It’s now official: Canada’s Erynn Ballard has taken over the reins of the Rein Family LLC’s Nikka VD Bisschop, the talented 11-year-old BWP mare formerly piloted by Beth Underhill. Underhill and Nikka had most recently represented Canada at the Pan Am Games in Santiago, Chile, where they placed 9th overall and were members of the silver medal team.

Ballard, who has ridden a large number of horses for Ilan Ferder since 2017, was entered with Nikka in a pair of 1.45m classes at the ESP Spring 3 in Wellington, Florida, April 17-21. In their first getting-to-know-you class together, they were clear and finished 20th in a field of 63.

“We’ve been to watch Erynn jump school her a few times and it’s got us very excited at the possibilities for Paris,” said Mark Rein.

“We are Canadians who are committed to supporting the Canadian team and Canadian riders to the benefit of Canada’s long-term future.” ~ Mark Rein

Erynn is equally excited about the new partnership. “We jumped our first class yesterday and I couldn’t have asked for a better start!” she told “It is an honour to be Nikka’s rider. We have a great team supporting us. I am very excited for the future with this mare and the Rein family. None of this would be possible with the support of Ilan Ferder and Nick Skelton. Thank you Mark, Tara, Cassidy, Nick and Ilan!”

Another of the Rein’s Canadian riders, Kyle Timm, has been campaigning their good 11-year-old gelding Casino Calvin with an eye to a spot on the team. In March, the pair were 5th in the $385,000 (USD) FEI 5* Bainbridge Companies Grand Prix, the best Canadian result.

The Reins are excited to have two strong Olympic team potentials in Erynn and Kyle.

“We are totally focused on Paris. We have Erynn and Kyle on the two best horses we have and hope that they will go to Paris.”

It is gratifying that this extraordinary mare will continue to be ridden by a Canadian and thus be eligible for this summer’s Olympic Games. FEI rules require that a horse can only compete in the 2024 Olympics by an athlete of the same nationality under which it is registered as of January 15, 2024; Nikka is registered with Canadian ownership. The Reins have noted that they remain committed to Canadians and are not focused on anything beyond Paris, but refute the idea of their horses being moved to American Laura Kraut after the Olympics. Kraut trains the Reins’ daughter, Cassidy, and is on their Global Champions League team, the Rome Gladiators.

“We are Canadians who are committed to supporting the Canadian team and Canadian riders to the benefit of Canada’s long-term future. Laura is blessed with a wonderful group of owners with amazing horses. Our dream is to be able to provide that same level of support to our Canadian athletes.”