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Longines Speed Challenge of New York: Ladies night!

Saturday, 28 April 2018
CSI5* Longines Masters New York 2018

Photo (c) R&B Presse Photo (c) R&B Presse

Canada's Erynn Ballard (CAN) emerged victorious riding Fantast (Toulon x Rubens du Ri d'Asse) in the $100,000 Masters One Longines Speed Challenge on Friday evening at the Longines Masters of New York. It was an all-female podium finish as the women outran the men in one of the only Olympic sports where the sexes compete as equals. 

Contesting the identical track that riders already faced in the Season III Longines Masters of Paris and Hong Kong, Ballard's speed prowess allowed her to take a two-second penalty for a dropped rail yet still emerge victorious with a time of 60.62 seconds. Considered the world's speed championship, Ballard's time in the Longines Speed Challenge was faster than the 60.99 achieved by Julien Epaillard on home ground in Paris and eclipsed the time of 63.47 that Philipp Weishaupt of Germany posted in Hong Kong.

New York's Brianne Goutal-Marteau (USA) kept all the rails in place aboard Fineman (Feliciano x Beach Boy), owned by Rose Hill Farm, but finished more than a full second behind Ballard's time, stopping the clock in 61.86 seconds. As the first rider on course, Kristen Vanderveen (USA) set the early pace with a time of 62.04 seconds that kept her on the podium in third place with Bull Run's Faustino de Tili (Berlin x Darco).

"I don't think there's anything better!" said Ballard of her Longines Masters debut. "I was excited to ride here tonight in front of a big crowd; they were cheering for you and cheering for Canada. As soon as you walk in the ring, you are excited to be here. It's really an honor."

Speaking of the key to her victory with the13-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion owned by Sagamore Farms, Ballard said, "I think the biggest difference is that my horse has so much natural speed. His legs are fast, he has a big-stride, and he can turn fast. I think we won from start to finish. He's that fast!"

Created in 2010 by EEM, Founder and Producer of the Longines Masters Series Paris Hong Kong New York, the Longines Speed Challenge is the fastest show jumping competition in the world and always a crowd favorite. The Longines Speed Challenge is presented by Longines, Title Partner and Official Timekeeper of the Series.

Another highlight of the Longines Masters of New York edition, the exceptional presence of Kate Winslet, Longines Ambassador of Elegance, also represented the foundation of which she is Co-founder, The Golden Hat - for the cause of autism. The multi-award-winning actress could discover the magic of the "Show" Jumping!


Source: Press release from the Longines Masters of New York // Picture © R&B Presse

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