Leipzig, Germany – April 10, 2022 – The U.S. Jumping contingent concluded their final day in Leipzig finishing three combinations in the top twenty of the 2022 FEI Jumping World Cup Final. McLain Ward (USA) and Contagious finished as the highest-placed pair in seventh, while Hunter Holloway (USA) and Pepita Con Spita took 16th place, and Aaron Vale (USA) and Elusive slipped into 20th in the overall standings.
Ward (USA) and Contagious, a 2007 Deutches Sportpferd gelding owned by Beechwood Stables LLC, were atop the standings heading into the final round of competition today with just a rail in hand. The pair finished their first go of Frank Rothenberg’s (GER) track with one rail down, putting them on a score of four heading into the final round, still holding their lead.
In the second round, Martin Fuchs (SUI) and Chaplin, who moved into second place after Harrie Smolders (NED) and Monaco dropped a rail, put the pressure on Ward after finishing their second tour of the track, adding nothing to their score of five and leaving only a single fault differentiation between the two scores. Contagious stumbled on landing after the A element of the triple combination and dropped the B element, giving Fuchs the win. The pair finished their trip with nine faults added to their first-round score of four, completing the weekend on 13 faults.
“It’s really disappointing of course. I thought Contagious jumped great and unfortunately, he stumbled or lost his footing in the combination and fell through B and after that when you’re focused on winning, not much else matters,” said Ward. “It’s a sport of variables and he took a funny step and jumped too low, which isn’t a normal mistake for him, but you know that’s a part of the sport and it’s unfortunate when it happens in that moment.”
As for their week, Ward was proud of the way Contagious and his team handled the atmosphere of the Leipzig Messe and continues to be thankful for the continued support around him – from his team in the barns, to his family, and his owners back at home.
“It was a disappointing day, but I’m proud of the horse and very grateful to have the horse. I owe a big thank you to his owners, the Revers, and to my entire support staff, and to my family. It’s a tough day but we’ll be back to fight again,” concluded Ward.
Katie Dinan (USA) and Brego R’N B finished in 21st on 25 total faults, just ahead of Misti Cassar (USA) and Mylord Cornet who completed the weekend with 27 faults for 23rd place. Schuyler Riley (USA) and Robin de Ponthual took 24th overall on 29 faults, while Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Prince of Peace finished on 33 faults for 27th place.
Alessandra Volpi (USA) and Berlinda produced a beautiful double-clear round on the final day of competition but were eliminated due to a trace amount of blood found on the horse’s flank following their round.
Source: Press Release by the US Equestrian Communications Department for USEF / US Equestrian – United States Equestrian Federation
Photo: © USEF Equestrian