Chicago Equestrian - News, Events, Contacts and Marketing Services

Devon May 31st

May 31, 2016 
 
McLain Ward Continues Winning Ways 
with $50,000 Welcome Stake Victory 
at Devon Horse Show   
 
    
Devon, Pa. - May 31, 2016 - It is no secret that Olympian McLain Ward has been on a hot streak recently, racking up six major victories from New York to Rome in just three weeks. The $50,000 Devon Welcome Stake CSI4* proved to be no exception as Ward rode away with the top two spots, winning the event aboard Tina La Boheme and placing second with his reigning Pan American Games double gold medalist mount, Rothchild. 

McLain Ward and Tina La Boheme Win $50,000 Devon Welcome Stake

"I think Devon is one of the greatest venues in America," expressed Ward, who also won the same event in 2015. "The atmosphere here on grand prix night is second to nowhere. The crowd is an educated crowd, and they really appreciate it. They are very enthusiastic. I think the management here at Devon has really made great efforts with the facility. Everything is first class. "

Thirty-eight entries turned out for the first FEI ranked event of the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair on Tuesday evening. Six of those were able to master the Kelvin Bywater track and return for the tiebreaker. Ali Wolff was the pathfinder during the jump-off, setting the pace to beat with Quirie 2 in a clear 39.51 seconds. 

"My trainer, Michelle Grubb, knows me so well - we've been together for about 12 years," said Wolff. "Pretty much every time she tells me to go my own speed. I am so competitive, and I am my own worst enemy. If McLain went before me I probably would not be sitting here. I try and ride the horse underneath me."

Ali Wolff and Quirie 2

Wolff added, "Quirie was my third string horse. He was struggling to get around the 1.40m last year. I just have to keep taking a step back, and I am very proud of where he's come. He's stepped up to my first horse. He went to Mexico with me and really, really put on his big boy pants. Since then he's been super confident, and I can't say enough about him."
 
Wolff's lead did not last long as Ward entered the ring next with Tina La Boheme. With sharp turns and a speedy gallop they bested Wolff by almost three seconds when they crossed the finish line in a faultless 36.73 seconds. Molly Ashe Cawley and Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve attempted to catch Ward, but had to settle for fourth place when they had a rail in the combination. 

Ward was next in the jump-off order with his second mount Rothchild, and after a short break in the action to prepare, they returned to the ring. Knowing he had a good lead, Ward was a bit more conservative, but still laid down a fast and clear round in just 39.18 seconds to take over second place, while Wolff would place third. 

McLain Ward and Rothchild

Ward laughed, "Rothchild doesn't like horses jumping next to him, he doesn't like horses jumping at him, he doesn't like gray horses, he doesn't like carriages. There are a lot of things to avoid here! The schooling area can be interesting, but he is what he is. I didn't have very long, but I am not going to rush him. I only jumped four or five jumps. You can't go fast. You have to really take your time."

Rothchild was a horse found by Ward's father Barney, and he has always had a special place in Ward's heart. Tina La Boheme also has a special place in Ward's heart, as he owns the talented young mare together with his father's old friend Arthur Hawkins. 

"Arty Hawkins is a great horseman and a member of the Show Hunter Hall of Fame, a dear friend of my dad," explained Ward. "He was there when I was born. He owns the majority; I own a small piece of her. Last year he said if you ever see a nice horse I'd like to do something. This is the horse."

McLain Ward and Tina La Boheme. Photo By: The Book, LLC

Tina La Boheme also has a unique tie to the Devon Horse Show, as she is related to the 2008 Grand Prix winner Night Train. "Tina and Night Train are both quite strong, but good jumpers, really good technique, careful but at the same time quite brave," noted Ward. "It's nice, I have a soft spot in my heart for Night Train. I bought him and rode him in the beginning, so I've had a lot of luck with that breeding."

Ward and Tina La Boheme will return to the Dixon Oval Thursday night for the $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*. The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is the longest running and largest outdoor multi-breed competition in the United States. With the grandeur of Philadelphia's prestigious Main Line setting the stage, the event features a world-class field that annually ranks among the most prominent internationally. The event also includes the Country Fair that offers world-class shopping, rides and games for kids, multiple dining options and special entertainment events.  

For more information, please visit www.DevonHorseShow.net.

