Articles: Press Release
McLain Ward and Sapphire go one Better but Michaels-Beerbaum and Shutterfly
Win Again and Continue to Lead 2009 Rolex FEI World Cup Final
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2009
By Joanie Morris
Las Vegas, NV After defending Rolex FEI World Cup Champion Meredith
Michaels-Beerbaum broke the timing beam at 32.04 seconds with Shutterfly at
the 2009 Rolex FEI World Cup Final, the question remained: how do you beat
US superstar McLain Ward tried with Sapphire, the pair looked
phenomenal. Foot perfect, lightning fast and with some seriously bold moves,
Ward went with two remaining in the 13 horse jump-off and there was
reasonable consensus that Sapphires effort wouldnt be bested.
Shutterfly had other ideas, shaving a second off of Wards time of 33.77
seconds, remaining perfect with zero World Cup points.
I take my hat off to Meredith, said Ward, not having a solution to how to
beat the German pair either. I went as fast as I possibly could. There was
not one place I could have gone faster.
Ward has had the World Cup Final date on his calendar since last years
Olympic Games. After he and Sapphire won their second consecutive Team Gold
medal, this was the next goal. Lying third after yesterdays speed class,
they moved up one spot tonight, but still have to get past Michaels-Beerbaum
on Sunday afternoon. He takes two World Cup points into the finale.
Im going to keep doing what Im doing, said Ward about his strategy for
Sunday. you dont want to wish a mistake on anyone but
Shutterfly, who has won this Final twice, looks nothing close to his age of
16. The Hanoverian gelding (owned by Octavia Farms, LLC) is so fleet of
foot, he seems to improve as the speed increases.
Im delighted to have such a great night, said Michaels-Beerbaum. My
wonderful horse, who is 16 going on nine. He is on great form and is happy
which makes me happy.
Albert Zoer and Okie Dokie were third in the class tonight and in the World
Cup points. The Dutch combination werent a quick enough to threaten the top
Of the 42 horses in the second leg of Rolex FEI World Cup Final, 13 earned
the invitation to return to the jump-off by virtue of clear rounds. Five of
those were Americans.
Ward (from Brewster, NY) was the last US rider in the ring in the first
round and not to be outdone by his countrymates, he had another clear round
on Blue Chip Bloodstocks Sapphire. The 13-year-old Belgian mare had two
light rubs, something Ward takes responsibility for.
I rode anxiously at the beginning of the first round, said Ward. It was an
excellent course, but it was a hard course for my horse because you were
always adding, adding. I did four to the final double because I had to get
off her face. That is the problem with a big slower horse, when youre inside
the jumps come up quick.
Wards Gold medal teammate from both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, Beezie
Madden gave 9-year-old Danny Boy an education in the Thomas & Mack arena
His veteran rider asked him some hard questions and he found a way to answer
them very quickly. The Cazenovia, NY pair ended up fourth on their time of
Richard Spooner (Aqua Dulce, CA) got the clear round ball rolling for the US
in the first round. He and Cristallo lived a little dangerously down to the
triple bar at fence seven but the fiery 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding made
a huge effort and was rewarded with a clear first round.
Spooners jump-off effort explained, to anyone whop may not have realized
already, why he is the Master of Faster. Starting off conservatively, he was
flying by the end. Not quite fast enough tonight, the 34.87 second effort
was still good enough for fifth place. Cristallo, who is owned by Show
Jumping Syndications International, made three awesome efforts at the last
Rich Fellers first round clear wasnt without excitement again, after nearly
parting company with Flexible last night due to a momentary indecision as to
which side of a Rolex clock they were going to turn, Flexible nearly jumped
him out of the tack at fence five. They recovered, had a hairy ride from
five, to six to seven, but Fellers never gave up and Harry and Mollie
Chapmans Flexible (an Irish Sport Horse stallion) never stopped trying.
His luck ran out in the jump-off when he had the third fence down. He was
lighting fast but had to settle for eighth place with four faults.
Hillary Dobbs, who at 21, is the youngest rider in the entire competition
jumped a great first round clear on The Dobbs Groups Quincy B. Dobbs
(Sussex, NJ) rode an exciting round and the 13-year-old Holsteiner tried as
hard as he could at every move.
She rode confidently into the jump-off but fell victim to the second part of
the combination and ended up with four faults for 11th.
The World Cup Final concludes on Sunday afternoon, with the top 2/3 of the
class (30 riders) jumping for the title of World Cup Champions. In the World
Cup format, points are converted back into faults for the third class.
Jumping competition begins at 12.00 and is the finale of the 2009 Rolex FEI
World Cup Final.
The rest of the American placings in todays class are as follows:
14thT: Todd Minikus and Pavarotti (27 World Cup points)
Mandy Porter and San Diego (18 World Cup points)
Ashlee Bond and Cadett 7 (23 World Cup points)
Christine McCrea and Vegas (19 World Cup points)
31stT: Michelle Spadone and Melisimo
Danielle Torano and Vancouver dAuvrey
Spadone and Torano did not make the top 2/3 of the class to qualify for
Sunday so they both, and Kent Farrington will jump tomorrow in the Las Vegas
Kent Farrington and Up Chiqui retired after fence two, Up Chiqui simply
wasnt himself when he came in the ring.
The Dressage finale: the Freestyle, crowns the World Cup champ, with 11
horses going forward from the first Qualifier.
Please credit Shannon Brinkman for the attached photo of McLain Ward and
Sapphire, and only use with the press release.
For coverage of Brentinas retirement (including video), please see:
For complete results and more information and World Cup Points, please see:
Please contact Joanie Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation is to provide
for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the
of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a
foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare
of its human and equine athletes.