Erynn Ballard and Nanini van d’Abelendreef © Sportfot.
Wellington, FL – February 11, 2022 – The fifth week of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Fidelity Investments®, featured the $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m CSI5* on Friday, February 11, 2022, with the world’s top-ranked female show jumping athlete, Erynn Ballard of Canada, taking the victory with Nanini van d’Abelendreef, owned by Esperanza Imports.
Just over 50 international combinations made their way into the arena to contest Kelvin Bywater’s (GBR) technical speed track with just under 20 of those entries coming home fault-free. Those that managed to have a successful round represented 10 different nations with Canada, Ireland, and Egypt leading the charge. Ballard and the nine-year-old Belgian Sport Horse mare Nanini Van d’Abelendreef (Kannan x Heartbreaker) found the fast track at every turn for the win in 57.82 seconds. While Matthew Sampson (GBR) was slightly faster, a rail left him out of the ribbons.
“We have been able to take our time with this mare, and she is truly just such quality and so competitive,” detailed Ballard. “We had an unlucky rail on Wednesday of this week, so when she came out today, she was like, ‘I do not knock jumps down, and today we are winning.’ She is just the kind of horse that you could bring out to jump in a halter and lead rope, and she would do her best to try and win.”
Ballard has had the ride on the young mare since the beginning of her eight-year-old year and has taken the time to bring her up slowly over the summer and into FEI ranking classes starting this past fall.
Stephen Moore Snags the Victory in $37,000 Griffis Residential CSI2* Qualifier
International competition continued to roll right along with the $37,000 Griffis Residential CSI2* Qualifier debuting as the largest and last class to take place in the International Arena on Friday. An impressive 78 horse-and-rider duos took their turns over the first round track as they hoped to earn a returning spot in the jump-off to qualify for Sunday’s $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI2*. As the light faded, 16 entries chose to return for their chance at the winning honor.
A total of 19 pairings had qualified but Enrique Gonzalez (MEX), Eliza Lehrman (USA), and T. J. O’Mara (USA) chose to save their jumps for another day. The jump-off track appeared to give each returning competitor a more difficult time as each exhibitor landed with at least one downed fence until Lacey Gilbertson (USA) managed to find the path to a clear round. Several more rounds followed until the USA’s Rebecca Conway found her way around an even faster track aboard Con Coleur.
As the battle concluded, Ireland’s Stephen Moore gave it his all, and his all was good enough to steal the win aboard Albert K. Moore and the Vlock Show Stables LLC’s 13-year-old DWB gelding Albert K (Heartbeat x Quidam de Revel). They turned on the turbo and stopped the clock at 42.04 seconds to finish over a full second ahead of the closest challengers.
For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.