Wellington, Florida, USA – February 16, 2019 – Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Ereina won the $71,200 NetJets Classic CSI 5* yesterday during the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup USA CSIO 5*, one of the premiere events of the Palm Beach Masters Series at Deeridge Farms in Wellington, Florida, USA.
A total of 24 combinations entered the ring to face the challenging but fair 1.55m course set by Alan Wade (IRL). Time was not a major issue but the NetJets double combination (elements 10a and 10b) proved to main challenge from the start and it would play a decisive role in the jump-off too.
The eventual winner (USA) and the Poden Farms’ Ereina were the first ones to overcome all the obstacles without having any time-penalties attributed to them. Two combinations later, Eve Jobs (USA) and Venue d’Fees des Hazalles (President x Alcatraz) guaranteed a jump-off with a brilliant performance.
Only three of the seventeen remaining competitors managed to duplicate the feat of the two riders mentioned above, with McLain Ward (USA), Erynn Ballard (CAN) and Lauren Hough (USA) completing the jump-off starting order.
Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Ereina, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Namelus x Solitair), got things started with a fast yet clean performance in 42.32 seconds which would earn them first place on the podium.
As in the first round, element A of the NetJets double combination once again came into play, in fact, keeping McLain Ward (USA) and Tradition de La Roque (Kannan x Oberon du Moulin) from winning the class. However, their four penalty-points and fastest overall time still gave them the second spot on the podium.
Going last in the tiebreaker, Lauren Hough (USA) and Paloma were close to taking the blue ribbon but the penultimate obstacle came down to their dismay, finishing third in 41.89 seconds.
Winner – Ashlee Bond (ISR)
“Lately my strategy has just been to do what I feel is right for me and my horse. I might not win as much but we have been a lot more consistent. I haven’t been thinking as much about who is coming after me, which is a new concept because I used to stress about riders like McLain [Ward] and Lauren [Hough] coming after me and having to leave it all out. Now, I just do what I feel like my horse and I are ready for, and if we win then we’re really happy. If I don’t, I’m still happy. Today it just worked out. I got lucky because I had a really good rub at the Longines oxer, and it stayed in the cups, otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting here.”
“World Equestrian Games (WEG) was the worst, best experience of my life. [My horse,] Chela LS had been out of the sport a long time and I had a baby, so I felt like there was a lot of pressure to perform. She had just come back from an injury so I didn’t really use her. I did two big classes at Spruce [Meadows] and that was it, so I kept second-guessing my program and what I was doing because I hadn’t done a championship and I was kind of on my own. It was definitely humbling and it taught me that anything can happen and go wrong. After that experience, I figured it couldn’t get any worse than falling on the ground the first day and walking out, so after that I decided to ride for me. You get so into the sport and winning and wanting to be the best, and it was getting in my head too much. Now I do what I feel we are ready for.”
“It’s definitely a confidence-booster. I haven’t been at this level in a really long time. I’d like to scratch out [what happened at] the WEG. I haven’t really been competing at this caliber of the sport. To come here and still feel like I have it and I can still compete at this level is really nice, and it is a good confidence boost heading into tomorrow[‘s $290,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America].”
“Israel has always been really close to my heart. My dad was born there and he came over here when he was 12 years old. I have a lot of family still there. I know a lot of people think if you’re Israeli you must be Jewish, but I’m actually Christian. I’m really strong in my faith so I feel like I have a real deep connection in that respect to Israel. Israel is something emotionally that I’m really attached to, so being able to represent them is really an amazing feeling. We have really great riders. We don’t have many of them, and it is always the depth of horses that is the problem. If we can maintain getting good depth, I have a good feeling we have a shot anywhere we go. On any given day we can perform as good as anybody if we have the horses to do it on.”
McLain Ward (USA)
My strategy was to beat Ashlee. I got to see a little bit of her round on the screen. I thought it looked neat and fast, but not crazy. She went a little wide from fence one to two. The mare I have is quite fast, but I also knew that the long run to the double was a little bit of a bogey for her. I tried to set it up well but it didn’t come off. She was great, but it wasn’t our day.”
Lauren Hough (USA)
“Paloma is a new ride for me. She is a very quick horse and she has been successful with other riders. I wanted to take a shot and I messed up at the second-to-last jump. I had a good distance, but I think I pushed a bit too much. Hopefully we have a great future together.”
$72,000 NetJets Classic – Final Results:
Place / Rider / Country & Horse (Sire x Dam Sire) – R1 Penalties / Jump-off Penalties – Time
1) Ashlee Bond (ISR) & Ereina (Namelus R x Solitair) – 0 / 0 – 42.32
2) McLain Ward (USA) & Tradition de La Roque (Kannan x Oberon du Moulin) – 0 / 4 – 41.68
3) Lauren Hough (USA) & Paloma (Canaletto S x Henzo de la Brasserie) – 0 / 4 – 41.89
4) Erynn Ballard (CAN) & Fellini S (Vermont x Rash R) – 0 / 4 – 42.94
5) Eve Jobs (USA) & Venue d’Fees des Hazalles (President x Alcatraz) – 0 / 4 – 44.97
6) Alejandro Karolyi (VEN) & Lincourt Gino (Gino II x Graf Magna) – 1 – 82.29
7) Wilton Porter (USA) & Cula Lou V (Chacco-Blue x Sandro) – 4 / 74.84
8) Lucas Porter (USA) & Diamonte Darco (Unbelievable Darco – Kriska) – 4 – 78.56
9. Mario Deslauriers (CAN) & Amsterdam (Catoki x Acord II) – 4 – 78.66
10. Amy Millar (CAN) & Truman (Mylord Carthago x Kolibri) – 4 – 79.66
11. Ben Maher (GBR) & Cirus du Ruisseau Z (Chellano Z x Carthago Z) – 4 – 80.06
12) Susan Horn (CAN) & Balintore (Vincenzo x Lux) – 4 – 80.19
For full results, please click here.
Photo: © Kathy Russel Photography
Categories: CSI 5*