Holiday & Horses Wraps Up With A Win By Erynn Ballard and Canora Z In The $25K Omega Alpha National Grand Prix

The 2019 ESP Holiday & Horses show wrapped up this afternoon with more exciting hunter and jumper competition. The highlight class of the day was the $25,000 Omega Alpha National Grand Prix, which was ultimately championed by Erynn Ballard of Canada and Emma Waldgoel’s Canora Z. Twenty-seven horse-and-rider combinations turned out for the first round, designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio, and five returned for the jump-off. Ballard flew through the timers at 39.311 seconds to claim first, while Kent Farrington of Wellington, FL piloted Kaprice, owned by Kent Farrington & Haity McNerney, to second place in 39.548 seconds. Marie Demonte of France stopped the timers at 36.886 seconds, but had four faults added to her score to consequentially take home the yellow ribbon aboard Guy Beloossoff’s Stella Levista.

Ballard flew through the timers at 39.311 seconds to claim first place against 26 competitors. ©Anne Gittins Photography

Ballard commended her horse’s performance stating, “Canora came over in the spring, and this is only about my fourth show with her, but she’s been doing really well. She’s just an 8-year-old and we sort of had this class in mind for her this week. She did two 1.40m classes earlier this week to gear up for this and I think that our plan worked and she jumped beautifully today.”

Erynn Ballard and Canora Z championed the $25,000 Omega Alpha Grand Prix Sunday afternoon. Pictured with ringmaster Steve Rector. ©Anne Gittins Photography

This week featured the first FEI competition to take place in the International Arena on the brand-new surface. Ballard commented, “I think the horses really like it. They jump very consistently from beginning to end. You can go very fast on it and you don’t feel them slipping out through the turns. It just feels like it’s ‘with you’ all the time so I think it’s great.” Ballard plans to focus on her young horses during the rest of the ESP Holiday Series to get them “up and running for circuit.” 

The $2,500 Equiline High Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic saw Mimi Gochman of Palm Beach, FL take home top honors with Gigi’s Girl BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC, in 38.884 seconds. Finishing the jump-off in 41.318 seconds to claim second place was Natalie Dean of Palo Alto, CA and Marigold Sporthorses, LLC’s Maestro Vica V/D Ark. Vanessa Hood of Wellington, FL rode Fairytale 86, owned by Take Two LLC, to third after completing the jump-off in 38.131 seconds and with four faults.

Mimi Gochman took home top honors with Gigi’s Girl BH in the $2,500 Equiline High Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic. Pictured with ringmaster, Steve Rector. ©Anne Gittins Photography

Earlier in the day Ty Simpson of Wellington, FL and P & F Cordillo Z, owned by Outland Farms LLC, secured first place in the $2,500 Equiline Medium Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic after a 31.837-second jump-off. Ashley Vogel of Mequon, WI piloted her mount, Thalie D’Anjou through the jump-off in 35.33 seconds to clinch a second-place victory. Paige Matthies of Lake Leelanau, MI rounded out the top three with a jump off time of 33.02 seconds and four faults riding Dirkie Z, owned by Barbara Smith.

Corinne Sweeney of Oyster Bay, NY and Sagamore Farms’ Cerubin captured the blue ribbon in the $2,500 Equiline Low Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic after a 35.273-second performance in the jump-off. Alexandra Pielet of Highland Park, IL took second place aboard Cohbanta, owned by Hillside Farm LLC, with a jump-off time of 35.647 seconds, while Hailey Royce of Gurnee, IL and Goldbreaker, owned by Castlewood Farm Inc., finished the course in 37.567 seconds to claim third place. 

The $1,500 M&S Children’s Jumper Classic presented by Score At The Top was bested by Chase Finizio of Boca Raton, FL and Victor E, owned by Kathryn Hall, after their 50.271-second jump-off and four faults. Coming in at second place with five faults and a time of 56.316 seconds was Sari Hank Guerreiro of Mexico and H5 Stables’ H5 Sevillia. Sydney Kahle of X rounded out the top three aboard Peter Lloyd’s Aruba ISF after a 66.66-second performance in round one and four faults. 

Rising to the top of the leaderboard of the $1,500 M&S Adult Amateur Jumper Classic presented by Score At The Top was Laura Hutton of Wellington, FL riding Lander Royale DS, owned by Maarten Huygens, upon completion of the 1.15m track in 47.114 seconds. Laura Sexton of Greenwich, CT piloted her entry, Chloe to a second-place finish with a jump-off time of 48.983 seconds, while Beth Goodwin Franco of Wellington, FL and her Mia took home the yellow ribbon after stopping the clock at 49.247 seconds.