Canada's Erynn Ballard beats big stars at the WEF

Erynn Ballard and Darko’s Promise in their winning presentation with ringmaster Steve Rector.
Credit : Sportfot

Friday 08 February - 12h43 | Ian Clayton and PBIEC (edited release)

Canada's Erynn Ballard beats big stars at the WEF

“I just won the WEF, and it’s a five-star week! “I kind of have to let that all sink in.” 

 - Canada's Erynn Ballard beats big stars at the WEF

That was the reaction Canadian show jumper Erynn Ballard after her victory on Darko’s Promise in the $134,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 5 CSI 5* on Thursday, February 7, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida.

The 39-year-old, currently ranked 136thin the world, beat rivals in a world-class field of 50 riders, which included the Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders, Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca, Germany’s Markus Beerbaum, the United States’ McLain Ward and Kent Farrington, and Japan’s Karen Polle. 

The full results (and video of each round) are here. 

Ballard, who finished third in the Longines Masters of New York Grand Prix and won that competition’s speed class in 2018, was one of seven riders to advance to the jump-off round in the class. There, with her 11-year-old gelding, she rode clear again in a time of 39.285 seconds, ahead of Brazil’s Eduardo Menezes and the U.S.’s Wilton Porter (followed by his brother Lucas in fourth), pocketing the first-place prize of $44,220. 

“When there are only seven in it, we’re getting a good result no matter what,” said Ballard, who has been in a partnership with the horse owned by Ilan Ferder,for less than 10 months. “It’s better to go fast and take a chance to win then to go slow and knock one down and be sixth, because you’re going to get a good result one way or another. So, every once in a while you have to stop trying to be perfect and try to win, and that’s what we did today!”

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