Upperville, Va. – June 6, 2018 – It was down to the wire during the 1.40m Open Jumpers at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show as Canada’s Erynn Ballard tried to solidify her name at the top of the leaderboard. While Ballard had seven entries in the class the odds were in her favor, and early on she sat first and second. Yet, Virginia’s Sloane Coles gave her a run for the money, taking over the lead towards the end. Not to be outdone, as the last to compete with Ilan Ferder’s Zorran, Ballard edged out Coles by one second for the blue ribbon.
Brazil’s Marina Azevedo designed an inviting course on Wednesday that saw 34 athletes try to take home the winning prize. Nine managed to produce double-clear efforts and three of those were ridden by Ballard. She took home third place with Ferder’s Fellini S. Their clear jump-off time of 38.776 seconds was beat a few rounds later by Coles, who was riding Chippendale’s Boy DZ for Springledge LLC. Their time of 38.507 seconds was quick enough to take the lead for a few rounds, but they would eventually have to settle for second place when Ballard tackled the short course with Zorran. The pair picked up speed to the final fence and left out a stride to break the beam in 37.730 seconds and nab the victory.
Zorran and Ballard have only been paired together for two shows, but she knew she could take a shot on the 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. Although he is not a hot horse, Zorran opened up his stride and showcased his skill to continue Ballard’s winning ways, which have recently helped her reach the top 100 on the FEI world rankings.
Ballard and her team have had a good week so far at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, with Ballard picking up first and third earlier in the day as well during the 1.35m Open Jumpers. She won the class with Looking Back Farms’ Extra B and placed third aboard Gochman Sporthorse LLC’s Irish Kiss III. The second place prize was earned by Tomas Yofre and North Run Inc’s Cupido V.
The FEI CSI4* competition will kick off on Thursday with the $35,000 Upperville Speed Stake, sponsored by Valley Proteins, Inc, at 1pm. Another highlight for competitors and spectators on Thursday will be the $30,000 Upperville National Grand Prix, sponsored by Palm Beach Masters, at 4pm. The week’s main event will be Sunday’s $216,000 Upperville Jumper Classic CSI4*, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds and Mr. & Mrs. Michael A. Smith at 3pm.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Erynn Ballard – 1.40m Jumper winner
On her rounds on Wednesday:
“They consecutively got better. I think at one point I was first and second, and then Sloane went in and beat me so I had a little bit of a mission to make sure I won and this is my second horse show on Zorran, but I’ve already won two classes with him, so I felt like he was educated enough and I know him well enough to go just that little extra fast. Probably to the last jump I went a little extra fast and that’s where I got it.”
“He’s quite beautiful to ride. I had seven in that class and every single one of them rides a bit differently. My own personal type is very hot and he’s not. But he’s actually perfect, he’s beautifully balanced and he also is so pretty with that white face and those white legs. If I’m riding a horse that’s really comfortable and really nice I say ‘Gosh this horse makes me feel so pretty.’ So when I’m riding Zorran I actually feel beautiful.”
On competing at Upperville:
“It’s great to have the opportunity to show in different venues, I have a few young horses that need to see different things. They see Palm Beach and they see our shows at home. And they’re very comfortable in that and this is just a little bit different. It’s a beautiful ring, it’s got the stone wall, it’s got nice atmosphere, but for some of the younger ones you can’t just take them from Palm Beach at home to Spruce Meadows and expect them to have an idea of what is going on. So this is something a little bit different, I have two for the FEI and I think it’s going to be a hard division. It’s not going to be easy to get points here, but even for the young horses, my own personal horse won the 1.35m and he’s typically very nervous first day, new venue. And he walked right in and he won at shows and he’s improving as an animal. I had two young horses in the 1.30m and they each were placed, so so far the results have been good, the horses have been good, and we’re quite excited to be here.”
Place / Horse / Rider / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Zorran / Erynn Ballard / 0 | 70.920 / 0 | 37.730
2. Chippendale’s Boy Dz / Sloane Coles / 0 | 70.394 / 0 | 38.507
3. Fellini S / Erynn Ballard / 0 | 71.079 / 0 | 38.776
4. Le Care / Juan Gallego / 0 | 71.749 / 0 | 39.800
5. Edison P / Erynn Ballard / 0 | 72.217 / 0 | 40.015
6. Kardenta Van’t Meerhof / Cody Quintana / 0 | 69.307 / 0 | 40.201
7. Fanta Light B / Abigail Mc Ardle / 0 | 72.716 / 0 | 40.414
8. Luminous / Mary Lisa Leffler / 0 | 71.417 / 0 | 40.606
9. Exotik Sitte / Ali Wolff / 0 | 72.512 / 0 | 42.168
10. Baloucento 2 / Ailish Cunniffe / 0 | 76.678 / 1 | 54.827
11. Corlana / Alison Robitaille / 0 | 67.809 / 4 | 38.404
12. Dhi Zulu / Nicholas Dello Joio / 0 | 67.378 / 4 | 39.715