The USA’s McLain Ward turned in a classic round aboard HH Carlos Z to win the Prize of Stadte Region Aachen in memory of Landrat Hermann-Josef Putz, a 1.45m two-phase speed class at CHIO Aachen in Aachen, Germany.
The final show jumping competition of the afternoon on Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 was held under rainy skies that caused many riders to use caution on their tightest turns. Ward was among them but instead of letting the conditions slow him down, he executed a calculated track that still ranked him at the top of the class in 27.77 seconds.
HH Carlos Z has a clearly defined role in Ward’s string; the 14-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Chellano Z x Voltaire) owned by Double H Farm is a specialist in the speed classes, a strong support horse for his grand prix mounts, and extraordinarily successful at his job.
From fence one it was obvious that Ward was riding to win, and the next-best rider finished nearly two seconds slower in 29.87 seconds. That rider was Jonathan Gordon of Ireland, who rode Dr. Alexa Peiseler’s Fellini 131 to 2nd place. Felix Haupmann and Horse Gym’s Balzaci finished 3rd in 30.21 seconds, and Gregory Wathelet was 4th for Belgium aboard Citizenguard Taalex. Laura Kraut rounded out the top 5 for the USA aboard Confu, with her teammate Beezie Madden placing 6th with Breitling LS.
Next up, Ward will represent Team USA in Friday’s all-important Mercedes-Benz FEI Nations Cup. The Olympic Show Jumping Team for the United States has already been selected, and the Nations Cup will serve as a final outing for the Rio-bound horses and riders (Ward will ride Rothchild, saving his Olympic horse HH Azur for Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix). The Mercedes-Benz FEI Nations Cup begins at 7:30pm local time. More information can be found at www.chioaachen.de
See the full results list of the Landrat Hermann-Josef Putz at this link.