RESULTS: $50,000 Devon Welcome Stake
1    94    TINA LA BOHEME     MCLAIN WARD     0    0    0    71.350    0    0    0    36.730    
2    42    ROTHCHILD     MCLAIN WARD     0    0    0    73.750    0    0    0    39.180    
3    49    QUIRIE 2     ALI WOLFF     0    0    0    73.330    0    0    0    39.510    
4    1    PJOTTER VAN DE ZONNEHOEVE     MOLLY ASHE     0    0    0    73.540    4    0    4    38.970   
5    9    ISHD DUAL STAR     LAURA CHAPOT     0    0    0    72.820    8    0    8    40.630    
6    41    BOO VAN HET KASTANJEHOF     ANDREW WELLES     0    0    0    74.860    0    0    Withdr   
7    77    ACE     ALISON ROBITAILLE     0    1    1    75.140                       
8    65    FEDOR     SCOTT KEACH     0    1    1    75.230                       
9    21    ONIRA     BRIANNE GOUTAL     0    1    1    75.340                       
10    51    ESPRIT     SLOANE COLES     0    1    1    75.640                       
11    38    Callas III     DANIELLE TORANO     0    1    1    75.690                       
12    27    CIANA     ANDREW KOCHER     4    0    4    71.230

Championships for Haness, Tosh and Payne in Professional Hunter Divisions at Devon Horse Show   
Devon, PA - May 31, 2016 - Kenny Wheeler Sr. celebrated his 88th birthday by watching Hunt Tosh pilot the Wheeler Family's Patriot to the championship in the Green Conformation Hunter division at the Devon Horse Show. 

The Wheelers, proud owners of Patriot, handed their own Just For Fun - Two For One Challenge Trophy to Tosh and Patriot after the duo earned enough points for the championship.

"To win the trophy Kenny was handing out on his birthday in a division that is so important to their family is really fun," Tosh said. "This show has the best horses, the best riders; it's so hard to win here, so when you can win at a place like this with competition like this, it's awesome."
 
Hunt Tosh and Patriot

Tosh and Patriot claimed first and third place over fences on Monday, returning on Tuesday to add another blue to their collection in the handy. 

"Patriot is a new horse, and he's quite green," Tosh explained. "Devon is only his third show facility. With the little mileage he has doing this, I didn't know how he'd be, but he walked in here and was great. He's been champion every time he's shown, and he's just a really fun horse. He's super brave and careful, and he's a beautiful jumper. He just tries harder every time, so he's been great. We're very excited to have him."

The division's reserve championship was awarded to Scott Stewart and Stephanie Danhakl's stallion, Denver. 

Earlier in the day, Nick Haness returned with Technicolor to claim the First Year Green Hunter championship. The duo started the day with two blues under their belt, and returned for the stake to wow the judges with their round, receiving a score of 95 and earning the blue ribbon.
 
Nick Haness and Technicolor

"It was pretty tight for the points for the championship," Haness said. "I knew we had to come in strong for the last round to clench the championship. The pressure building up to it is so intense that once I walk into the ring, it's so easy and natural and just so much fun. He makes it easy for me. He's a really special horse."

The reserve championship in the First Years went to Kelley Farmer and Publicized. 

The Second Year Green Hunter division also wrapped up on Tuesday with Chris Payne and Truman taking home the division's championship. The duo managed to best the competitive division with their three blue ribbons from Monday. Truman, who is owned by Debbie Bass, is only just returning to the show ring after having last year off. 

"There are so many great horses in the Second Years," Payne said. "Anybody could have won it at any time, and I'm just very fortunate that the cards fell my way. I'm so fortunate to have such a great horse, and Debbie Bass is an amazing owner that has allowed him to come into his own to be so successful. He's never lost a hack class. He's a beautiful mover, he's a beautiful horse, and he always tries to be a good horse and do the right thing."
 
Chris Payne and Truman

Hunt Tosh and Gotham took home the reserve championship in the Second Years. 

The Grand Hunter Championship will be awarded on Wednesday, with the highlight $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby following on Thursday.

The final feature event during the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair will be the $225,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon CSI4*, which takes place on Saturday evening. 

The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair is the longest running and largest outdoor multi-breed competition in the United States. With the grandeur of Philadelphia's prestigious Main Line setting the stage, the event features a world-class field that annually ranks among the most prominent internationally. The event also includes the Country Fair that offers world-class shopping, rides and games for kids, multiple dining options and special entertainment events.