Mill Spring, North Carolina, USA – October 28, 2021 – The 2021 Washington International Horse Show continuedon Thursday, October 28, with the start of jumper competition along with junior hunters. Taking the wins in the opening international jumper classes were McLain Ward (USA) on Catoki in the $36,600 International Jumper Accumulator class, and Todd Minikus (USA) on Amex Z in the $72,900 Welcome Stake.
The cooler temperatures and pouring rain didn’t stop McLain Ward (USA) and Catoki, the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Catoki owned by Ward, Bob Russell, and Marilla Van Beuren from taking home the top prize in Thursday evening’s $36,600 International Jumper Accumulator class in Tryon Stadium. The pair finished with 65 points in a blazing time of 46.82 seconds.
“I only get on Catoki a couple [of trips] out because he’s so aggressive, so in the pouring rain it’s a perk [not having to get on him any earlier],” said Ward.
Ward said he had been reflecting on the accumulator format earlier. “I was just commenting, particularly in indoors, we used to have a real speed division and an accumulator was a little bit of an egg and spoon class. It was smaller, typically,” he shared. “It’s interesting that [the fence height] is now 1.45m from the second jump on. It’s a different type of competition but it’s fine, that’s how the sport is evolving and it’s nice to have a good, competitive speed horse to do these classes.”
Second place with 65 points and a time of 49.49 seconds went to Molly Ashe-Cawley (USA) and the 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding Berdien by Bustique, owned by Louisburg Farm.
Third place went to Sydney Shulman (ISR) also with 65 points in a time of 49.87 seconds and the 11-year-old Selle Francais mare A Toi de Prim’ by Conterno Grande owned by Maggie Hill.
Though WIHS has not yet returned to its hometown of Washington, D.C., Ward is glad that the show has continued on. “I think the WIHS organizing committee should be commended for running the show the last two years,” he commented. “Obviously, most of the other indoor events in the COVID period has been canceled or postponed. The WIHS organizers made huge efforts to make these events happen, albeit in a little bit of a different setting. I know there is a lot of work being done trying to see where the future location of the event will be. I know they want to try to stay in the Washington area and I hope that they can find a great location because it’s a great event.”
Catoki is currently entered in the $50,000 Speed Final as well as the $25,000 Land Rover Puissance, both taking place Friday evening, but Ward says the jury is still out on whether they’ll take on the high jump competition. “He actually won a six bar class once with another rider in Poland, so we’ll see,” he said.
Puissance or not, Ward and Catoki are a speedy combination and will be a pair to watch tomorrow night. “He’s either the winner or has the fastest time with an unlucky rail down at the end when we try to go too fast, but he certainly wins his fair share,” concluded Ward.
As the winning rider, Ward took home the Crown Royal Trophy, and the pair were awarded The Sue Ann Geisler Memorial Trophy donated by the Washington International Horse Show for their win.
Final Results – $36,000 Accumulator
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Points / Time
1) McLain Ward (USA) & Catoki – 65 – 46.82
2) Molly Ashe-Cawley (USA) & Berdien – 65 – 49.49
3) Sydney Shulman (ISR) & A Toi de Prim – 65 – 49.87
Source: Press Release from Jump Media for The Washington International Horse Show
Photo: © Shawn McMillen Photography