Two time Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward (USA) bested an international entry of 52 to score his first victory of the Spruce Meadows “Canada One” Tournament in the WESTJET Cup. Riding his 10 year old Dutch gelding, Pjotter, Ward piloted two clear rounds, with a blazing trip around the jump off course of 42.52 seconds to defeat American teammate Mario Deslauriers.  Fourteen horse/rider combinations had advanced to the jump-off over the technically demanding course designed by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN).

“This was a very demanding course with a very talented field of horses and riders,” said Ward while receiving the WESTJET Cup and champion’s cheque from WESTJET’s Yehudi Altman. “There are horses and riders in this competition with Olympic and World Championship experience. I am very pleased the way my young gelding handled it all. This would be like a grand prix anywhere else in the world.”

Ward had had a very successful Spruce Meadows Summer Tour to date, sharing a number of victories around his stable with a very talented team of horses in his pursuit of world #1 Eric Lamaze (CAN).

That pursuit continues through the “Canada One” tournament all weekend, culminating with the ESSO Challenge World Cup on Sunday afternoon.

Next week attention returns to the International Ring with the $1 million Spruce Meadows “North American, highlighted by the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, the third leg of the CN Precision Series. Americans McLain Ward and Kyle King are both in play for a possible $50,000 bonus with a win next Saturday. 

Whoever should win the Queen Elizabeth II Cup on July 9th will receive the crystal chalice from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, who will be in attendance.

For a complete tournament schedule visit the Spruce Meadows website at

WestJet Cup – Top 10
1. McLain Ward, USA, Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve
2. Mario Deslauriers, USA, Urico
3. Guy Thomas, NZL, Lavito
4. Katie Monahan-Prudent, FRA, Sassicaia II
5. Karl Cook, USA, Uno De Laubry
6. Amy Millar, CAN, Costa Rica Z
7. Caitlin Zeigler, USA, Valencia
8. Jonathon Millar, CAN, Contino 14
9. Kent Farrington, USA, Valhalla
10. Shane Sweetnam, IRL, Traffic Boy