In the showjumping world, Rothchild is a household name. The winner of numerous competitions worldwide, Rothchild’s game face is as recognizable as his rider, McLain Ward (you may have heard of him). Though Sagamore Farms’ superstar gelding is a bit of a spitfire in competition, when the tack comes off he’s a charming and affable fellow who puts his EquiFit boots on one leg at a time.
In anticipation of his retirement and the official ceremony to honor his career to be held at The American Gold Cup in North Salem, New York on September 30, Rothchild was kind enough to take time out of his rigorous schedule to discuss with us what it’s like to be an equine VIP (hint: pretty great), his favorite song (hint: he’s on the right track, baby!), as well as what he’s looking forward to in retirement (hint: donuts).
I like winning, especially because I’m a bit “different.” And I love all of the attention!
What was your most memorable competition?
Winning the individual gold medal at the Pan-American Games in Toronto in 2015.
What will Day One of your official retirement look like? And after that?
Lots of grass! And you can find me gossiping with all my old friends at Madden Mountain in Cazenovia, New York.
For a job well done, you’ve successfully trained your humans to reward you with…
Donuts, apples, carrots, bananas, and mints. Some might call me spoiled but I think I’ve earned it.
The three words that best describe you are…
Charismatic, funny, and smart. And brave! (Yes, I know that’s four words because, as I said, I’m smart.)
What is your biggest pet peeve about McLain?
When he tries to bend me.
You drop a quarter in the jukebox to listen to…
Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”
What is your life’s mantra, or a phrase you use often?
“Really, guys. Come on.”
If you could travel anywhere that did NOT involve a horse show, where would it be?
Australia. I’d love to visit the kangaroos!
If you were not a professional showjumper, you would be a…
Movie star. That’s obvious.
What is your most treasured possession?
My glorious paddock!
What is one thing that McLain doesn’t know about you?
That I really do love him.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Being body clipped is not scary. There’s no need to be afraid! (See? Smart and brave!)
What do you hear most often around the barn?
Mint papers! I can hear them all the way down the aisle!
HH Azur, Clinta, and HH Gigi’s Girl walk into a bar, what happens next?
We all leave together!!!
Image Credit: Phelps Sports
“Without the horse none of this would be possible. We owe them our lives. They give us so much and they ask for only basic kindness in return. I believe horses and humans have a connection that draws us to each other. I believe in their own way they know we need them and they are pleased to be our partner whether it be in work or sport. We need to remember to never take this privilege of working and living with horses for granted. To never lose our appreciation for what they have given us throughout the history of time and to be sure that their relevance in our society does not fade away. This is our greatest responsibility as equestrians.”
– McLain Ward –