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Erynn Ballard and Coconet shine bright in the $125,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI3*

Sunday, 23 June 2024
CSI3* World Equestrian Center Ocala 2024

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography. Erynn Ballard and Coconet jumping in stellar form to first place. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.


Press release from World Equestrian Center



The second Saturday night Grand Prix of the 2024 Summer Series drew crowds to the WEC Grand Arena, where 32 top horse-and-rider combinations competed for victory in the $125,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI3*. Thirteen different countries were represented in Saturday night’s field, but it was Canada’s Erynn Ballard who emerged victorious aboard Wight Show Stables LLC’s Coconet (Colman x Cornet’s Stern). 

FEI Level IV course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) crafted a challenging track, with only seven pairs managing a clear first round.

Alberto Michan (ISR) was the first to tackle the short course aboard his own 10-year-old KWPN gelding, Joint De Canabis Van De Doornhoeve (Canabis Z x Cardento 933), setting the pace with a quick 42.10 seconds. 

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography. Alberto Michan and Joint De Canabis Van De Doornhoeve soaring to second place. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.

Fresh from a successful European tour and a recent CSI5* win in Spruce Meadows, Erynn Ballard (CAN) entered the arena aiming to extend her winning streak. She had a solid plan for the speedy 10-year-old Oldenburg mare, Coconet.

“Her foot speed is very fast. There were a lot of different numbers in the jump-off,” she explained. “You could do six strides from one to two, then it was a left turn. From two to three, I went in a wide seven so I could keep the pace. The left turn is my slower turn, and I felt like if I was going to be beaten anywhere, it would have been that turn back to number five. But I left it up and after I jumped number three, I really gave a big run, which is so fun in a big ring like this. In the jump-off, she was quite handy back to the double. I did nine strides moving forward to the big red oxer. Then I took a big risk to the last jump to keep running, but if you take big risks, you get big rewards.”

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography. Chloe Reid and Crossover 4 flying to third place. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.

The pair cleared the Lugano Diamonds vertical, crossing the timers in just 41.86 seconds, a time that no other competitor could catch.

“Right now, we’re on a wild ride. Our hope for this year is the Paris Olympics,” Ballard expressed. “My road to Paris has taken me from Florida to Mexico City, New York, Vancouver, Calgary, and here in Ocala. It’s been a pretty spectacular, unbelievable, wild, crazy year and amazingly enough, there has been a lot of winning,” laughed Ballard.

Coconet has also been in top form. “This is our second three-star win this year,” Ballard added. “She’s a real fighter. She gives you the feeling that she is going to fight for you in the ring. Whether you’re a little deep, a bit long, a little bit fast, or a little bit slow, she is there for you. She’s a warrior. She’s a queen, and just an incredible horse.”

Following Ballard and Coconet’s speedy performance, other riders tried their best to beat their time. Last to go, Chloe Reid (USA) and Team Reid LLC’s Crossover 4 (Cascadello x Chacco-blue) came close. Reid guided the 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding through an efficient track, stopping the clock at 42.42 seconds to secure third place.

Moti Ferder, Chief Executive Officer at Lugano Diamonds, commented on the night, “I am pleased to extend a heartfelt congratulations to the winners of the Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI3* and to World Equestrian Center (WEC) for hosting another outstanding event this year. As a founding partner of WEC, Lugano takes immense pride in being a part of this remarkable journey.” 


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