Leading US showjumper McLain Ward has moved up from fourth to head the Longines Rankings, the world Jumping rankings.
France’s Simon Delestre, who competed at his first Olympic Games at London 2012 and had held the world No.1 spot since March, is now second, with Germany’s three-time Olympian Christian Ahlmann close behind in third.
France’s Penelope Leprevost, who made her Olympic début at London 2012, is now fourth, with Great Britain’s Scott Brash, who helped Great Britain to team gold at London 2012, now fifth.
McLain Ward was recently named on the short list with both horses HH Azur and Rothchild for the USA Olympic Jumping Team for Rio 2016.
USA Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland said Ward’s elevation to World No.1 was a great boost for US show jumping.
“We are thrilled for McLain, his owners, and his support team. He is an extremely talented rider who produces horses with care and attention to detail.”
Ward first competed at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, winning team gold. He went on to win team gold again at the Beijing 2008 Olympics Games, and finished sixth individually at London 2012. Ward also won individual gold and team bronze at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
He was encouraged to ride from an early age, and at 14 became the youngest rider to win the United States Equestrian Team’s (USET) Show Jumping Talent Derby. Ten weeks later he became the youngest rider to win the USET Medal Finals and the first rider to win both titles in the same year. This early success led to him earning the nickname ‘The Kid’.
McLain’s father Barney won the 1982 Grand Prix of Devon in Pennsylvania, United States of America, 20 years to the day before his son claimed victory in the same competition.