burbank, CA

CSI-W

26

American Gold Cup CSI-W

$ 100,000

Sep 23, 07

Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field

Moreland Hills, OH

CSI-W

27

Budweiser Grand Prix De Penn National, CSI-W

$ 65,000

Oct 27, 07

Farm Show Arena

Harrsiburg, PA

CSI-W

28

LA National CSI-W

$ 50,000

Nov 17, 07

Los Angeles Equestrian Center

Burbank, CA

CSI-W

29

AGA Championship (Final)

$ 0

Dec 23, 07

Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club

Wellington, Florida

AGA Championship

Photo Credit: McLain Ward and Sapphire are leading the races for AGA Rider and Horse of the Year respectively. Photo © 2007 by PhelpsSports.com.

 

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