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Friday, September 29, 2023

McLain Ward continues his win streak with Alanine De Vains in the $100,000 Grand Prix at HITS

SAUGERTIES, N.Y--McLain Ward had his second win in as many weeks with Alanine De Vains, and also placied second in the $100,000 HITS Grand Prix.

McLain Wardon Alanine De Vains HITS 2ESA PhotographyMcLain Ward on Alanine De Vains (Photo by ESI Photography)Ward held the lead from start to finish with the quick and careful mare during the six-horse jump-off, where he produced the only jump-off clear, and then also placed second on Vins VD Tojopehoeve Z. with one time fault.

Emma Marlowe on Marcus was third.

“We've had two nice Sundays here,” said Ward. “I think the improvements that the team at HITS have made here are phenomenal. The footing is excellent, beautiful jumps, good courses, all around the facility looks fantastic. I only live about an hour from here, and to have this in our backyard is a huge asset.”

Ward on Alanine De Vains was the first to go in the jump-off, and he finished clean in 40.208 seconds.

“I had three great entries in the grand prix and all three jumped beautiful clear rounds,” said Ward. “Alanine is the fastest of the three, she's known for her speed. With the two other entries that I was going to have, I figured I'd try to shut the door a little bit and put enough pressure on the rest of them that they would make some mistakes.”


THAT IS exactly what happened as the jump-off progressed.

Marlow on Marcus followed Ward and opted for a conservative pace to leave all the fences intact, resulting in one time fault that would put them ahead of the pack for third.

Ward was last to return with his third mount, Vins VD Tojopehoeve Z and knew he could place second with a fault-free effort, eventually crossing the timer just fractions slower than Alanine De Vains for second place.

“Alanine is a wonderful mare and she's been a top horse for a number of years,” said Ward. “Her rider is at university right now, so she is for sale that's why I have the ride on her, and she'll probably be sold before too long.”

Ward competed at HITS the day after finishing as Leading Jumper Rider at Devon.

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