Erynn Ballard (CAN) and Bettina des Celtes dominated Wednesday’s $37,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) at the start of Tryon Spring 5 competition, navigating the speed phase of the Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) course design in a time of 24.373 seconds. In reserve, Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Boheme de Fleyres, the 2011 Selle Francais mare (Vargas de STE Hermelle x Easy Boy) she owns in partnership with Little Valley Farms, cleared the course in 25.879 seconds, while third place went to Rowan Willis (AUS) and Wellington Grey Goose, his own 2011 British-bred mare, after their 25.893-second performance over the speed test.
Ballard and the 2011 Selle Francais mare (New Boy de Logerie x Cumano) owned by Ilan Ferder were one of 36 entries to challenge the power component of the course, with 22 pairs continuing on to the speed phase. Ballard, who now has six wins under her belt and one podium finish in her last seven outings at TIEC, was able to watch most of the class and noticed that the course offered minimal opportunities to trim the number of strides between fences, but that by taking a longer route in one turn, she could set herself up to be tighter to the liverpool.
“Today was a really interesting class,” she recapped. “I actually got to sit and watch a lot. There wasn’t a huge opportunity to do more or less strides than everybody else. It stayed very close. The first jump in the speed portion was the green vertical at the end of the combination and everybody was going inside [to the liverpool] afterwards. I really felt that the inside turn put you on the outside [track] to get back to the liverpool.
“They were doing seven or eight [strides] and I said to Ilan [Ferder], ‘I really believe I can still do eight to the end jump, but get there in a better way, and I can be much faster to the liverpool.’ So I did seven to the Liverpool.” Ballard revealed that her later position in the order of go was helpful in securing the win, as well. “I was lucky enough that I went late, so nobody really picked up on that. Today I think it was a class that the strides really played a big role, because it was so close. To be able to leave out a stride like that to that particular jump, I think gave me an edge.”
Kent Farrington and Orafina Collect $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* Win
Kent Farrington (USA) and Orafina scored a win in the $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* at TIEC, stopping the jump-off timers at 36.926 for the win. In reserve, Lillie Keenan (USA) and Fasther, the 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Vigo D Arsouilles STX x Farmer) owned by Chansonette Farm LLC, cleared the short course in 37.994 seconds, while Erynn Ballard (CAN) and Gakhir, the 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Spartacus x Indorado) owned in partnership by Esperanza Imports, LLC and Ilan Ferder, scored the yellow rosette with a time of 38.888 over the jump-off track set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA).
After 59 entries challenged the first round of the competition, seven pairs were invited to test the jump-off track. Farrington and his own 2012 Dutch Warmblood mare (For Fashion x Canturo) have been partnered for less than a year, and have been starting small, he reported: “We started very small, and she’d only shown up to 1.35m. She’s come on strong in the last eight or nine months, and she has a lot of potential,” he said. “She’s unbelievably careful, so we’ll have to determine how big she wants to jump, but whatever level she does I think she’s going to be very competitive.”
With several smooth rounds produced in the jump-off contest, Farrington chose to ride the course in a way that would help her grow as an athlete, he shared about his jump-off strategy. “She has a very big stride, and I’ve been working on her turns and her rollbacks. I thought she did that very well today. It’s been a struggle for her in the past to rollback right, [quickly] to a vertical, which was jumps two to three in this jump-off. She’s coming on strong, so I’m very happy with her progress.”
Farrington was competing in Rome, Italy last week with his top horses Creedance and Gazelle, both of whom have won at TIEC numerous times, and flew back to TIEC to compete this week before jetting back to Europe. Farrington chose this week to continue developing his horses at the CSI 3* level and noted that this week’s competition is ideal for building and growing the sport:
“This is how the courses should be built, and I’m not saying that just because it went well for me,” Farrington detailed. “There weren’t very many clear out of a lot of starters, and I think that’s how you raise the level of the sport. It’s a 3* show, so I think that having about 10% of the class clear in a qualifier, because it was built to spec with technical lines and short time allowed, helps raise the level of the horses and raise the level of riding. I think it’s a great thing for the sport in America.”
Choosing TIEC as his destination for a one-week stint in the United States, Farrington concluded that the venue is “great for horses. The footing is very good since they [re-engineered the footing in Tryon Stadium], which makes me happy to bring my quality horses here to develop them. So, I think it’s a great way to bring up horses.”
For full results from the $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3*, click here.
For full results from the $37,000 Power & Speed Stake CSI 3*, click here.
Tryon Spring 5 competition continues through Sunday, June 6, featuring eight live streams available for highlight competitions at www.Tryon.com/streaming. Friday features the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at 8:00am EST, with Saturday’s $137,000 Cleghorn Gun Club Grand Prix CSI 3* hosted at 8pm in Tryon Stadium.