Temecula, California, USA – April 17, 2019 – As the featured class of the day in the Audi Grand Prix Arena, presented by Evergate Stables, the $20,000 Osphos 1.40-1.45m Speed Classic saw a large field of competitors all hungry for the top prize. In the end, it was the ladies that took home the top three places in the incredibly competitive class. Israel’s Ashlee Bond (ISR) guided her super-star partner Donatello 141 to a fault-free round of 66.254 seconds, an early lead that proved unbeatable throughout the majority of the class. Second place was awarded to Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA), the first rider to lay down a clean effort, riding Akuna Mattata to a time of 66.741 seconds. California’s darling, Mandy Porter (USA), rounded out the top three clocking in a clear round in 76.866 seconds aboard Caramo Z.
The 12-effort course, designed by Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER), asked difficult questions at every obstacle. Riders were tested to balance speed with rideability in lines and several combinations.
Shahinian-Simpson (USA) & Akuna Matata
Shahinian-Simpson (USA) was the first rider to successfully complete the entire course with a fast and clear effort. The California-based rider and Carol Rosenstein’s 10-year-old mare (Campione Vi x Belle de Luynes) have had a successful partnership in both the National and FEI level classes, including a win at the Las Vegas National Horse Show in the $40,000 FEI 1.50m Welcome Jumper Speed Classic. The bay mare also competed against her sister Wednesday afternoon, April Moon, who was ridden by Angel Karolyi (VEN).
Shahinian-Simpson’s seemingly unbeatable lead was eventually overtaken by Bond as she piloted Donatello 141, owned by Little Valley Farms, to a speedy 66.254-second finish, edging out the early leaders by one-half of a second. Her lead would hold for the remainder of the class as competitors could not catch her quick time while leaving all of the fences intact. Shahinian-Simpson was ultimately awarded second, while Porter rounded out the top three with her own Caramo Z.
Ashlee Bond (ISR) & Donatello 141
Bond and Donatello 141 have spent the first half of 2019 dominating almost every class they enter together. The 8-year-old Westphalian gelding (Diarado x Lamoureux I) has been part of Bond’s program since he was six, and by all accounts continues to prove invaluable to the Isreali’s success. The pair won the first section of the $5,000 Lugano Diamonds Welcome CSIO 4* at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida, as well as took home top honors in classes at the Palm Beaches Masters CSIO 4* series.
Ashlee Bond – $20,000 Osphos 1.40-1.45m Speed Classic winner
On her strategy:
“It’s kind of the same plan lately every time I go into a jump-off or a speed class. I just go out and do what my horse and I are ready for and let the chips fall where they may. If I end up winning then great, I just try to go out there and do our best, instead of thinking about how fast I can be and who is behind me. I felt like this is really taking me to another level and it’s really cool.”
On Donatello 141:
“We got him as a 6-year-old. He had only done three shows and he was super green. As a 6-year-old he was super consistent but he wouldn’t turn to the left. We fixed that with the Spooner bit and within a few shows he stopped doing that. As a 7-year-old he came out and did the 1.40m and 1.45m, and won the 2* in Showpark. He did the 5* 1.45m clear at Spruce Meadows. He just really developed quickly, but I wouldn’t have pushed him if I didn’t think he was mentally ready. We did his first 1.50m at the end of his 7-year-old year. In Florida, he won the Welcome 5* at Deeridge Farm, he won the 4* Welcome in Wellington and was fourth at WEF. Then he went to Ocala and won the $25,000, was second in the $100,000 and this was his next class. It’s kind of unbelievable. I don’t jump him much at home, he does grids. I feel like he has all the potential and he is showing it. I know he has all the scope, it’s always been so easy for him. My hope is that he kind of takes over for Chela [LS]. He is only 8 years old but maybe by next year he would be my Olympic horse if Chela is not able. She is 15 years old now. That’s the trajectory he is on, and I’m really excited.”
On the Temecula Valley National Horse Show:
“I was slated to come here last year, but I was in the process of getting my Israeli citizenship and I couldn’t get back in time for the show and was really bummed. Ali [Nilforushan] had been talking about doing a show for the riders and horses, and I just loved his passion and vision. I was super excited to come here and see what everyone had been raving about. I think they put the riders and horses first, and I think that is the most important thing you can do, and if you do that the rest will follow. The grand prix ring footing is incredible and it just has a really European vibe to it. The VIP, the view and everything is great. I think it’s such a nice vibe, and the prize money is amazing. It’s such an honor to be here. I’m excited to support this show because I think it’s much needed in California.”
Results – $20,000 Osphos 1.40-1.45m Speed Classic
Place / Rider / Country & Horse / R1 Penalty-points – R1 Time
1. Ashlee Bond (ISR) & Donatello 141 / 0 – 66.254
2. Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) & Akuna Matata / 0 – 66.741
3. Mandy Porter (USA) & Caramo Z / 0 – 76.866
4. Madison Bradshaw (USA) & Chacco’s Spirit / 0 – 79.808
5. Katlin Campbell (USA) & Belize D’ive Z / 0 – 80.440
6. Nikolaj Hein Ruus (DEN) & Cadillac / 0 – 83.024
7. Susan Artes (USA) & Laurence Z / 4 – 67.866
8. Mandy Porter (USA) & Milano / 4 – 68.893
9. Lane Clarke (AUS) & Mclord’s T.K.O. / 4 – 69.106
10. Angel Karolyi (VEN) & April Moon / 4 – 69.261
11. Alec Lawler (USA) & Hendrik 41 / 4 /-71.564
12. Mandy Porter (USA) & WT Ca Pow! / 4 – 73.153
For more information, please visit jump-nee.com.
Source: Press release by Lenore Phillips / Phelps Sports for Nilforushan Equisport Events
Photos: © Phelps Sports / Lenore Phillips / Allyson Lagiovane