Tipping pointthe critical point in a situation, process, or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place.

—Miriam Webster Dictionary

It’s no secret that success begets success in the show ring.

One big win can have a snowball effect on a rider’s career, building momentum, confidence and, ultimately, wins in its wake. The more wins, the more momentum. The more momentum, the bigger their confidence. The bigger their confidence, the more wins.

It’s a positive feedback loop.

And in rare moments, it can become a perfect storm of success, propelling an athlete to accomplish near impossible feats.

Think: Scott Brash sweeping the Rolex Grand Slam in 2015. Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro’s undefeated Olympic, World Equestrian Games, World Cup Final and European championship record between 2012–2016. Or Michael Jung’s fourth and world-record setting title at the Kentucky Three Day Event in 2022 (in a snaffle, no less).

Or more recently, there’s King Edward and Henrik von Eckermann, who have had a lock on the world no. 1 spot for two years, and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and TSF Dalera BB, who are one Olympics away from matching or exceeding Dujardin and Valegro’s record.

In each case, it was one win—preceded by a lifetime of tireless training and relentless striving for improvement—that set in motion the rest.

For Canada’s Erynn Ballard that catalytic win happened last month at Thunderbird Show Park.

Ballard is cresting the first wave of a career-making streak. The Paris 2024 hopeful won her first 5* Grand Prix title in May, and it has propelled her to the most successful 30 days of her career to date.

Between May 18 and June 17, the Ilan Ferder Stables rider has gone on to record 11 podium finishes (Jumpr Stats) in 4* and 5* competition. To put that in context, of her 21 podium finishes this year more than half were earned in the past month. More impressive still: on six of those podiums, she took first and second place.

But unlike the athletes above, Ballard isn’t finding consistent success on one career-making horse. She’s doing it with four—including one she’s only been competing for two months.

Ballard’s podium streak started at North Salem, NY mid-May with a one-two finish in a CSI4* 1.45m class on Ginger Ask and Coconet, respectively. A week later at Thunderbird Show Park, BC, she took second in a CSI5* 1.50m with Libido Van’t Hofken and won her career first CSI5* Grand Prix on new ride Nikka Vd Bisschop.

The five-star results kept coming at June’s Spruce Meadows Continental tour, where Ballard and Nikka were third in 1.50m class. She logged another one-two punch in a 1.55m with Libido and Gakhir and took second in a 1.50m jump off with Fave D’Authuit.

Come last week’s National tournament, she took the top two spots for a third time—again on Gakhir and Libido, but in reverse order—in a 1.50m jump off class and finished second in Saturday’s 1.60m RBC Grand Prix.

And that’s just her top three finishes.

Over 26 rounds, six horses and four shows this past month, Ballard is finishing in the top 10 in 50% of rounds across all heights and averaging just 1.6 faults (Jumpr). At 1.60m, that clear round percentage jumps to 67 and her average faults drop to 0.8. It’s a threefold plus improvement over her all-time clear round stat (20%) at the height and fourfold improvement in average faults (4.3).

“I think that I’m so lucky,” Ballard said after her latest one-two finish at Spruce Meadows.

“There is nothing that makes you more confident than winning, and I have certainly been on a roll. Every time I go in now, I think that I have the chance to win, and it makes me that little bit faster and a little bit more competitive.

“And also, when you’re already winning, and you go last in the jump-off, you can give it all. So maybe along the way I’m teaching myself something about being faster. Maybe I’m teaching my horses a little bit more about being faster. It’s just all coming together.

“When you’re on a roll, ride the wave. There’s nothing better. Confidence is a great thing.”