American show jumper McLain Ward will this week say an official goodbye to his multiple grand prix winner Rothchild at the four-star American Gold Cup meeting at North Salem, New York.

The 17 year-old, with whom Ward won individual gold at the Pan-American Games in 2015, was described by the rider as a horse he liked so much that if he was a person he would “go have a beer with him”.

For the US rider it will be an emotional farewell, as Rothchild is a horse his late father Barney bought and trained despite McLain advising him that it wouldn’t be worthwhile for him to do so. “He bought him anyway and thankfully so,” Ward said after the Pan-American Games win. “I think that, a little bit like my father, this horse defies the odds a bit.”

There will be plenty of Irish interest at the meeting which is part of the Longines FEI World Cup series. World Equestrian Games team members Shane Sweetnam and Paul O’Shea will be joined by Lorcan Gallagher, Daniel Coyle, Jordan Coyle, Cormac Hanley and Richie Moloney at the event.

Mark Sommer