Canada’s Erynn Ballard (CAN) emerged victorious riding Fantast in the $100,000 Masters One Longines Speed Challenge on Friday evening at the Longines Masters of New York. It was an all-female podium finish as the women outran the men in one of the only Olympic sports where the sexes compete as equals.
Contesting the identical track that riders already faced in the Season III Longines Masters of Paris and Hong Kong, Ballard’s speed prowess allowed her to take a two-second penalty for a dropped rail yet still emerge victorious with a time of 60.62 seconds. Considered the world’s speed championship, Ballard’s time in the Longines Speed Challenge was faster than the 60.99 achieved by Julien Epaillard on home ground in Paris and eclipsed the time of 63.47 that Philipp Weishaupt of Germany posted riding Chacon in Hong Kong.
Brianne Goutal-Marteau (USA) & Fineman
New York’s Brianne Goutal-Marteau (USA) kept all the rails in place aboard Fineman, owned by Rose Hill Farm, but finished more than a full second behind Ballard’s time, stopping the clock in 61.86 seconds.
Kristen Vanderveen (USA) & Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili
As the first rider on course, Kristen Vanderveen (USA) set the early pace with a time of 62.04 seconds that kept her on the podium in third place with Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili.
“I don’t think there’s anything better!” said Ballard of her Longines Masters debut. “I was excited to ride here tonight in front of a big crowd; they were cheering for you and cheering for Canada. As soon as you walk in the ring, you are excited to be here. It’s really an honor.”
Top Three: 2) Brianne Goutal (USA), 1) Erynn Ballard (CAN), 3) Kristen Vanderveen (USA)
Speaking of the key to her victory with the13-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion owned by Sagamore Farms, Ballard said, “I think the biggest difference is that my horse has so much natural speed. His legs are fast, he has a big-stride, and he can turn fast. I think we won from start to finish. He’s that fast!”
Longines Speed Challenge Winner Erynn Ballard (CAN)
Created in 2010 by EEM, Founder and Producer of the Longines Masters Series Paris Hong Kong New York, the Longines Speed Challenge is the fastest show jumping competition in the world and always a crowd favorite. The Longines Speed Challenge is presented by Longines, Title Partner and Official Timekeeper of the Series.
Another highlight of the Longines Masters of New York edition, the exceptional presence of Kate Winslet, Longines Ambassador of Elegance, also represented the foundation of which she is Co-founder, The Golden Hat – for the cause of autism. The multi-award-winning actress coulddiscover the magic of the “Show” Jumping!
Juan Carlos Capelli – vice president of Longines and head of marketing – & Kate Winslet
The Longines Masters of New York continues through Sunday, April 29. Watch via live-stream on EEM.tv, a free digital equestrian sports channel broadcasting all of the action.
For full information on the 2018 Longines Masters of New York, visit www.longinesmasters.com.
Full Results here.
Photos: © Sportfot / Christophe Taniere / WRE