Wellington, Florida, USA – January 24, 2020 – U.S. Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward (USA) claimed his second win during week three of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), topping the $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m CSI 3* aboard Catoki at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, on Friday, January 24.
Ward and the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Catoki x Cartello B) are a new partnership, but they have wasted no time getting to the winner’s circle. The duo topped a field of 59 over Kelvin Bywater’s (GBR) speed track by a nearly two-second margin over Mexico’s Santiago Lambre (MEX) and his own Doloris. Ward stopped the clock and 57.54 seconds, while Lambre settled for second in 59.12 seconds.
“He’s naturally an incredibly fast horse, so in the speed classes you have a little bit of an advantage,” said Ward of the horse he owns with Marilla van Beuren and Bob Russell. “Santiago is a very fast rider, but this horse is, I think, the fastest horse I’ve ever ridden. I knew turning for home we were very fast, and if things come up basically as you want, he’s just naturally faster than most horses, so you don’t have to do anything extraordinary.”
McLain Ward (USA) and Catoki in their winning presentation with ringmaster Steve Rector.
Catoki joined Ward’s string just before the start of the WEF season, but he has high hopes for the gelding. “He’s going to be a great part of our string. I’m excited for all of his owners and to have him to compete on. His best qualities are his carefulness, and he’s also got a big heart. He’s brave and takes on the course like a lion.”
Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Just A Gamble finished in third on a time of 59.19 seconds for Starlight Farms 1 LLC, while Israel’s Ashlee Bond (ISR) took fourth aboard Belo Horizonte, owned by Little Valley Farms, in 59.46 seconds. Quentin Judge (USA) rounded out the top five riding HH Qualido 3, owned by Double H Farm, in 60.17 seconds.
WEF continues through March 29, 2020 with 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition and $13 million dollars on offer. The third week of competition at WEF is sponsored by Adequan® and recognized as a CSI 3* by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). The week’s featured event is the $137,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3* during “Saturday Night Lights” on January 25, at 7 p.m. in the International Arena.
For full results, please click here.
Source: Press release by Lindsay Brock and Sabrina Brashares / Jennifer Wood Media, Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions / PBIEC – Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
Photos: © Sportfot