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McLain Ward and Larioso Charge to $10,000 National Horse Show Open Speed Stake Win

Wellington, FL - December 8, 2007 - McLain Ward and the 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding Larioso, who is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock, raced to the win today over 18 other competitors to win their first class of the week at the 124th National Horse Show and Family Festival. The five-day equestrian extravaganza ends tomorrow with the highlight class, the $100,000 National Horse Show Grand Prix FEI World Cup(TM) for the Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship, presented by Equine Motorcoach.

Ward was able to bring home Larioso just ahead of Kent Farrington on Nerina, who finished third, and hold onto his lead despite a late, very quick challenge from Hillary Dobbs with Marengo. There were 10 clear rounds today. Ward described, "In comparison, last night was quite soft, and today's speed class was a very solid track for this division. I don't think it was unfair, but it certainly was challenging."

The early leader was Farrington on Nerina, who crossed the timers in the Pierre Jolicouer-designed course in 61.01 seconds. Three trips later, it was Ward on Larioso, a horse who is known for his speed and trademark "no hang-time" style. Ward and Larioso were very fast from fence 7, a wide oxer that most rode on a left to right slice, to fence 8, which was around the gazebo in the middle of the ring. They came down to the final jump 12, a one stride set close to the in-gate. Larioso had to stretch out over the second element oxer, and Ward vocally urged him on. The pole rattled hard in the cups, but it stayed in place. Ward had taken the lead with a time of 60.06 seconds.

Ward saw Farrington go before him and stuck with his plan. "I thought he was quite quick, but his horse is a little slow in the air, I know that. I did what I had to do," he said. About his ride over the last jump, Ward said, "I was thinking I wasn't getting to the back rail. It was a funny angle and my horse has a left drift, so it made it very long."

No other challengers would come close to Ward due to the faults-converted format until Dobbs and Marengo, Thursday's speed classic winners, entered the ring. Dobbs was very fast again, but pulled to one jump on course and added a split second of time. She crossed the timers and looked back to see a time of 60.25 seconds, just off the pace, but good enough for second place.

"I'm glad Hillary took a pull because otherwise she would have won," Ward joked. "Hillary on that horse has had a wonderful season and lately has been a really strong competitor and someone you worry about coming after you in a jump-off or a speed class."

Ward had a rail in last night's grand prix with Larioso, and he will ride Phillipa in tomorrow's grand prix, which starts at 2 p.m. in the Internationale Arena. "You need a little luck," he said. "Last night I think I was a little bit unlucky not to win the class and today I was a little bit lucky. It evens out in the end." He hopes his luck continues, but as anyone who knows the competitive rider, his chances are more than good.

Final Results: $10,000 National Horse Show Open Speed Stake

Horse, Rider, Owner, Time with faults added

1.LARIOSO, MCLAIN WARD, BLUECHIP BLOODSTOCK, 60.050

2. MARENGO, HILLARY DOBBS, THE DOBBS GROUP, 60.250

3. NERINA, KENT FARRINGTON, JAVIER SALVADOR, 61.010

4. MARLO, JIMMY TORANO, JIMMY TORANO/SIR RULY, 65.590

5. MORGAN, JIMMY TORANO, RV SALES OF BROWARD, 66.010

6. MAYEBELLINE, DARRAGH KERINS, DOUBLE H FARM, 66.120

7. CORLETT, HILLARY DOBBS, THE DOBBS GROUP, 67.060

8. H & M OBERON, ALI WOLFF, BLACKLICK BEND FARM, 69.200

9. IDEFIX 99, LAUREN HOUGH, TEQUESTRIAN FARMS, 69.310

10. LITTLE EMIR, SHANE SWEETNAM, SPY COAST FARM LLC, 70.466



Photo Credit: Larioso and McLain Ward, winners of the $10,000 National Horse Show Open Speed Stake. Photo (C) Randi Muster. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.

 

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