Rome, Italy – May 29, 2016 – McLain Ward closed out his domination of the Rome CSIO5* with one final victory: the $220,000 Grand Prix of Rome. After piloting HH Azur to a double clear round for Team USA during the Nations Cup and securing two wins with HH Carolos Z, he returned Sunday for a second appearance with HH Azur.
The winning round format assured that 13 horses would jump-off for the winning title, but only three athletes managed to produce double clear rounds. The United States’ Laura Kraut set the time to beat with a faultless effort aboard Old Willow Farm’s Zeremonie, clearing the track in 45.39 seconds, which would be good enough for third place.
Sweden’s Peder Fredricson bested Kraut’s time with H&M All In, breaking the beam at 42.05 seconds, but he would settle for second place as Ward and HH Azur, owned by Double H Farms, and tackled the tiebreaking course with a quick gallop to leave nothing to chance. They dashed across the finish line in 40.45 seconds, almost two seconds faster to take home the prestigious victory.
Kent Farrington also represented the U.S. Team in the final round with Amalaya Investments’ Voyeur. Although they had four faults in the first round, they returned with a quick and clear jump-off in 40.78 seconds for fifth place.
All of the U.S. riders competing at Rome were part of the U.S. Show Jumping Team’s Short List for the Olympic Games in Rio. Two more observation events remain at St. Gallen and Rotterdam.