Edited Press Release
The ESP June II Show concluded on Sunday at Equestrian Village, signaling the end of the equestrian competition until shows resume in August. On Friday, Gabriel De Matos Machado (BRA) saved the best for last in the $7,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake, piloting Emily Wood’s Evabellie RW, Machado. They swept through the timers in 38.398 seconds to take home the win. Sheer Levitin (USA) and her Vitus K settled for second with a double-clear time of 38.413 seconds, while Anselmo Alvarado (VEN) rounded out the podium with his Charatinus and a jump-off time of 40.349 seconds and four faults.
Show jumping competition continued on the Derby Field Saturday morning with twenty-six competitors vying for the $5,000 Vita Flex 1.35m Stake. Closing the class at the top of the leaderboard, Erynn Ballard (CAN) and Ilan Ferder’s Calypso De Blondel turned in a speedy and clear jump-off time of 37.541 seconds. Following in second were Andrea Torres (COL) and Picara Polka Amouretta, owned by Santa Catalina Farm, in 38.26 seconds without any faults. With a double-clear time of 38.653 seconds, Ballard also secured a third-place finish aboard Dotcom D’Authuit for Marigold Sporthorses.
Competition ended on Sunday, but only after Erynn Ballard (CAN) and Calypso De Blondel, owned by Ilan Ferder, claimed one final victory to conclude a very successful weekend. In the week’s highlight event, the combination once again rose to the occasion, securing a thrilling victory in the $25,000 IDA Development Grand Prix.
“It was a very fair course,” remarked Ballard. “When you see a 1.40m course at the regional standard, it can go either where everyone goes clear, or it’s too hard, but this was the perfect balance. You had a long course with a lot of questions, you had technical lines, a triple bar, short stride to a skinny, and then a normal stride to a wide oxer, that’s a test you see in a five-star grand prix, so it’s great that we get to practice it here. It allows you to teach your horses something and if they don’t do it well, it gives you something to go home and practice. The time allowed was a little bit tight but you had to work for it and that’s real sport.”
A total of twenty-two competitors jumped course designer Héctor Loyola’s (PUR) first round. Of the six pairs that advanced to the tie-breaking round, four were double clear. Going second in the order, Ballard set a swift time to beat of 36.179 seconds that no one could catch.
“I knew there were fast riders behind me, so I rode as fast as I would a two-star grand prix because I knew I had to make them come after me. These shows really prepare you for anything and it’s an invaluable experience for any horse to be able to jump out here on the field. The grass is amazing, you can run fast, and even at these small shows, there were only six in the jump-off, but they were some of the fastest riders, so no matter what, you have to stay competitive.”
Taking home the second-place finish was Gwyneth Babington (USA) and Kevin Babington’s Mark Q in a time of 36.824 seconds. Sheer Levitin (USA) completed the podium aboard her Vitus K with a time of 39.229 seconds.
Competitions will take a hiatus until the ESP Summer II show, which will take place from August 17-20 to begin the latter portion of the Summer Series. To view the prize list, please click HERE.