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Sharn Wordley Victorious in the $25,000 Aiken Spring Classic Grand Prix

Aiken, SC—Spring is in full bloom in beautiful South Carolina and with it comes a first, third and eleventh place showing for New Zealand Grand Prix rider Sharn Wordley. Sharn topped the field of 29 starters in the $25,000 Aiken Spring Classic Grand Prix on his Irish mount, Mr. Flanagan. The team’s string of visits to the winner’s circle continues to grow after yesterday’s victory over a fast and technical Anthony D’Ambrosio course.

“I love to compete over Tony’s courses whenever I have the opportunity and today certainly was no different,” Wordley said. The first round called for technical expertise with several tricky lines, with horses having rails down throughout the course. Eight horse and rider combinations managed to answer all of the questions in the first round and advance to the jump-off.

With less than two seconds separating first and fourth place, the riders had to be not only careful but also fast. “I was able to leave a stride out from the rollback to the related distance with the vertical, then we came around the bend to the double combination. That is what made the difference today as the other riders were really fast but some had eight strides there instead of seven,” Wordley explained.

Second placed rider Roberto Teran, riding King Ridge Stables Distant Star 3E was also fast but even with seven strides after the rollback it only landed them in second. On his third placed horse, Epsom Pierrerille, Wordley was a bit more conservative. “Rocket has had a break for the last couple of months so I went fast but did the eight strides today,” he explained. Libby McKinney riding Gun du Desfi was right on the boys’ heels with a fast round, finishing clear and only several seconds slower than the winner. The rest of the field of top riders challenged, but no one was able to knock Mr. Flanagan and Wordley out of first place.

With more than thirty Grand Prix victories since he began competing in the United States three years ago, Wordley continues to challenge the top riders across the country. “Aiken has been a fantastic horse show and I’d love to come back,” he said. Next week Wordley and his string of horses will contest several Grand Prix in Tennessee and Kentucky before traveling to Europe to compete in the Olympic Trials for New Zealand this summer.

About Sharn Wordley:

Wordley, a native of New Zealand, has represented his country in numerous Nation’s Cups and has competed in 22 countries. He qualified for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and was the young rider champion in New Zealand earlier in his career. In addition to his victories as a rider, Wordley has coached riders who have gone on to represent their countries in the Olympics, World Cup Finals, World Championships and the Pan American Games.


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