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McLain Ward On Top Following First Round of the Budweiser World Cup

Las Vegas, NV- April 17, 2003 – McLain Ward of Brewster, NY, riding Viktor, owned by Ward and Harry Gill, won the first round of Budweiser World Cup 2003, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on Thursday evening. Malin Baryard of Sweden finished second riding H&M Butterfly Flip owned by Christina Larsson. Three time World Cup Champion Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil finished third on Baloubet Du Rouet owned by Diago Pereira Coutinho.

Ward, one of the fourteen riders representing the United States had one rail down in the speed class, but was able to maintain the lead with his lightning fast time of 68.73. In this type of class, faults are converted into seconds giving the pair a final score of 72.73. Baryard finished without any jumping faults, but at a slower time placing her in second place with a time of 74.05.

“This is only the start,” said Ward. “There are long days ahead. Thankfully he’s a great horse. I made some small mistakes, but he bailed me out.”

In addition to world-class show jumping action, spectators were treated to a dazzling opening ceremony that included a laser show and brilliant fireworks. Las Vegas showgirls and equestrian demonstrations rounded out the exciting evening.

Show jumping action continues through Sunday, with event highlights the Grand Prix of Las Vegas and the World Cup Final. There will be more spectacular laser light shows and dazzling performances and a dressage demonstration by 1999 Pan American Games double Gold Medalist Debbie McDonald. For tickets and other information, please visit the website or call 702-260-8605.


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