Hometown: Brewster, New York
Discipline: Show Jumping
McLain Ward was introduced to riding before he could walk and has a competitive prowess that only continues to increase with age. In 1990, Ward became the youngest rider ever to win both the USET Medal Finals and the USET Talent Derby at age 14. He would go on to turn that into a legacy, winning the pair of competitions from 1990-1992. After turning pro, he quickly became the youngest rider to reach the $1 million mark in earnings in 1999, at age 24.
Ward has been a valuable member of the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team at the past three Olympic Games. He made his Olympic Games debut a memorable one at the 2004 Games in Athens, aiding the U.S. to a Team Gold with legendary partner Sapphire.
Two years later the pair was part of the Silver medal-winning team at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games. At the 2008 Olympic Games, Ward and Sapphire repeated their Olympic success, earning their second consecutive Team Gold medal.
In 2012, Ward suffered a shattered knee-cap that kept him from riding for more than three months. Ward made his return to competition a noticeable one, winning in his first event back in the saddle at the $40,000 Old Salem Grand Prix with Antares F.
In 2014 and 2015, Ward had big success with longtime partner Rothchild, who holds special meaning to Ward as the last of the horses that were purchased by Ward’s late father, Barney. The pair was part of the Team Bronze-medal winning efforts at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the 2015 Pan American Games. It was at the Pan American Games that Ward accomplished what had eluded him throughout his career, his first individual medal – a Gold.
Ward is married to his wife, Lauren, who is an avid competitor in the amateur divisions. In early 2015, they welcomed their first child, Lilly Kristine Ward.