Ward Announces Retirement of HH Azur

Olympian McLain Ward announced the retirement of his longtime partner HH Azur in good health.

On July 2nd, 2023, Olympian McLain Ward announced the retirement of his beloved mare HH Azur in good health.

Ward rode “Annie” in Sunday’s 1.5 million euro Rolex Grand Prix CSIO5* in an attempt to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping at the CHIO Aachen. But after taking down rails at fences 2 and 3 in the first round, Ward raised his hand and retired.

Later that evening, Ward made the announcement of Annie’s retirement from the sport in a heartfelt post on Facebook.

Ward and the 17-year-old Belgian Sporthorse mare began their partnership in 2015. Over the years, the duo has racked up countless accolades at the top level of the sport. Perhaps most notably, Ward and Annie won the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup Final in Omaha, Nebraska—an achievement Ward had coveted for decades. Annie, owned by Double H Farm and François Mathy, also helped the United States to team silver at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

But her talent in the ring isn’t the only special thing about Annie. From the beginning, it was evident that her attitude and personality were stand-out. In an interview with Practical Horseman following his win aboard Annie in the $200,000 Empire State Grand Prix at Old Salem in 2022, Ward shared, “She’s a queen. She’s a never-end of energy. She’s, in the most wonderful way, arrogant. [But] she’s a warrior. She’d follow you off a cliff.”

Practical Horseman and Equine Network wish Annie a happy and healthy retirement!

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