CANADIAN ERYNN BALLARD EDGES VALE TO WIN $50,000 HITS GRAND PRIX AT HITS OCALA TOURNAMENT

OCALA, FL (March 9, 2005) --

Erynn Ballard of Hornby, Ontario snatched the win in Sunday's $50,000 HITS Grand Prix when she edged out Aaron Vale by just five hundreds of a second. Ballard rode Rio's Rhapsody, an eight-year-old grey Canadian-bred mare owned by Sterling Honda.

A total of thirty-two horses took to the Grand Prix field during week IV of the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Course designer Anthony D'Ambrosio built a challenging 13-obstacle first round course that reduced the field to just four horses in the jump-off.

"The course was definitely very technical, and you had to be careful," commented Erynn Ballard. "There was no big test, rails came down all over the course. On my first horse [Robin Van Roosendael] I had a rail in the middle of the course and that was a good mistake to make. I fixed it with Rio's Rhapsody and made it through."

Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill was the first to return for the jump-off. Underhill had a knockdown with Magdaline for four faults in a time of 42.72 seconds. Aaron Vale and Arriscraft Soliel were up next. Vale was sitting on a fast horse--Arriscraft Soliel was the winner of the $50,000 EMO Grand Prix in week I. The pair saw their way clear in a time of 42.11 seconds. As Erynn Ballard watched Vale's round she considered her options. "All winter I have been the slowest double-clear, and with only four in the jump-off the worst case scenario was being fourth. At some point you have to make a decision, and I decided to go for it." Ballard rode a flawless round, galloping to the finish in 42.06 seconds to best Vale by just five hundreds of a second.

Roberto Teran of Colombia was the last to challenge. As Teran approached the first fence it was clear that he was going to pull out all the stops. He set a blistering pace with Polyfax to finish in the fastest time of the competition with 41.08 seconds, but a rail down at the final obstacle gave the win to Erynn Ballard.

When asked how she felt watching Teran's round, Erynn Ballard, who sounded surprised at herself, admitted she got quite emotional and had a case of the butterflies. "It was nerve-wracking watching Roberto as it wasn't decided until the last fence."

Erynn Ballard also took eighth place in the competition with her family's Robin Van Roosendael.

Erynn Ballard and Rio's Rhapsody
owned by Sterling Honda
- Winners of the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix
Photos: ©Lili Weik Photography

 

Other major award winners at HITS Ocala Tournament included:

HBO Junior Medal Patti Ann Thornton, Ringoes, NJ
Charles Owen Children's Medal Winner Morgan Hale, Odessa, FL
Charles Owen Adult Medal Winner Kimberly Maloomian, Needham, MA
Farnam Adult Hunter Division Caviar ridden by Lynn Jekel, Charleston, SC
Adequan® Open Hunter Division Gershwin ridden by Kimberley A Quinn, Charlotte, NC
$5,000 Platinum Performance Junior / Amateur-Owner Jumper Low Classic
Kim McCormack, Clermont, NJ, riding Caspar owned by Orchard Hill Farm
$10,000 U-Dump Junior / Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic - Carly Campbell-Cooper, Elora, Ontario, Canada riding Napier

The next Grand Prix event of the circuit will take place on Thursday, March 10th at 1pm. Spectators will enjoy world-class show jumping competition as riders compete for top honors in the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix. The Grand Finale of the circuit -- the $100,000 Grand Prix of Ocala presented by Great American Insurance will finish out the week on Sunday, March 13th at 2pm.

$50,000 HITS Grand Prix - Sunday, March 6, 2005
HITS Ocala Tournament - Ocala, FL

Course Designer: Anthony D'Ambrosio, Red Hook, NY

Placing

Horse

Rider

Owner

Prize Money
Rd 1 Faults
JO Faults
JO Time

1

RIO'S RHAPSODY

ERYNN BALLARD

STERLING HONDA

$15,000

0
0
42.06

2

ARRISCRAFT SOLIEL

AARON VALE

ANGELSTONE FARM

$11,000
0
0
42.11

3

POLYFAX

ROBERTO TERAN

KING RIDGE STABLES

$6,500
0
4
41.08

4

MAGDALINE

BETH UNDERHILL

DARRYL B WILLIAMS ASSOC

$4,000
0
4
42.72

5

ALLISON

CALLAN SOLEM

QUIET WINTER FARM / BJ MAGHAN

$3,000
1

6

DITTO

ELIZABETH SANDEN

ELIZABETH SANDEN

$2,500
4

7

LORO PIANA GORGIOS

ERIN MCCABE

GEM STABLES INC

$2,000
4

8

ROBIN VAN ROOSENDAEL

ERYNN BALLARD

LOOKING BACK FARM

$1,500
4

9

LEBORA

TRACY BARTKO MAGNESS

M/M JOHN BARTKO

$1,500
4

10

FREESTYLE

ELLIOTT STONE

STONELEIGH MOTORS LTD

$1,000
4

11

ARTUR

AARON VALE

MILLSTREAM / PETERSON / REGISTER

$1,000
4

12

CHAMBACUNERO

MANUEL TORRES

ANA MARIA DE CADENA

$1,000
4

WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY REMAINING 2005 SHOW DATES ARE:
Ocala Winter Finals V - March 9-13

FEATURED EVENTS:
$10,000 U-Dump Junior / Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classics, Weeks I through IV
$25,000 Marshall & Sterling Junior / Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic - Sunday, March 13 at 10:00am
$25,000 Marshall & Sterling Child / Adult Jumper Classic Sunday, March 13 at 12:00 noon
$25,000 HITS Grand Prix - Thursday, March 10 at 1:00pm
$100,000 Grand Prix of Ocala presented by Great American Insurance - Sunday, March 13 at 2:00pm

SPECIAL EVENTS:
Grand Finale - Sunday, March 13
Champions of the Week Presentations are held on Sundays prior to the 1:00pm Grand Prix. Circuit Champions are presented week V.

POST TIME TRAINING FARM - 13710 U.S. Hwy 27; Ocala, Florida 34482; Tel: 352-620-2275. Website: www.HitsShows.com

 

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