Wellington, Florida, USA – 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 CSI 5* 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. The WEF circuit runs for 13 weeks through April 3 and hosts thousands of competitors from across the globe.
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 (CAN) 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 Belgian Warmblood mare and has taken the time to bring her up slowly over the summer and into FEI ranking classes starting this past fall.
“I think it is very cool and unique that I have been able to develop her this past year, and that she has been so successful the whole way along,” said Ballard. “She is a fast horse with a careful jump and, unlike some of the other horses that are careful over the fences, she is forward and not slow. From the first jump to the last today, I never had to make an adjustment on her; I just continued turning and the jumps kept coming right up, and that is where you make up the time in classes like these.”
Adding another good result to his season, Ireland’s Jordan Coyle (IRL) slid into the second-place position aboard the Elan Farm’s nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Ballyoskill Big Bucks (Royal Concorde). The pair totaled a time of 59.34 seconds which put them slightly less than two seconds over Ballard’s leading clock-in.
Nayel Nassar (EGY) rounded out the top three for Egypt after finishing with a time of 59.42 seconds with Evergate Stables LLC’s 11-year-old SBS gelding El Conde (Loro Piana Filou De Muze x Final Shot).
Final Results – $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m CSI 5*
1) Erynn Ballard (CAN) & Nanini Van D’Abelendreef – 0 / 57.82
2) Jordan Coyle (IRL) & Ballyoskill Big Bucks – 0 / 59.34
3) Nayel Nassar (EGY) & El Conder – 0 / 59.42
Source: Press Release from ESP – Equestrian Sport Productions
Photos: © Sportfot