Traverse City, Michigan, USA – September 16, 2022 – McLain Ward (USA) has not been in Traverse City for long, but he’s already off to a winning start, hoping his luck sticks around for Sunday’s American Gold Cup. Kicking off CSI 2* action Friday morning, Ward took top honors in the $37,000 Speed Challenge CSI 2* aboard Marilla Van Buren’s speed demon Catoki.
Late to go in the order of 56 entries, Ward piloted the freaky fast 13-year-old Westphalian gelding (Catoki x Caretello B) to a time of 57.75 seconds, too quick to be caught and nearly two seconds faster than any other competitor.
Karl Cook (USA) and E’Special P.S. (Berlin x Caruso 279), owned by Signe Otsby, claimed second place honors in 59.56 seconds.
Caktoki and Ward are no strangers to the winner’s circle in speed classes. “He’s a super careful, unbelievable, and fast horse,” Ward said of Catoki. “That’s his job: to cover these shows and try to win these second classes. I always say he pays the entries and the bills for the rest. He’s a blast. He’s always in for a shot and he really does his job well.”
Roberto Teran Tafur (COL) claimed third place aboard BP Wakita (Pacino x Cruising) for Trefoil Farm LLC in 59.76 seconds.
Back in Traverse City for a chance at his first American Gold Cup victory, Ward brought a different string of horses along. “Callas and Ilias have been with the Revers family and Max Amaya for a number of years and I’ve known them well through that connection,” he said of his history with his current string. “Their previous rider, Annable Revers, is now focused on school so I had the opportunity to show them a little and it’s very exciting.”
Prior to one appearance at the Hampton Classic and his win on Friday in Traverse City, Catoki took a lengthy break over the summer to relax and get some sunshine. “He lives in the field at home,” Ward said of Catoki’s leisurely home life.
Final Results – $37,000 Speed Classic CSI 2*
1) McLain Ward (USA) & Catoki – 0 – 57.75
2) Karl Kook (USA) & E’Special P.S. – 0 – 59.56
3) Roberto Teran Tafur (COL) & BP Wakita – 0 – 59.76
Source: Press Release from Traverse City Horse Shows
Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography