Blog #7 – July 2022
2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Champion McLain Ward Excels at CHIO Aachen
Five-Time Olympian Has His Sights Set on Omaha 2023
CHIO Aachen in Germany is one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious equestrian events. Last week, five-time U.S. Olympic veteran and 2017 Longines FEI World Cup champion McLain Ward put on a memorable performance, winning two featured classes on his way to being named the event’s Leading Rider.
Riding his 2021 Silver Medal Olympic mount, Contagious, Ward won the Turkish Airlines Prize of Europe and the RWE Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia. Then, riding HH Azur, the mount with whom he won the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup Finals in Omaha, Ward was one of only five riders out a field of 40 to turn in two clean rounds on his way to a fifth-place finish.
“The Prize of Europe is a competition I have always dreamed of winning,” Ward said. “Contagious jumped his heart out; it really was an incredible effort. I am so proud of him!”
McLain Ward celebrates his first of two wins at Aachen (CHIO Aachen/Michael Strauch)
While his two wins and the Leading Rider Award rank high among Ward’s many career highlights, they are topped by his win in the World Cup Final in Omaha. Next to winning his four Olympic medals, his week in Omaha in 2017 ranks as his greatest memory.
“To say that this was one of the greatest weeks of my life would be an understatement,” Ward said at the end of that historic week. “Winning the World Cup Final has been a goal of mine for a long time, but it is hard to imagine a better circumstance than how it all played out here. This was the best World Cup Final I have ever been to and the people of Omaha are as friendly as any people I have ever met; to win it here and have everyone in that arena celebrate with me, well it is beyond my wildest dreams!”
Ward is very much targeting next year’s World Cup Final in Omaha. Winning there again would be yet another “dream come true!”
The LONGINES FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final is one of three Finals that will be held during the FEI World Cup™ Finals 2023, April 4-8, 2023, at the CHI Health Center Omaha, site of the highly acclaimed FEI World Cup™ Finals 2017. Next year’s Finals in Omaha will also feature the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final and FEI Vaulting World Cup™ Final. It will mark the first time the Vaulting Final will be held in North America.
All-Session tickets for the 2023 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Omaha are on sale now via Ticketmaster.com. Included at the Ticketmaster.com site are options for VIP and hospitality lounge passes and fully catered ringside tables for the duration of the entire event. Don’t wait, order your tickets today!
Go to www.OmahaEquestrian.org to learn more about what will surely be one of the great events you will ever see!