McLain Ward finishes fifth in Aachen Grand Prix after a five horse jump-off of the best in the world
- By SARA CAVANAGH
AACHEN, Germany--Qualifying for the !,500,000 Euro Grand Prix of Aachen on Sunday, July 3, was significant, making the jump-off was a feat in itself, and finishing fifth was equal to winning a major grand prix anywhere in the world.
McLain Ward on HH Azur was one of five riders who jumped two clean rounds to make it to the jump-off, but then he had to go first in the tie breaker.
The five who made it to the jump-off reads like the who's who of jumping - along with Ward on Azur, last year’s winner and the contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, were Daniel Deusser of Germany with Killer Queen, the only rider in history who has won the Rolex Grand Slam to-date, Scott Brash of Great Britain with Hello Jefferson, Nicola Philippaerts of Belgium on Katanga van het Dingeshof and Gerrit Nieberg of Germany with Ben.
"It was an amazing class,"said chef d'equipe Robert Ridland. "The first round was one of the toughest I've seen in 40 years.
"The top 18 in the first round made it to the second round. There were 11 or 12 clean and the rest with 4 faults. Just making it to the jump-off was amazing. Then McLain had to go first, and of course he didn't know how fast he'd have to go.