McLain Ward on HH Azur wins Old Salem Grand Prix
- May 23, 2022
- By Staff Writers
NORTH SALEM, N.Y.--Five-time Olympian McLain Ward on his Olympic and World Cup Finals partner HH Azur successfully defended his title in the $200,000 Empire State Grand Prix.
Only four of the 31 entries representing nine countries made it to the jump-off, where Ward and “Annie” had the fastest jump-off time of 37.290 seconds.
Alan Wade set a winding 1.55m-1.60m course with 16 jumping efforts and a tight time allowed of 75 seconds for the Old Salem Spring Horse Shows finale.
Devin Ryan on Eddie Blue took the early lead with what seemed to be the only clear score in the initial phase, but Ireland’s Paul O’Shea and fellow Americans Katie Dinan and McLain Ward quickly addedclear rounds as the class went on.
“I think Alan Wade did a really good job over the two weeks of competition here with the new surface,” said Ward, who is also the Spring Horse Shows Co-Chair. “It was really phenomenal and got better and better as the show went on. I think we saw that in the results this week with more clear rounds, even though the level was higher. Today, he built a very challenging 4 Star. We had a pretty strong group of horses with several Olympic and World Championship horses, but the courses had been built up to that challenge in a good way. The horses were all prepared to jump.”