By U.S. Equestrian Communications Department
Herning, Denmark – Both McLain Ward & Brian Moggre saw their time in Herning come to an end this evening under the lights in Stutteri ASK Stadium after a tough championship week for the NetJets U.S. Jumping Team. Moggre and Balou du Reventon, finished with four jumping faults and a handful of time faults after a miscommunication on course, while Ward opted to retire Contagious midway through their round. The Agria FEI World Jumping Individual Final will conclude competition on Sunday, August 14, beginning at 2:00 p.m. GMT+2/8:00 a.m. ET.
For Moggre, the youngest competitor in the Agria FEI World Jumping Championship presented by Helgstrand, the week had both successes and disappointments, but the lessons and learnings he will take away from the week will allow him to continue building his career for the future. Aboard Ann Thompson’s 2006 Oldenburg stallion Balou du Reventon, Moggre produced an incredible round after a misunderstanding between the pair on the rollback turn to the plank vertical at fence four. After recollecting themselves, the pair jumped around the rest of the track with ease, a testament to the care and fight of the incredible stallion who has helped lift Moggre into the spotlight.
“Show jumping is such an unpredictable sport. I think the first three fences I might have put a little bit too much pressure on him thinking about the time allowed, and came around to fence four and in that turn he didn’t like so much pressure, and there was a miscommunication, but after that he just jumped incredible,” said Moggre. “I’d go as far to say it felt like one of the best rounds he’s ever jumped after that, so I was pleased that he finished well and we had a nice ending to the course and the week.”
Following shortly after Moggre in the order, Ward and Contagious pushed through the first portion of the course before dropping a few consecutive rails and ultimately making the decision to save Contagious for another day. While disappointing, Ward noted that the team always bounces back after difficult championships and that will be the focus of the program over the next year and and in the lead-in to Paris.
“This horse has given so much over the last several season in making it to Tokyo last year and pulling off being a part of that medal-winning team, and I said it afterwards that was really an incredible feat, and after weeks like this you realize truly how hard it is to win those medals,” said Ward. “It was a disappointing week of results for sure, and we can’t duck that, but the young riders who were here gained a lot of miles and that will payback for us down the road.”
On the other side of the Atlantic, Ward mentioned that his daughter, Lilly Ward, is competing in her first USEF Pony Finals presented by Honor Hill Farms, and his goddaughter, Bailee McKeever, daughter of head manager Lee McKeever, is competing at the FEI North American Youth Championships in Traverse City, Mich., so while the week has been challenging in Denmark, there are a lot of other positives for the Castle Hill team back at home and things to be proud of looking ahead.
“It’s a spectacular week to have two riders that I’ve mentored here in Denmark, and my daughter doing her first Pony Finals. She rode brilliant this week and great yesterday, and then Bailee [McKeever], my goddaughter, riding at NAYC, and sitting in fifth or sixth, so that’s spectacular, and the takeaway really for me is to celebrate the relationships we’ve built and that this story keeps going. It’s been a rough week, and a disappointing performance, but we’ve survived these kinds of weeks before and ultimately, it’s sharpened us.”
The Agria FEI World Jumping Individual Final presented by Helgstrand will welcome the top 25 combinations back to the main stadium on Sunday, August 14, at 2:00 p.m. GMT+2/8:00 a.m. ET to crown the individual world champion.
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