Canada’s Erynn Ballard made quick work of Alan Wade’s 15-effort track in Saturday’s $38,700 FEI 1.45m Jump-off at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, riding her way into the jump-off with two Ilan Ferder entries, Hero and Fave D’Authuit. In the end, she returned to the winner’s circle on the nine-year-old Selle Français gelding Fave D’Authuit with a double-clear time of 35.91 seconds.

The Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows are one of the premier stops on the nation’s hunter-jumper horse show circuit, offering a full schedule of world-class competition May 7-12 and May 14-19 that features the nation’s best in equestrian sport.

Fifty-one entries representing eight countries challenged Saturday’s $38,700 FEI 1.45m Jump-off with 12 advancing from the initial round. Fresh off their win in Evergate Stables’ $40,000 New York Welcome Stake on Friday, Ballard and the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Hero had the fastest jump-off time (35.19 seconds) but ultimately landed in 12th place on an eight-fault score. She and Fave D’Authuit were the last pair to return over the shortened course and clinched the win in 35.91 seconds, just 0.09 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Lillie Keenan (USA).

“I think I had the advantage of being the only rider with two horses in the jump-off,” Ballard said. “I went quite fast on Hero; sometimes when you go that fast, it’s hard to keep the jumps up, so I had two down. Fave is much greener at the level and definitely much greener at that speed. I said to Ilan, ‘Do you want me to go as fast?’ When he said yes, I asked, ‘When I have two down and I’m 11th and 12th, are you going to be okay with that?’ And he said, ‘He has to learn how to go fast at some point, but you’re not going to have two down again.’

“Fave is relatively new to us; I think this is my fourth time at an FEI show with him,” she added. “He fit into our program quite quickly and felt like a really good match. He’s a horse that’s kind of with you everywhere you go. Actually, to Fence #3 in the jump-off I was talking to him because I saw it from so far away. I was like, ‘Come on, come on. It’s right there, let’s go get it!’ And he really got it. He has a huge stride, and I can trust that he doesn’t want to hit the jumps. The faster I go, the higher he jumps for me. We had high hopes for him, and today was our first FEI win.”

The three podium finishers were separated by just hundredths of a second. Keenan piloted Opium JW Van De Moerhoeve TN, Chansonette Farm LLC’s 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion, to second place in 36.00 seconds. Nayel Nassar (EGY) took third after tripping the timers in 36.05 seconds aboard Evergate Stables LLC’s 11-year-old Selle Français gelding Dorado De Riverland, his winning mount from Thursday’s $38,700 FEI 1.45m Two-Phase. (Also for Canada, Mario Deslauriers placed 8th in this class with Emerson.)

“Everybody’s excited,” Ballard said of her team in the barn. “Of course a win is always going to be exciting, and two wins in a row is icing on the cake. We’ll aim for three tomorrow when I ride Nikka VD Bisschop in the Grand Prix. It’s our first grand prix, and I’m really excited about it.”

Immediately following the FEI class, 19 horse-and-rider entries representing four countries tackled Wade’s 16-effort, 1.40m course in the $10,000 Old Salem Farm Speed Derby to conclude Saturday’s competition in the Old Salem Farm International Arena. Sydney Shulman-Desiderio (ISR) blazed ahead of her fellow competitors aboard Jill Shulman’s Villamoura, taking top honors in 65.535 seconds. Mia Bagnato (USA) and Elan Farm’s Essenar Crixus finished second in 66.869 seconds. TJ O’Mara (USA) took third in 66.943 seconds with Kiely Equestrian LLC’s Nayana ADB.

Other hunter and jumper champions were crowned in all three rings throughout the day, with the spotlight on Amateur-Owner and Pony hunter divisions in the Hedge and June Road rings. Bringing home the Combined Children’s Pony Hunter Championship was Zoe Reick’s Blew Me Away, piloted by Edith Barber of New York, NY. Olivia Love of Eastchester, NY, rode MDHT Equestrian LLC’s Backstory to the 1.25m Junior Jumper Championship, while Summer Paulos of Newtown, CT, and Beyaert Farm Inc.’s Liza earned the 1.25m Amateur Jumper Championship.

Full show results can be found at