Toronto, OT – Nov. 7, 2017 – Two-time Olympian Daniel Bluman of Israel opened international show jumping competition at the Royal Horse Show with a win in the $35,000 International Jumper Power and Speed on Tuesday, November 7, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 95th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair running through November 13 in Toronto, ON.
In addition to Bluman, top show jumping athletes representing Belgium, Ireland, New Zealand, the United States, and the home nation of Canada contested the $35,000 International Jumper Power and Speed on Tuesday afternoon, opening five days of international competition at the Royal Horse Show.
Upon successfully completing the ‘power’ phase of 2016 Rio Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge’s track, those who were clear from the 23-horse starting field advanced to the ‘speed’ portion where the fastest time won. Riding Apardi, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Corland x Kannan) owned by Simhon – Schwitzer – Bluman, Bluman posted a time of 26.48 second over the speed course to take the win over Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, who stopped the clock in 27.42 seconds aboard Thalys Z, owned by The Thalys Group.
Four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Beezie Madden finished third in 28.11 seconds riding Coach for owner Abigail Wexner, while Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts took fourth on H&M Harley VD Bisschop in 29.74 seconds for owners Ben Beevers and Ludo Philippaerts. First on course, Ireland’s Conor Swail rounded out the top five, stopping the clock at 29.99 seconds riding GK Coco Chanel for owner and fellow international show jumping division competitor, Vanessa Mannix of Calgary, AB, who placed eighth in the class with Chemas.
“The Royal is one of my favorite horse shows of the year,” said Bluman, 27, who will pilot three horses in the international division at this year’s Royal Horse Show. “The atmosphere is fantastic, and I don’t think there is an indoor event like it anywhere else in North America. I came on a late invitation several years ago and I loved everything about it, so I put it on my calendar and try to come every year.”
“I have had the ride on Apardi since 2013; he is a fantastic jumper with a lot of quality and scope,” continued Bluman of his 2016 Rio Olympic mount that is an active breeding stallion, having sired over 150 foals to date. “He is a little green in the mind, but now that he is entering into his later years, it is going to be the best time in his career. He is a horse with all the talent and can jump at the top of the sport.”
$35,000 International Jumper Power and Speed
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Faults | Time
1. Apardi / Daniel Bluman / ISR / 0 | 26.48
2. Thalys Z / Erynn Ballard / CAN / 0 | 27.42
3. Coach / Elizabeth Madden / USA / 0 | 28.11
4. H&M Harley vd Bisschop / Nicola Philippaerts / BEL / 0 | 29.74
5. GK Coco Chanel / Conor Swail / IRL / 0 | 29.99
6. Casino / Ali Ramsay / CAN / 0 | 30.19
7. Main Road / Shane Sweetnam / IRL / 0 | 30.50
8. Chemas / Vanessa Mannix / CAN / 0 | 30.85
9. Navalo de Poheton / Andrew Kocher / USA / 0 | 32.16
10. Brighton / Tiffany Foster / CAN / 1 | 36.05
11. Lucifer V / Jack Towell / USA / 1 | 37.93
12. Fortis Fortuna / Daniel Coyle / IRL / 4 | 26.52
For full results, click here.
Erynn Ballard Bests $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby
Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, and Enchanted won the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby on Tuesday, November 7, at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.
Ballard and Enchanted, a six-year-old mare owned by Christel Weller, entered the Ricoh Coliseum as the penultimate entry. Judges Chance Arakelian of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, and James Clapperton of Morriston, FL, awarded Ballard and Enchanted a base score of 90, nine handy bonus points, and the maximum ten bonus points for jumping the higher height option fences set by course designer Rob Carey of Vineland, ON. With an impressive overall score of 109, the pair shot to the top of the leaderboard by a large margin.
With one entry left to contest the hunter derby track, all eyes were on Darcy Hayes of Aurora, ON, aboard Say When, who had emerged victorious in the $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby held Sunday, November 5. When the pair posted a score of 99 points, the win went to Ballard by a considerable ten-point margin. Brent Balisky of Langley, BC, and Class Act, owned by Wendy Valdes, rounded out the top three with a score of 97.5.
“My focus in the derby is always to get the highest hunter score that I can get because that’s out of 100,” explained Ballard. “Your handy and your high options are out of 20, so, I’m always trying to aim for 100 and the rest is icing. Tonight, I didn’t want to jump the big combination. I thought it was very impressive for a six-year-old, and it was off a short turn.”
However, with riders contesting Tuesday night’s class in reverse order of their placings in Sunday’s $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby, Ballard knew she had tough competition entering the ring behind her in the form of Hayes and Say When, owned by Danielle Trudell-Baran.
“I was so good up to that point, I risked it all to be first,” said Ballard, 37, who is competing at the Royal Horse Show for the 29th time. “If I had jumped the low option, I was probably going to be second losing those valuable points. Enchanted stepped up her game; she was super.”
For the victory, Ballard and Enchanted were presented with the Paddy Ann Burns Trophy. Enchanted earned the Lorna Jean Guthrie Challenge Trophy for the Canadian Hunter Derby Champion as the high point horse in both the $15,000 Braeburn Farms Hunter Derby and the $25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby.
“She is a very special horse,” Ballard said of Enchanted, purchased a year ago through Paul Hendrix’s Dutch Sport Horse Sales auction in The Netherlands. “She’s very sure of herself for a six-year-old. To go into that pressure situation and to do so well is great. She was a stand-out tonight in the class.”
$25,000 Knightwood Hunter Derby
Place / Horse / Rider / Score
1. Enchanted / Erynn Ballard / 109.0
2. Say When / Darcy Hayes / 99.0
3. Class Act / Brent Balisky / 97.5
4. Lucky 2 Knight / Margaret (Muffie) Guthrie / 97.0
5. Easystreet / Brent Balisky / 96.0
6. Miracle / Sam Walker / 95.0
7. Lancelot / Diana Dionisio / 90.0
8. Leopold / Ryan Roy / 89.0
9. King Bee / Quincy Hayes / 86.0
10. Corona OS / Carly Stevens / 84.0
11. Geneva / Maude Boulanger Bouchard / 83.0
12. Cut To The Chase / Scott McKay / 81.0
For full results, click here.