June 3, 2015 · 0 Comments
Beth Underhill and her own Viggo on their way to win the $35,000 RAM Equestrian CSI1* Grand Prix.
Photo Courtesy of Ben Radvanyi Photography
Beth Underhill had two big wins last week during the Classic at Palgrave Phase 2 CSI1* at the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park, while Caledon’s own Erynn Ballard took home the red ribbon in the first hunter derby of the season.
Underhill bested the field in both the $5,000 Classic at Palgrave Open Welcome on Thursday and in Sunday’s $35,000 RAM Equestrian Grand Prix CSI1*, both designed by Canadian course designer Chris Brandt.
The former Canadian Olympian won the Open Welcome riding Cadermie, an eight-year-old Dutch mare, and took top prize in Sunday’s CSI1* Grand Prix on 2013 Royal Horse Show Leading Canadian Horse, Viggo. Both horses are owned by Underhill.
“I was really thrilled with Viggo; he’s an experienced horse. He had a good Wellington and I use him sparingly. Despite the inclement weather, he felt motivated to jump well today,” said Underhill. “I think that’s the fastest he can go in a jump off and he stayed careful and really focused on his job, so I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Underhill added that Thursday’s win was Cadermie’s first time competing in an Open Welcome.
“It’s exciting to have a second horse coming along to jump in the bigger classes,” she said. “She went out and put in two solid clean rounds and again was very fast; she won by a couple seconds. She’s a naturally quick, really economical jumper. I was thrilled to have had two to compete with this week.”
Underhill also placed fourth in the Open Welcome riding Viggo.
Erynn Ballard, who hails from Caledon, won the $5,000 Canadian Hunter Derby on Saturday riding Contact, a six-year old Holsteiner owned in partnership by Ballard’s Looking Back Farm, Redfield Farm and Heather Delfino.
“He’s a pretty cool dude. He’s not your typical best moving hunter but he’s very athletic and he jumps a very good style. He’ll be a hunter that can jump 4-foot and the long run,” said Ballard.
“I was lucky, by the time I went on Contact all the big names were already out with mistakes … I was able to be a bit cautious on the high options and on the super-handy turns, so I figured a high hunter score was going to let me win,” she added, while speaking of her winning trip on Saturday.
Ballard is heading to Spruce Meadows in Calgary to compete there for the next few weeks, but Underhill said she’ll be sticking around to try and keep her hot streak going in this week’s Summer Classic, running June 2-7 at the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park.
Saturday also featured the $10,000 Champion Shavings Modified Grand Prix, won by rider Sam Pegg of Cannington. Pegg captured the win aboard Shaia de Macheco, a thirteen year old mare, owned by his brother Michael.
The Summer Classic will feature the $5,000 Jump Canada Talent Squad on Thursday, the Wines of the World $10,000 Modified Grand Prix on Saturday evening; and will wrap up on Sunday with both the $5,000 EMG/OHJA 3-foot Junior Amateur Handy Hunter Challenge and the $25,000 RAM Equestrian Grand Prix.