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‘Everything’s falling into place’: Ballard lands second major class of the week at WEF 2021

Erynn Ballard captured her second major win of the week on Saturday, January 9, in the $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Classic at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

In contrast to Ballard’s winning ride on Thursday, Walter White – a horse she had only ridden twice – Ballard has worked with Harvester, a nine-year-old KWPN gelding by Dakar VDL x Labor’s VDL Indorado, for two years and knows him well.

“I have a nice history with him,” she confirmed. “He’s always been one of my favorites.”

There were 23 entries in the $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Classic during the Premiere Week of WEF at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), and they competed over a course designed by Eric Hasbrouck (USA). Seven clear rounds advanced to the jump-off. Riding out of the fourth spot in the jump-off, Ballard and Harvester were able to speed through the short course to end up double clear in 35.765 seconds for victory.

Liza Finsness (USA) and her own Shiver, a 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Stakkato x Grannus, placed second with a clear round in 36.562 seconds. Rounding out an all-female top three was Amy Millar (CAN) riding Christiano, an 11-year-old German Sport Horse gelding by Canoso x Compliment owned by Future Adventures. They were the final double clear in the class with a time of 37.450 seconds.

“Things are going my way,” said Ballard. “I seem to be able to go fast right now, and everything’s falling into place. You definitely have to ride that way when you have the opportunity.”

In the jump-off, Ballard took advantage of Harvester’s better turning to the left and blazed across a bending line of three fences that went the width of the International Arena.

“He’s got a cool canter. I know I had him where I wanted him, and if I put him in the right spot, he was going to do it,” she said. “The maturity in him from eight to nine [years old] is [that] he’s much more consistent. He was third in the 1.40m, third in the 1.45m. You can just feel that every day you have the same horse, and not so much a young horse where every day it’s a little bit different.”

Opening up competition on Saturday morning in the International Arena, Kristen Berian of Lighthouse Point, FL, rode Fantast van het Vinckenhof to the win in the $15,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Lugano Diamonds.

In the $1,500 Griffis Residential High Junior Jumper class, Zayna Rizvi of Greenwich, CT, and Quivive S Z, owned by Missy Clark and North Run, were victorious.

In the final class of the day, Lola Head of Houston, TX, won the $1,500 Karlswood Medium Junior Jumpers with her own Arcange de L’Arc.

Final Results: $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Classic

1 HARVESTER: 2012 KWPN gelding by Dakar VDL x Labor’s VDL Indorado

ERYNN BALLARD (CAN), Ilan Ferder: 0/0/35.765

2 SHIVER: 2005 Hanoverian gelding by Stakkato x Grannus

LIZA FINSNESS (USA), Lisa Finsness: 0/0/36.562

3 CHRISTIANO: 2010 German Sport Horse gelding by Canoso x Compliment

AMY MILLAR (CAN), Future Adventures: 0/0/37.450

4 CENTRIKO VOLO: 2012 Oldenburg gelding by Centadel x Chacco-Blue

JORDAN COYLE (IRL), Celtic Park, LLC: 0/4/35.721

5 HOUSTON: 2007 Belgian Warmblood stallion by Heartbreaker x Corofino

SPENCER SMITH (USA), Ashland Farms: 0/4/35.962

6 KASSIODAM: 2012 AES mare by Luidam x Kolibri

MCLAIN WARD (USA), McLain Ward: 0/4/39.734

7 DAVALL VDL: 2008 KWPN gelding by Zavall VDL x Indorado

ASHLEY FLEISCHHACKER (USA), Ashland Show Stables LLC: 0/8/40.067

8 HOLSTEINS MATINA: 2009 DWB mare by Party Dance x Charmeur

SOPHIA STUDD (DEN), Marie Botved Studd: 1/75.052

9 MIKADO VAN D’ABELENDREEF: 2012 BWP gelding by Eldorado VD Zeshoek

FILIP DE WANDEL (BEL), Five Way Farm LLC: 4/73.384

10 HEMERALD-BALIA: 2012 KWPN gelding by Emerald x Indoctro

RAMIRO QUINTANA (ARG), Orpen Horses: 4/73.993

11 ASTON DES ETISSES: 2010 Selle Francais gelding by Mylord Carthago*HN x Quidam de Revel

MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Gladewinds Partners LLC: 4/74.965

12 AMERICAN: 2010 Italian Sport Horse mare by Baedeker x Locato

LUIS LARRAZABAL (VEN), San Francisco Stables LLC: 4/74.981

Julia Gildea and Tristram 7

‘I didn’t take a pause’

Equitation competition began on Saturday morning with the Ariat National Adult Medal taking place in the South Ring. Of the 27 riders, the top six who earned a score of at least 81 were called back for the test, which involved a bending line and trot fence. Returning to the test in third place with a first-round score of 84, Julia Gildea and Tristram 7 executed a picture-perfect test to move up two places to take home the blue ribbon.

“I thought my first round was good,” Gildea explained. “I was a little long to the second to last jump. I didn’t take a pause out of the corner, but it worked out. He will leave from anywhere you tell him to!

“I just wanted to be smooth and make sure that I got right up to pace since the first part was a bending line,” she added regarding her plan for the test. “I think my trot jump was really nice. I made him wait to the base because sometimes he likes to put in a canter stride before.”

Waltham, MA, resident Gildea has been paired with Holly Hill Farm’s Tristram 7 since the summer. The duo trains with Holly Hill Farm, who bred the 14-year-old Holsteiner/Oldenburg gelding by Ramsey.

She plans to keep showing Tristram 7 in the equitation this circuit and possibly attend the Ariat National Adult Medal Finals this year. The rider is thrilled to start the 2021 show season on a high note.

“It feels really great,” said Gildea of winning a class so early in the season. “I haven’t done much showing at WEF, only a weekend here and there, so it’s really nice to start off strong.”

Tess Lenihan, of Chester, VT, rode Sophie Lenihan’s Wayfarer to a second-place finish in the class. The pair received a first round high score of 86. Third place honors went to Miela Gross, of Del Mar, CA, aboard Eleanor Cox’s Dark ‘N Stormy. Gross and her mount earned an 81 in the first round.

Sunday will be the final day of competition for the WEF Premiere Week with the $75,000 Bainbridge Grand Prix taking place in the International Arena and the Marshall & Sterling Adult Amateur Hunter Older (Section B) in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring.

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