Erynn Ballard has a new mount to add to her string of top horses currently competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. Ilan Ferder imported the nine-year-old Selle Francais mare, Comedie de Talma, from the stables of Steve Guerdat, where she was campaigned with good results in her seven- and eight-year old seasons by Anthony Bourquard, including 4th in a grand prix in Italy last fall. The mare has also been shown by Guerdat’s wife, Fanni Skalli, who is expecting the couple’s first child in April.
Now paired with Ballard, who was awarded the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award during the first week of the Winter Equestrian Festival, the pair will have the remaining weeks of WEF to become acquainted before setting their sights on the summer circuit.
Was Comedie on your radar as a potential partnership, or was she an opportunity that you weren’t expecting?
I am in a very unique situation working for Ilan, because he sources and buys all of the horses in the stable. He is currently working with Martin Fuchs as his main contact in Europe to help find the horses. Martin and Ilan found Comedie. With COVID right now we don’t get to travel and try them, but I did see her most recent European videos before she came over and had already decided I loved her.
Did you know that she was an Insta star?
I honestly had no idea she had such a following until after the first day I showed her and my Instagram blew up ‒ she was obviously very well liked in Europe! Ilan always tells me not to do too much research on the horse’s history before I ride them because he tells me I get things into my head if I watch too many videos.
Early on in this new partnership can you identify some of her biggest strengths?
I have only jumped her the few times I have shown her and we gear up to show again this week. In the ring she is a fighter, and you can feel that she wants to jump clear every jump. She has all the qualities we need: big stride, scope, blood and ‘electric’ carefulness.
How would you describe her personality?
I have had the opportunity to flat her at home the last couple weeks and I just enjoy being around her. She’s sweet, but when you see her she has a big presence.
What are the future plans for Comedie?
Ilan makes the schedule for all the horses. Right now we are in a great situation where we have so many good ones that we plan the schedule on the readiness of the horses and the level of the shows (3*-5*). In most weeks they offer bigger national level grand prixs and that’s always a nice option for the new ones and the young up-and-coming ones. Her show record as a nine-year-old is pretty exceptional, so we will continue to build on that!
Watch Erynn and Comedie in action here:
Breed: Selle Francais
Dam: Pepite De Talma (Contender)
Career record: 58 starts, 6 wins
2nd – $2,500 1.35m Jumper (WEF 6)
3rd – $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Jumper (WEF 8)
Did you know… Comedie de Talma has had two foals (2016/17) including Histoire De Talma (by Vigo Cécé) who finished 4th overal at the 2020 Selle Français Mare finals in Fontainebleau.