Articles: Press Release
56TH Annual Pennsylvania National Horse
Ward Cuts Corner To Win
Thursday, October 18, 2001
Heidi Hill 230-8833
McLain Ward of Brewster, NY and Rio captured the $25,000 Pennsylvania
National Big Jump in a New York minute, beating rival Korina by half a
second. Their time was 34.163 seconds.
The ring was a riot of big fences. It was, as course designer Richard
Jeffery promised, a step-up to Saturday's $50,000 Budweiser Prix de Penn
Ward guided Rio through the bends and big jumps, but really won it in the
turns. Thirteen horses were clear after the first round, more than expected
from the 41 starters. To win the jump-off, a quick time was vital.
Ward wove his way through the twists and curves, then boldly cut left
after a quick and steep in-and-out. Rio landed and wheeled in cutting horse
fashion before dashing off to the next jump. The audience gasped in awe.
His chutzpah earned him the half second he needed.
"It was a great course, very difficult," said Ward. "I was surprised so
many horses managed to go clean, but then this the best field of horses here
in 10 years. As for the turn, "Rio is only 15 hands 3," so I could shorten
him a little more than a larger horse, but I had to be committed to making
the turn there."
It was the difference between winning and second or $2,000. Only one
other rider attempted it, but with less success.
Second place with a time of 34.538 was Korina and Chris Kappler,
Pittstown, NJ. The margin was smaller between third, Priobertdekalvarie with
Leslie Howard at 34.545 and fourth, Schuyler Riley aboard Carolush whose time
Six of the nation's top Grand Prix riders are competing at the PA
National Horse Show, which ends Saturday.