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Friday, September 22, 2023

McLain Ward on Alanine De Vains won the $100,000 Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson I

SAUGERTIES, N.Y.--McLain Ward on Alanine De Vains won the $100,000 Grand Prix in a seven horse jump-off at HITS-on-the-Hudson I on Saturday, May 27.

Mclain Ward on Alanine De Vains ESI PhotographyMclain Ward on Alanine De Vains (Photo by ESI Photography)Lauren Balcomb on Verdini D’Houtveld Z was second by just 3/10ths of a second, and Switzerland’s Beat Mandli on Chartraine Pre Noir was third.

“Both of my horses felt great,” said Ward. “I think the improvements here at HITS are phenomenal. This is a local event for us, which is nice, we're only an hour away. The footing, the condition of the facility, and the professionalism of its staff and managers are first-rate. We're very excited to be here.”

Marina Azevedo set a welcoming track for the first Sunday grand prix of the season at HITS-on-the-Hudson. 

Five of the seven in the jump-off were clean again.

Heather Caristo-Williams on Celtic Hero BZ was the first clean, but her time was soon beaten by Diego Perez Bilbao on Dialuna.


BALCOMB on Verdini D’Houtveld Z was next and even faster, finishing in a speedy 39.544 seconds.

Ward on the experienced Alanine De Vains finished clean in 39.233 seconds to narrowly edge out Balcomb.

Mandli on Chartraine Pre Noir was the last to return, but his clear round in 40.449 seconds fell just behind the leaders for third place.

Ward began riding Alanine De Vains, a 13-year-old Selle Francais mare, for Lindemann Barnett Sporthorses at the beginning of the year and has quickly built a partnership with the experienced horse.

“I knew Lauren was going to be very fast,” said Ward. “Her horse is typically a very quick horse and she's very experienced with it. When she put up a good round, I knew that with Alanine De Vains I had to take the risk, and the mare is even better against the clock. She kicks into another gear, and that’s what she did today. She's a feisty mare with a bit of character, but she is just a flat-out winner.”


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