By: on Oct. 18th, 2019

Harrisburg, PA – October 18, 2019 – Very rarely do competitors tie in a one-round speed class, but Canada’s Erynn Ballard and Israel’s Sydney Shulman did just that in the $36,000 Keystone Classic Speed Stake Friday night at the 2019 Pennsylvania National Horse Show (PNHS). Both went clear during their rounds and stopped the clock at an unbeatable 52.59 seconds.

Riding ninth in a field of 25, Ballard quickly surpassed early pacesetters with the blistering time of 52.59 seconds aboard Skymaster LLC’s Judge Hof Ter Zeedycke. No other competitor could catch that time as the class continued, until Sydney Shulman and Azilis Du Mesnil, owned by Jill Shulman, entered the ring as the eighteenth to go in the order.

“In a class like this when there are so few strides in between the jumps, it was pretty technical, which is why I think there was a tie,” Ballard said of the Michel Vaillancourt-designed course. “Basically through the entire course, you did no more than eight strides between the jumps. It makes it harder to go super fast, or much faster than somebody else. You have to be accurate – it’s how fast your horse is in the air, how easy they ride.”

Ballard and her team saved Judge Hof Ter Zeedycke for Friday’s Speed Stake after competing in Wednesday’s $15,000 Dash for the Cash, knowing they had a chance of taking top honors.

“Judge is really straightforward, and I know him well,” Ballard said, noting that she started competing with the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood last winter. “He just gave me a great round tonight. I walked all of the turns in my course walk, and I stuck to my plan and nailed all the strides, and it paid off.”

Earning a total of 15 points from their classes this week, Ballard and “Judge” also tied with Beezie Madden and Jiva for the Open Jumper Speed Reserve Championship. Taking the top honor and the Showday Farm Challenge Trophy as Champion was Shulman with Azilis Du Mesnil, who earned a total of 21 points.

“I really look up to and really like Erynn, so it’s great to be up (on the board) with her,” Shulman said. “I actually didn’t follow my trainer’s plan tonight, so I’m lucky I ended up staying (at the top). I was supposed to do one less stride in the first line, but I ended up adding because I didn’t see it.”

Noting Vaillancourt’s courses are usually hard for her, Shulman rode to the win under extra pressure, with Michael Desiderio stepping in as her trainer because John Roach and her mother Jill were unable to attend. It was also Azilis Du Mesnil’s first time indoors.

“She’s not normally my speed horse, but I thought (these would be) nicer classes to introduce her to indoors to let her go forward a little bit and teach her,” Shulman said of the 9-year-old Selle Francais. “She handled it great, and every night she got better.”

$36,000 Keystone Classic Speed Stake T1 Erynn Ballard and Judge Hof Ter Zeedycke (CAN) | 0/52.59
T1 Sydney Sulman and Azilis du Mesnil (ISR) | 0/52.59
3 Samantha Shaefer and Zarina de Vidau (USA) | 0/54.24
4 Mario Deslauriers and Uris de la Roque (CAN) | 0/54.46
5 Roberto Teran Tafur and Dena-Sienne (COL) | 0/55.43
6 Laura Chapot and Out of Ireland (USA) | 0/54.21
7 Amy Millar and Ericson (CAN) | 0/57.40
8 Laura Chapot and Calafornia (USA) | 0/57.51
9 Beezie Madden and Garant (USA) | 0/58.27
10 Molly Ashe Cawley and Adamo (USA) | 0/62.68
11 Ali Ramsay and Casino (CAN) | 4/55.33
12 Victoria Birdsall and Djumpsina SFN (USA) | 4/57.56

Note: Due to a tie for first, both winners will receive the winner’s share of $11,800. Remaining prize money will be adjusted and distributed to the rest of the top 12.

The Amateur Owner Jumper Championship was also awarded Friday night, with Jazz Johnson Merton and her Corona SB earning the tri-color and the Hunterdon Challenge Trophy. Reserve went to Chloe Field and Rubina VIII, who received the winner’s share and the Otis R. Dodson Perpetual Trophy in the $7,500 Amateur Owner Jumper Classic after outpacing fellow competitors earlier in the afternoon.

For complete results please go to www.Ryegate.com.

Now in its 74th year, the PNHS hosts over 1,400 of the best hunter, jumper and equitation riders from across the nation – including Olympic veterans and National Champions. USEF Premier rated for Hunters, USEF 6* and FEI CSI3* rated for Jumpers, the PNHS is a designated “USEF Heritage Competition,” an honor reserved for a select group of exceptional competitions.

This year’s PNHS is hosting five internationally sanctioned FEI CSI3* jumper classes, designed by FEI 4* Course Designer and Olympic Silver medalist, Michel Vaillancourt. The nation’s top jumping riders and horses will go head-to-head in the marquee $134,000 Grand Prix de Penn National which is held on the show’s final day, Saturday, October 19. Also featured on the final day are the North American League (NAL) Jumper Finals.

Event Highlights
There are many planned attractions at the PNHS both inside and outside the arena and there is something for everyone. Several days have free admission, parking is free, and children 10 and under are always admitted free! Click here for complete Schedule and Ticket Information.

Shoppers Delight
With everything under one roof, the PNHS also plays host to some of the best horse show shopping! More than 60 specialty boutique shops offer hours of shopping on two levels and range from high-end shops reminiscent of Fifth Avenue and Rodeo Drive including antiques, fine art, clothing, gifts, accessories, rider apparel, horse tack and much more! And stop by the Silent Auction – all 10 days in the PA Room on the upper concourse.

Established in 1945, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show hosts the country’s top competitors in one of the largest indoor horse shows. Proceeds from the horse show benefit The Pennsylvania National Horse Show Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization, providing support for therapeutic riding programs and equine rescue groups. Make plans to join us October 10 – 19, 2019 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA. For more information on the show or to donate to the Foundation, please visit www.PAnational.org.