Friday: Ballard Packs Another One-Two Punch

Canada’s Erynn Ballard pulled off another extraordinary first-second 5* finish in Friday’s 1.50m RBC Capital Markets Cup, her second one-two placement atop the leaderboard in a matter of two weeks.

Ballard, currently the second-ranked female show jumping athlete in the FEI World Rankings, placed first in the jump-off round with prized gelding Gakhir, coming in at 36.88 seconds. Her final ride with Libido Van’t Hofken, at 37.47 seconds, saw her nab second spot as well, beating a starting field of 35 other riders, six of whom were up against Ballard in the jump-off.

The results were a flip-flop of Ballard’s one-two placement in last week’s ‘Continental’, presented by Rolex, where she took top spot with Libido and came second with Gakhir in The Mustangs 1.55m competition.

Today’s win during the ‘National,’ presented by Rolex, was hailed as ‘virtually unprecedented’ at this level of competition, let alone to happen in such close succession.

It was only last month that Ballard claimed her first-ever CSI5* Grand Prix victory at Langley, B.C.’s Thunderbird Show Park.

“I think that I’m so lucky,” a beaming Ballard remarked following the class. “There is nothing that makes you more confident than winning, and I have certainly been on a roll.

“Every time I go in now, I think that I have the chance to win, and it makes me that little bit faster and a little bit more competitive.

“Also, when you’re already winning, and you go last in the jump-off, you can give it all.

“So maybe along the way I’m teaching myself something about being faster. Maybe I’m teaching my horses a little bit more about being faster. It’s just all coming together.

“When you’re on a roll, ride the wave. There’s nothing better. Confidence is a great thing.”

Saturday: Foster Clinches RBC Grand Prix

Canada’s Tiffany Foster solidified her status as the world’s top-ranked female show jumper tSaturday afternoon, clinching a victory in the RBC Grand Prix, presented by Rolex.

Foster, with Battlecry, came first in the jump-off, beating last night’s hero, Erynn Ballard, to a stunning victory on the International Ring.

Foster beat her fellow Canadian Olympic squad hopeful Ballard, with Nikka VD Bisschop, by just over half a second, coming in at 42.23 to Ballard’s 42.71.

The dynamic duo faced just two other finalists in the jump-off, including Jos Verlooy of Belgium on Origi, who came third. Matthew Sampson (GBR) and Daniel were knocked off a super-tight leaderboard, coming fourth by less than a second behind Foster.

Foster gave credit for the win against a starting class of 34 other riders to Battlecry.

“I was definitely not at my best today,” said Foster. “I had a little chat with him and just asked him to be there for me today, and he did it.

“I can’t even begin to describe that feeling that a horse gives you, when he’s giving you his all.

“He’s a really fast horse. He’s still pretty green. This is his first year of trying at that 1.60 level.

“When you have a great horse like this, there are things that come along that we had to work through. But I’ve always believed that he would be able to do it. His stride length is incredible. Honestly, that’s where he makes up a lot of ground.”

Full results here:


~ with files from Spruce Meadows Media