American show jumping rider, McClain Ward has been named the 2023 International Show Jumping Rider of the Year by his federation! His mare was previously announced. H Azure Named Horse of the Year. This is the second time McClain has received the award, having previously won it in 2017.
“We are very proud to receive this award because it was chosen by our American Equestrian community. It is a reflection of the hard work of our team and how that work has a positive impact,” Ward said in the acceptance video. “You may be wondering why I started this speech with the word 'we' instead of 'I'. The truth is, thanks to the individuals and professionals around me, past and present, one of our achievements was possible. The people around me are very intelligent and knowledgeable, and they are those in the game. Not only the reason for the success, but more importantly, the care they receive has ensured our horses have a wonderful quality of life.
McClain is especially appreciative of the efforts of her groom, Lee McKeever, who has now been employed by McClain for 35 years!
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