Upperville, Va. – Feb. 8, 2018 – As one of the most iconic horse shows since its inception in 1853, the Upperville Colt & Horse Show has been a can’t-miss event on the show calendars of esteemed riders and trainers for years. Included in this year’s roster of show jumping superstars is two-time Olympic gold medalist and reigning World Cup champion McLain Ward, who will be returning to Upperville, Virginia, to compete at the 2018 Upperville Colt & Horse Show, presented by St. Bride’s Farm, June 4–10.
“My team and I are long-time competitors of the Upperville Colt & Horse Show and I have won the grand prix there several times,” noted Ward. “The horse-centric community and the efforts that have been made in the last couple of years to really revive the event and bring it up to a world-class standard not only with the conditions and the accommodations, but with the prize money, make it very attractive.”
The historic seven-day event attracts top athletes from across the nation to compete in internationally recognized hunter and jumper competition. The world’s most talented hunter and jumper athletes will participate alongside local ponies, sidesaddle ladies and racing Jack Russell Terriers. Featuring a prestigious FEI CSI4* rating and a World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) designation, this event is an exciting boutique attraction for exhibitors and spectators alike.
Some of the feature classes of this year’s show is the $35,000 Upperville Speed Stake CSI4* on Thursday in addition to Friday’s $40,000 Welcome Stake CSI4* and the $216,000 Upperville Jumper Classic CSI4*, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds, on Sunday to close out the show.
Ward, who will be traveling to Upperville, Virginia, following the 2018 Devon Horse Show, expressed his enthusiasm for two major 4* events taking place so close together.
“It’s wonderful,” said Ward. “At these venues, we have events that rival most shows in the world with really traditional showgrounds, wonderful natural settings, great character and great audiences. I’m very proud that these events have re-energized themselves and I’m very happy to be able to stay and compete at this level on my home soil.”
Ward concluded, “For me, it’s a real source of pride to see the level of the sport in the United States rising to the best we see in Europe. It’s our pleasure and honor to go back and compete at Upperville this year.”
The historic facility at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show has implemented improvements in recent years, which include all-weather footing, additional stabling and amenities and a new, upgraded VIP experience for sponsors and guests.
The show has also embraced the latest technology and greatly increased its online presence through Upperville Live — a suite of digital projects and programs that include online entries, live streaming for both hunter and jumper competitions, enhanced broadcast-level coverage of signature events simulcast on both Facebook and the USEF Network and live updates from the Upperville Colt & Horse Show’s various social media outlets.
Most recently, Ward won the $25,000 Upperville Colt & Horse Show 1.40m Jumpers at the Palm Beach Masters in Wellington, Florida, where Michael Smith, president of the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, presented him with the award.
Smith commented, “McLain told me that he is planning to come to Upperville this year so it really means a lot for him to win this class. It was great to be able to give him the trophy on Saturday.
“We had a sell-out last year with an 85-stall waiting list so it’s very important for trainers and riders to get their entries in on time,” added Smith.
Entries for the 2018 Upperville Colt & Horse Show may be submitted online via HorseShowsOnline’s streamlined entry system beginning in April. The closing date this year is May 15, and trainers and riders are encouraged to get their entries in as soon as possible.
To learn more about the 2018 Upperville Colt & Horse Show, please click here.