Articles: Press Release
McLain Ward Might Have Changed Horses But the Result was the Same at the
Penn National Horse Show
McLain Ward and Goldika 559.
Violet Forbes, firstname.lastname@example.org, 859-537-5441
Harrisburg, PA - October 15, 2009 - If McLain Ward believes in fate, karma,
luck numbers and the like, he should immediately go buy a lottery ticket
filled with the number three. Ward and Goldika 559 triumphed over an
original starting field of 33 horse and rider combinations, winning the
$25,000 Pennsylvania National Big Jump competition for a record third time
at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. And if that wasn't enough, all
three top finishers are Olympic Gold Medalists and this was the third class
in a row that Ward has won.
Goldika 559, owned by Ward and Blue Chip Bloodstock showed her foot speed
and jumping ability as she turned in two clear rounds, the final round in a
time of 36.07 seconds.
"She made history, not me," said Ward of the mare. "As I always say, I'm
very lucky to have great horses and she's been a long-time partner, even
though she had a great career before me. It's just amazing, seventeen years,
and it's been a hard seventeen years. She's shown plenty and she just keeps
doing it and doing it and doing it. It's really remarkable. I keep thinking
maybe it's time to retire her and then she comes to shows and keeps doing
this so she must still enjoy it. Thanks to her owners obviously, without
them we wouldn't have her."
Brazil's Rogrigo Pessoa and Lets Fly were second to Ward with two clear
rounds as well, and a jump off time of 39.88 seconds.
"I saw Rodrigo on the TV", explained Ward. "I didn't see him live, but I
had an idea of his time. I know Goldika is a really fast horse, she hasn't
lost her speed, so if we can leave up the jumps we have a decent chance.
Rodrigo and Let's Fly are very fast and little bit younger, but Goldika is
quick and a great animal. She'll win as long as you don't ride her
badly. She's pretty easy. She's very adjustable and she's very careful,
she's very honest. You just try to put her in the right place and give her
half a chance and she's going to try pretty hard for you."
Third place went to Leslie Burr Howard and her Raimond W, a coal black 11
year-old gelding. Even though he left all the jumps standing, Raimond W was
unable to come near the winning time, crossing the finish line in 43.49
"I thought it was a very good course that Steve Stephens built" said Ward.
"Difficult, but not too much, just right for this class. I thought that it
worked out really well, I was just trying to take it one jump at a time and
jump a clear round and get in the hunt.
Contemplating his jump off round, Ward continued, " I heard her rub fence 7,
but I had a feeling it was going to stay. I was a little bit worried about
the inside turn, I thought early on that was a little bit difficult, and it
was difficult, it was very sharp and even though the oxer was narrowed up,
it presented a problem being an oxer. I got lucky, I almost hit the standard
at the purple vertical but she kind of curled around it. She just tries her
heart out so you try to put her in the right place and she's going to give
you her best."
"We take it somewhat week by week", said Ward of Goldika's future. "We have
a tentative plan but I don't know how much longer she's going to be going,
maybe one more season. It's kind of on borrowed time. We actually stopped
with her about two years ago and tried to breed her and unfortunately she
didn't get pregnant. She was sound and we brought her back to the
sport. She'll tell us, we love her, we never ask her to do more than she
wants to do. She seems to still enjoy the sport so as long as thatsssssssss
the case we'll keep going. She won't go to WEF, she'll have the winter off
and she'll show this summer."
The 2009 Pennsylvania National Horse Show runs October 8-17, at the
Pennsylvania Farm and Show Complex in Harrisburg, and features 10 full days
of hunter and jumper competition with both amateurs and professionals vying
for the coveted championships. The Pennsylvania National hosts 10 national
championships. The competition highlight is the $75,000 Grand Prix de Penn
National on Saturday, October 17th at 7:00 pm.
Special event highlights include: Kinsley Construction Company Hunt Night
Competition, Jack Russell Terrier Races, The North American Fox Hunting Horn
Blowing Championship, Family Days with Free Pony Rides. There will be
demonstrations, as well as special educational events and barrel and
The show is entertaining and educational. Approximately 70 vendors are
accepted offering a wide variety of items: clothing, gifts and antiques,
custom signs and furniture, fine and costume jewelry, toys, pet items,
t-shirts and tack shops. All offer a unique variety of items sure to please
horse lovers and non-horse people alike.
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show is proud of its tradition of supporting
both equine and youth programs. The show benefits the Harrisburg Kiwanis
Youth Foundation and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Foundation, a
501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.
Further information is available at the horse show's website at
www.panational.org or by calling the horse show office at 717-770-0222.
Live streaming webcast of the event is available at http://www.productionseat.com