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McLain Ward Leads in AGA Rider of Year Race After Charlotte Jumper Classic Win

Sapphire Eclipses All-Time Money Total for Horse of Year after Only Eight Events

Wellington, FL – April 24, 2007 – McLain Ward, winner of the $150,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte, CSI 4* on April 15, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina, has broadened what was already an almost insurmountable lead in the race for 2007 American Grand Prix Association (AGA) Rider of the Year.

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’s 275 points is already the most points ever accumulated in the history of the American Grand Prix Association tour, with twenty-one AGA events still remaining on the 2007 calendar. The previous record total was 184 points, won by Margie Engle during the 1999 competition year. Following victories in the $75,000 Bainbridge Idle Dice Classic, CSI-W, and the richest grand prix ever held in the United States, the $395,781 CN Worldwide Florida Open Grand Prix, Ward finished second in the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, CSI 4*, He added sixty-one points for his win in Charlotte to go along with his eight clear rounds.

Beezie Madden, winner of the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, CSI 4*, is a distant second to Ward in the AGA Rider of the Year race with 112 points and six clear rides. Canadian rider Eric Lamaze, with a third place finish in Charlotte, moves ahead of fellow Canadian Frankie Chesler-Ortiz with 98 points. Chesler-Ortiz holds steady with 93 in fourth place and Mario Deslauriers, also from Canada, is fifth with 72 points.

The AGA Horse of the Year leader, Sapphire, owned by McLain Ward and Blue Chip Bloodstock, has amassed $201,927, close to double the previous record money total held by Anne Kursinski’s Eros during the 1999 AGA season. Eros totaled $105,650 over the course of that campaign. Picolien Zeldenrust, owned by the Sher-Al Farm remains second in the horse of the year battle with $89,052 while Authentic, under the banner of owner Abigail Wexner, is third with $82,500 in the bank. Paradigm, owned by Mario Deslauriers ($67,75), and Hickstead ($64,578) from the Torrey Pines & Ashland Stables, are fourth and fifth. McLain Ward’s Larioso, on the strength of the victory in Charlotte, sails up the charts into sixth place with a total of $63,500 in money won.

Cara Cheska with $3,750 remains the only rider on the board for this year’s AGA Rookie of the Year title.

The next competition in the East is the $50,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix at the Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, on May 12, and following that the $75,000 Grand Prix of Devon at Devon, PA, on June 7, takes center stage. Three days later, the tour moves to Upperville, VA, for the $100,000 Upperville Jumper Classic on June 10th.

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. After Del Mar, it’s on to the Memorial Day Classic in Burbank, CA, on May 28, 2007.



AGA Rider of the Year Standings:

Standing

Rider

Total Clear Rounds

Total Points

1

Ward, McLain

8

275

2

Madden, Beezie

6

112

3

Lamaze, Eric

6

98

4

Chesler-Ortiz, Frankie

3

93

5

Deslauriers, Mario

4

72

6

Torano, Danielle

3

56

7

Farrington, Kent

2

50

8

Engle, Margie

3

43



Spooner, Richard

3

43

10

Minikus, Todd

2

38

11

Raether, Cara

0

35

12

Deusser, Daniel

0

34

13

Fuchs, Marcus

2

32



Millar, Ian

2

32

15

Berkley, Ken

4

31

16

Kraut, Laura

3

29

17

Ashe, Molly

3

27



Levy, Kate

3

27



Pessoa, Rodrigo

1

27

20

Chapot, Laura

3

25

21

Silverman, Lisa

1

21

22

Garofalo Torres, Judy

0

20



Goutal, Brianne

2

20

24

Riley, Schuyler

2

19

25

Bucci, Laurie

3

18

26

Solem, Callan

0

16

27

Ballard, Erynn

2

10



King, Kyle

0

10

29

Bloomberg, Georgina

2

9



Hough, Lauren

2

9



Kerins, Darragh

1

9



McCrea, Christine

1

9



AGA Horse of the Year Standings:

Standing Horse Owner Total Money

1 Sapphire* McLain Ward & Blue Chip Bloodstock $ 201,927

2 Picolien Zeldenrust Sher-Al Farm $ 89,052

3 Authentic Abigail Wexner $ 82,500

4 Paradigm Mario Deslauriers $ 67,750

5 Hickstead Torrey Pines & Ashland Stables $ 64,578

6 Larioso McLain Ward $ 63,500

7 Vancouver D'Auvrey Sir Ruly, Inc. $ 52,770

8 Up Chiqui Jennifer Greenleaf & Javier Salvador $ 47,600

9 Cristallo Show Jumping Syndication's Int'l $ 39,096

10 Hidden Creek's Quervo Gold Hidden Creek Farm, Inc. $ 39,000

11 Pavarotti Mordechay Shahak $ 33,957

12 Ublesco Trelawny Farm, Inc. $ 32,734

13 La Toya III JURI ADOLFO $ 30,000

14 In Style Susan Grange & Lothlorien $ 27,500

15 Carlos Boy Krista & Alexa Weisman $ 26,457

16 Pristanna Stal Tops $ 26,385

17 Coeur Double H Farm $ 26,000

Narcotique De Muze II Ashland Stables $ 26,000

19 Vent Du Nord Kate Levy $ 24,250

20 Little Big Man Laura Chapot & Chado Farm, Inc. $ 22,250

21 Anthem The Summit Group $ 20,750

22 Oliver III Higher Ground Farm $ 20,392

23 Obelix R Lisa Silverman $ 20,277

24 Cocu Jane F. Clark $ 17,200

25 Ilian South Beach Stable $ 16,500

26 Allison Quiet Winter Farm $ 16,000

27 Casar (DE) Cloverleaf Farm $ 10,000

Spitfire Linda Opdycke $ 10,000

29 Quidam's Ramiro Claude Dufresne $ 9,750

30 Integrity Abigail S. Wexner $ 9,000

AGA Rookie of the Year Standings:

Standing

Rider

Total Money

1

Cheska, Cara

$ 3,750

Photo Credit: McLain Ward riding Larioso is congratulated by Bob Johnson following their win at the Charlotte Jumper Classic. Photo by Kent Smith/Charlotte Jumper Classic.

 

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