Erynn Ballard & Coconet Shine the Brightest in the $125,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix

Ocala, Florida, USA – June 23, 204 – The second Saturday night Grand Prix of the 2024 Summer Series drew crowds to the WEC Grand Arena, where 32 top horse-and-rider combinations competed for victory in the $125,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI 3*. Thirteen different countries were represented in Saturday night’s field, but it was Canada’s Erynn Ballard who emerged victorious aboard Wight Show Stables LLC’s Coconet (Colman x Cornet’s Stern). 

FEI Level IV course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) crafted a challenging track, with only seven pairs managing a clear first round.

Erynn Ballard (CAN) & Coconet

Fresh from a successful European tour and a recent CSI5* win in Spruce Meadows, Erynn Ballard (CAN) entered the arena aiming to extend her winning streak. She had a solid plan for the speedy 10-year-old Oldenburg mare, Coconet.

“Her foot speed is very fast. There were a lot of different numbers in the jump-off,” she explained. “You could do six strides from one to two, then it was a left turn. From two to three, I went in a wide seven so I could keep the pace. The left turn is my slower turn, and I felt like if I was going to be beaten anywhere, it would have been that turn back to number five. But I left it up and after I jumped number three, I really gave a big run, which is so fun in a big ring like this. In the jump-off, she was quite handy back to the double. I did nine strides moving forward to the big red oxer. Then I took a big risk to the last jump to keep running, but if you take big risks, you get big rewards.”

Erynn Ballard (CAN) & Coconet

The pair cleared the Lugano Diamonds vertical, crossing the timers in just 41.86 seconds, a time that no other competitor could catch.

“Right now, we’re on a wild ride. Our hope for this year is the Paris Olympics,” Ballard expressed. “My road to Paris has taken me from Florida to Mexico City, New York, Vancouver, Calgary, and here in Ocala. It’s been a pretty spectacular, unbelievable, wild, crazy year and amazingly enough, there has been a lot of winning,” laughed Ballard.

Coconet has also been in top form. “This is our second three-star win this year,” Ballard added. “She’s a real fighter. She gives you the feeling that she is going to fight for you in the ring. Whether you’re a little deep, a bit long, a little bit fast, or a little bit slow, she is there for you. She’s a warrior. She’s a queen, and just an incredible horse.”

Alberto Michan (ISR) & Joint de Canabis van de Doornhoeve

Alberto Michan (ISR) was the first to tackle the short course aboard his own 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood (KWPN) gelding, Joint de Canabis van de Doornhoeve (Canabis Z x Cardento 933), setting the pace with a quick 42.10 seconds, which held up for reserve honors. 

Chloe Reid (USA) & Crossover 4

Following Ballard and Coconet’s speedy performance, other riders tried their best to beat their time. Last to go, Chloe Reid (USA) and Team Reid LLC’s Crossover 4 (Cascadello x Chacco-blue) came close. Reid guided the 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding through an efficient track, stopping the clock at 42.42 seconds to secure third place.

Moti Ferder, Chief Executive Officer at Lugano Diamonds, commented on the night, “I am pleased to extend a heartfelt congratulations to the winners of the Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI3* and to World Equestrian Center (WEC) for hosting another outstanding event this year. As a founding partner of WEC, Lugano takes immense pride in being a part of this remarkable journey.” 

Erynn Ballard (CAN) & Coconet during the awards ceremony

Final Results – $125,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI 3*

1) Erynn Ballard (CAN) & Coconet: 2014 Oldenburg mare by Colman x Cornet’s Stern, Wight Show Stables LLC: 0 | 0 | 41.86

    2) Alberto Michan (ISR) & Joint De Canabis Van De Doornhoeve: 2014 KWPN gelding by Canabis Z x Cardento 933, Alberto Michan: 0 | 0 | 42.10

    3) Chloe Reid (USA) & Crossover 4: 2013 Hanoverian gelding by Cascadello x Chacco-blue, Team Reid LLC: 0 | 0 | 42.42

    4) Darragh Kerins (IRL) & Lissano: 2011 Holsteiner gelding by Guardus Limbus x San Patrignano Cassini, Eve Jobs: 0 | 0 | 42.89

    5) Sharn Wordley (NZL) & Brin D’or De Haute Melen Z: 2014 Zangersheide gelding by Bamko De Muze x Baloubet Du Rouet , Della Wordley: 0 | 0 | 44.07

    6) Michael Walton (USA) & Blues RW: 2013 Westphalian gelding by Untouched x Chacco-blue, Mia Marano: 0 | 0 | 49.59

    7) Tracy Fenney (USA) & MTM Apple: 2011 Danish Warmblood gelding by Favorit Ask x Willemoes, MTM Farm: 0 | 4 | 38.58

    8) Gonzalo Busca Roca (ESP) & Pinot Gris Di Fer: 2015 Warmblood gelding by Vdl Cardento x Baloubet Du Rouet 
    Steven Bluman: 4 | 76.74 

    9) Kristen Vanderveen (USA) & Bull Run’s Jireh: 2014 Holsteiner gelding by Uriko x Colman, Bull Run Jumpers, Inc.: 4 | 77.08

    10) Tom Foley (IRL) & Clarentino 3: 2014 Holsteiner gelding by Clarimo x Caretino 2, Savannah Groselle: 4 | 77.49

    Source: Press Release from the World Equestrian Center

    Photos: © WEC / Andrew Ryback Photography

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