From the first week of June through the first week of July, the lush, green expanse of Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta, is a favorite among top-caliber riders across North America and beyond.

In fact, only three of the top-10 Spruce Meadows Prize money-earners are Canadian (top-earner Eric Lamaze not withstanding).

This year, however, the venue’s annual Continental, National, Pan American and this week’s North American tournaments have so-far proven to be fertile hunting ground for the recently named members of Canada’s Paris 2024 Olympic Squad.

And they’re both killin’ and making a killing.

First up, world no. 22 Erynn Ballard.

©Spruce Meadows Media

No Canadian rider has earned more at Spruce Meadows this season than the peripatetic Erynn Ballard, who—despite already moving on to earn a pair of World Equestrian Center wins in Ocala, Florida—is the second highest earning rider of the Summer Series so far with $170,415 in earnings. Only UK’s Matthew Sampson has taken home more ($317,669).

The Ilan Ferder Stables rider won two CSI5* classes at 1.55m and 1.50m with Libido Van’t Hofken and longtime partner, Gakhir, respectively, and finished on the podium in five classes at 1.50m or higher.

What’s more, in 17 total rounds at Spruce Meadows in June, Ballard averaged just 1.5 faults, jumping clear at 50% or better across all heights (62% at a 1.50m!) and finishing in the top-10 53% of the time (Jumpr Stats).

With numbers like that—and talented new ride Nikka VD Bisschop under her saddle for the  Paris Olympic Games—Ballard may not only be the rider to watch on home soil, but also at the very pinnacle of the international stage this summer.

©Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk

Immediately behind Ballard in Summer Series earnings is Paris 2024 traveling alternate and world’s highest ranked female rider (at no. 18) Tiffany Foster, who has taken home $135,110 in Calgary to date.

Foster and Electrique earned a fifth-place in the CSI5* National 1.50m on June 12, a feat they repeated the following week as well. The 10-year-old Zangersheide mare—who was briefly campaigned by Kent Farrington—has been on Foster’s string for just over a year and is coming into her own in 2024, finishing in the top-10 61% of the time in her 23 rounds at 1.50m, according to Jumpr.

Foster’s biggest triumph, however, belongs to her Olympic 2024 partner Battlecry, who roared home to victory in the CSI5* RBC Grand Prix on June 15. It was the second 1.60m grand prix win to date for the sometimes-complicated 10-year-old Belgian gelding, who finished on 27 faults in a 1.55m class at Spruce just days earlier.

“He’s a really fast horse. He’s still pretty green. This is his first year of trying at that 1.60m level,” Foster said after their victory.

Although the gelding has only jumped nine rounds at the top level, according to Jumpr, he’s a proven entity at 1.50m. There, he jumps clear at 59%, dropping an average of just 1.5 faults, and finishing in the top-10 58% of the time (Jumpr).

©Spruce Meadows Media/Tony Lewis

Amy Millar, who will ride Truman at the Games and is currently ranked at no. 56 in the world, is also having a moment.

Millar kicked off the CSI5* Continental Tournament on June 6 with a win in the 1.50m aboard the 14-year-old DSP gelding, Christiano.

She earned a sixth place in the 1.50m one week later with the 10-year-old KWPN gelding, Jagger HX, and took home back-to-back top-10 placings with the KWPN mare, Jelvinia MB, also 10, during the National.

With Truman, her Olympic mount, Millar has contested two 1.60m classes, finishing just outside the top 10 (in 11th) in the first and seventh in last Sunday’s Grand Prix.

She started this week’s Pan American tournament with a third place finish Wednesday’s Friends of the Meadows 1.50m on Christiano.

Veteran team member Mario Deslauriers will make his fourth Olympic appearance this summer, this time with Emerson.

Though he has yet to crack the top spot on the podium this circuit, Deslauriers earned seven, top-10 finishes at 1.60m or higher in the month of June alone, on horses including Emerson, Bardolina 2, S & L Quatro Van De Meerputhoeve, and Genial De B’Neville.

In his 15 rounds so far at Spruce, Deslauriers finished in the top-10 more than 50% of the time.

Oh, Canada! z