McKeever is trained by her father, Lee, and Ward, who just returned from the Tokyo Olympic Games. Although McKeever hadn’t ridden “Sal” for a bit before the Hampton Classic, she knew he was being taken care of while she was away.
“I thought Sal was in his best condition today,” McKeever said. “I know he’s always ready to go, and I felt that he really understood the course and listened to me as I went along.”
The 1.15m course, comprising 12 jumping efforts, was designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade. Steve Sarafin judged the class’s over-fences phase, and Chris Wynne judged the under-saddle.
While lining up for the results, McKeever wasn’t sure if she had won. “We felt good going into the flat. Sal was just fantastic. I know I can always be better, though, so I thought I had a little room for improvement.”