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Erynn Ballard best in the CSI5* 1.50-1.55m The Mustangs at Spruce Meadows

Saturday, 08 June 2024
CSI5* Spruce Meadows The ‘Continental' 2024

Photo © Spruce Meadows Media/Dave Chidley Erynn Ballard and Libido Van’t Hofken, winners of the CSI5* 1.50-1.55m The Mustangs at Spruce Meadows. Photo © Spruce Meadows Media/Dave Chidley.


Edited press release from Spruce Meadows



Canada's Erynn Ballard placed both first and second in Friday's 1.50m-1.55m Grand Prix qualifier at The ‘Continental’, presented by Rolex, at Spruce Meadows.

Ballard topped the leaderboard during the opening round of The Mustangs 410m course with Libido Van’t Hofken (Nabab de Reve x Heartbreaker) and Gakhir (Spartacus TN x Labor's VDL Indorado) finishing half a second apart at 84.03s and 84.53s. After testing both in the the jump-off against nine other horse-and-rider combinations, Ballard took the top spot with Libido Van’t Hofken and finished second with Gakhir with times of 42.86 and 43.12 respectively. Great Britain's Matthew Sampson took third with Daniel (Heartbreaker x San Patrignano Mister) after stopping the clock on 43.52 in the jump-off.

The impressive first-second ranking left Ballard on a high note, as she and the rest of the Team Canada equestrians wait to hear if they will be selected as the final foursome heading to Paris in July. 

“To start out so strong with these two horses, I would say the odds are in my favour,” said a beaming Ballard, who won her first 5* Grand Prix at Langley, BC’s Thunderbird Show Park last month. “My first 5* win was the greatest day of my career so far. But everybody that rides a pony, whether you're a little girl, a little boy, or a teenager, you do this to go to the Olympics. So certainly it's in the front of my mind and I've got the horses to do it, but I still have a lot of work to do.”

While fellow Canadian Olympic team hopeful Amy Millar was reluctant to speculate on the possibility of Canada’s first-ever all-female Olympic team, Ballard was a little more forthcoming. “It’s a cool thought,” said Ballard. “We are a small group, but we are very strong and we are very united and we are always cheering for each other."

“I'm always hashtagging ‘girl power’. And I think that it would be a great thing for the younger generation of the sport. But at the end of the day, no matter what, we're all teammates.”

Ballard and the other riders will be competing at Spruce Meadows over the next month, culminating with the ‘North American’ tournament from July 3-7.


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