Rothchild

Photo courtesy of Lauren Fisher, Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
(2001 – )
Owned by Sagamore Farms
Inducted: 2016

Photos

Photo courtesy of StockImageServices.com
Photo courtesy of StockImageServices.com
Photo courtesy of Spruce Meadows Media
Photo courtesy of ESI Photography
Photo courtesy of StockIimageServices.com
Fans were rooting for Sagamore Farm’s Warmblood gelding, Rothchild, and McLain Ward to make the final four at the 2014 World Equestrian Games so they could watch how the top four riders would handle him when they had to swap horses to claim victory. In 2013, the pair had won two of the most prestigious competitions in the United States, the American Invitational and the Devon Grand Prix. Earlier in 2014, the pair had won the Longines Global Champions Tour in Antwerp in April and the CP Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows in June. When they finished fifth, Ward’s bittersweet comments touched hearts “This is the last horse I’ll probably ride at a championship that my dad [Barney Ward, who passed away in 2012] trained. I was hoping the story would end a little differently.”

But the story did end differently and it wasn’t the last championship – far from it. Rothchild closed out 2014 as part of the team winning the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup in September, jumping double clear and with wins at Hickstead in July and the FEI World Cup Qualifier at The Royal in Toronto in November for the second time. 2015 continued as a stand-out year for Rothchild culminating with his being named as an International Horse of Honor for 2015 by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) in recognition of his achievements.

Rothchild’s greatest showing was at the Pan American Games where he helped the U.S. Team to a Bronze Medal and claimed the Individual Gold. Ward looked to the sky as he finished his jump-off round in a nod to Barney, who took a chance on “Bongo,” an unconventional horse with a huge heart.

“I hope he can see what the horse is doing,” he said. “I fought him to the point where I hung up on him a couple of times not the buy the horse. He bought him anyway and thankfully so! I think that, a little bit like my father, this horse defies the odds a bit. He doesn’t really look like he should be a show jumper, he doesn’t really go like he should be a show jumper, and yet, he’s won a couple million dollars, a bunch of big grand prix classes, and now the Pan Am Games.”

The pair started 2015 with second place honors in the $127,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Round 7, two of the HITS Triple Crowns - the $1 Million AIG Grand Prix at Thermal and the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix in Ocala, as well as the $50,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake at Devon. He then went on to win the CP Grand Prix during the CSI5* ‘Continental’ Tournament at Spruce Meadows. In his final competition of the season, he earned the win in the HITS Thermal $100,000 Coachella Valley Classic.

“I think Rothchild has taught me a lot of lessons,” Ward said. “He’s taught me about meeting a horse in the middle. He’s taught me about believing in a horse and seeing the best in him. I really like this horse, aside from what he does in the ring. If he were a person I’d go have a beer with him.” There's no doubt that "the little horse that could", with his ears flat back, fighting to jump every fence, will keep beating the odds and forever be an inspiration to fans everywhere.