The second Saturday night Grand Prix of the 2024 Summer Series drew crowds to the World Equestrian Center Grand Arena in Ocala, Florida, where 32 top horse-and-rider combinations competed for victory in the $125,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI3*. Thirteen different countries were represented in Saturday night’s field, but it was Canada’s Erynn Ballard who emerged victorious aboard Wight Show Stables LLC’s Coconet (Colman x Cornet’s Stern).

FEI Level IV course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) crafted a challenging track, with only seven pairs managing a clear first round.

Alberto Michan (ISR) was the first to tackle the short course aboard his own 10-year-old KWPN gelding, Joint De Canabis Van De Doornhoeve (Canabis Z x Cardento 933), setting the pace with a quick 42.10 seconds.

Fresh from a successful European tour and a recent CSI5* win in Spruce Meadows, Erynn Ballard (CAN) entered the arena aiming to extend her winning streak. She had a solid plan for the speedy 10-year-old Oldenburg mare, Coconet. “Her foot speed is very fast. There were a lot of different numbers in the jump-off,” she explained. “You could do six strides from one to two, then it was a left turn. From two to three, I went in a wide seven so I could keep the pace. The left turn is my slower turn, and I felt like if I was going to be beaten anywhere, it would have been that turn back to number five. But I left it up and after I jumped number three, I really gave a big run, which is so fun in a big ring like this. In the jump-off, she was quite handy back to the double. I did nine strides moving forward to the big red oxer. Then I took a big risk to the last jump to keep running, but if you take big risks, you get big rewards.”

The pair cleared the Lugano Diamonds vertical, crossing the timers in just 41.86 seconds, a time that no other competitor could catch.

“Right now, we’re on a wild ride. Our hope for this year is the Paris Olympics,” Ballard expressed. “My road to Paris has taken me from Florida to Mexico City, New York, Vancouver, Calgary, and here in Ocala. It’s been a pretty spectacular, unbelievable, wild, crazy year and amazingly enough, there has been a lot of winning,” laughed Ballard.

Coconet has also been in top form. “This is our second three-star win this year,” Ballard added. “She’s a real fighter. She gives you the feeling that she is going to fight for you in the ring. Whether you’re a little deep, a bit long, a little bit fast, or a little bit slow, she is there for you. She’s a warrior. She’s a queen, and just an incredible horse.”

Following Ballard and Coconet’s speedy performance, other riders tried their best to beat their time. Last to go, Chloe Reid (USA) and Team Reid LLC’s Crossover 4 (Cascadello x Chacco-blue) came close. Reid guided the 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding through an efficient track, stopping the clock at 42.42 seconds to secure third place.

Moti Ferder, Chief Executive Officer at Lugano Diamonds, commented on the night, “I am pleased to extend a heartfelt congratulations to the winners of the Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI3* and to World Equestrian Center (WEC) for hosting another outstanding event this year. As a founding partner of WEC, Lugano takes immense pride in being a part of this remarkable journey.”

Watch the winning jump-off from the $125,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix:


$125,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI3* Results:

1. Coconet: 2014 Oldeburg mare by Colman x Cornet’s Stern
Erynn Ballard (CAN), Wight Show Stables LLC: 0 | 0 | 41.86

2. Joint De Canabis Van De Doornhoeve: 2014 KWPN gelding by Canabis Z x Cardento 933
Alberto Michan (ISR), Alberto Michan: 0 | 0 | 42.10

3. Crossover 4: 2013 Hanoverian gelding by Cascadello x Chacco-blue
Chloe Reid (USA), Team Reid LLC: 0 | 0 | 42.42

4. Lissano: 2011 Holsteiner gelding by Guardus Limbus x San Patrignano Cassini
Darragh Kerins (IRL), Eve Jobs: 0 | 0 | 42.89

5. Brin D’or De Haute Melen Z: 2014 Zangersheide gelding by Bamko De Muze x Baloubet Du Rouet
Sharn Wordley (NZL), Della Wordley: 0 | 0 | 44.07


A woman jumping a grey horse over a fence in Ocala.

Erynn Ballard and Mullentine Shalom winning the $40,000 YETI National Grand Prix. (Andrew Ryback Photography)

Ballard Places 1st and 3rd in $40,000 YETI National Grand Prix

The $40,000 YETI National Grand Prix was the highlight event on Sunday morning, featuring 39 horse-and-rider combinations competing for top honors. Fresh off last night’s $125,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI3* victory, Erynn Ballard (CAN) continued her success by claiming first place aboard Mullentine Shalom (Untouchable 27 x Mullentine Crosskeys) and third place with De Flor 111 Z Santa Rosa (Der Senaat 111 x Eveline 111), both owned by Ilan Ferder.

Guilherme Jorge (BRA) designed the national course for this morning, where seven pairs qualified for the jump-off. Top athletes from Canada, Mexico, Lebanon, New Zealand, and Australia tackled the short course, but only three combinations managed a double-clear effort.

Erynn Ballard rode two of her mounts in the jump-off, starting with Mullentine Shalom. “My plan is always to go fast. Whether I go first or last or in the middle, when I go into the jump-off, it’s a little bit irrelevant what everyone else is doing. I ride my speed, my track, try to leave out, and pick up speed wherever I can,” she said.

Ballard and the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare completed the short course in a blazing 32.124 seconds, securing the victory. “Today is [Mullentine Shalom’s] first big win! She’s a horse that we’ve been developing since she was eight years old. She’s always knocking on the door. Their first win is a memorable one. I just think the world of her. A lot of the horses I ride come and go, so it’s a bit different when you get to keep one and they really become your partner,” Ballard remarked.

Nicole Velazco Magana (MEX) and her horse, F.c. Okarla (Verdi Tn x Cokarla), nearly matched Ballard’s time with a swift round of 32.608 seconds, earning them second place.

Ballard had another chance to place on the podium as the second-to-last competitor with Ilan Ferder’s 13-year-old Zangersheide stallion, De Flor 111 Z Santa Rosa. Their quick performance in 33.791 seconds secured third place. Ballard commented on her new partnership with De Flor 111 Z Santa Rose, “He’s new to me and a little bit new to this level. When I ride him, I have to think about him differently because his stride is so big; you can leave out strides where a normal horse couldn’t. He’s also a stallion, so you have to ride him the way he wants to be ridden, but so far, he’s placed in every national grand prix, so we have big hopes for him.”

Reflecting on this week’s competition, Ballard added, “To have a three-star week with a national grand prix, it’s great. I just came from being on the road for six weeks with only four horses in Calgary, Canada because you’re restricted with how many you can show internationally. So, this specific venue at this time of year is very important to us because we can bring 40 horses, and they all have classes to show in. This week the seven-year-olds went in the big ring, which was incredible, because our seven-year-old is going to be showing in Aachen, Germany and what a better place to set her up.”

$40,000 YETI National Grand Prix
1. Mullentine Shalom, Erynn Ballard (CAN), Ilan Ferder: 0 | 0 | 32.124
2. F.c. Okarla, Nicole Velazco Magana (MEX), Nicole Velazco Magana: 0 | 0 | 32.608
3. De Flor 111 Z Santa Rosa, Erynn Ballard (CAN), Ilan Ferder: 0 | 0 | 33.791
4. Valentine Car, Sharn Wordley (NZL), Fernando Cardenas: 0 | 4 | 31.465
5. Hagelin, Sharn Wordley (NZL), Della Wordley: 0 | 4 | 33.370″