Wellington, Florida, USA – October 16, 2022 – The ESP Fall I horse show turned out to be an ideal week for Israel’s Ashlee Bond (ISR), who nabbed three highlight jumper wins aboard rides from Ilan Ferder after also topping the $25,000 Score At The Top Grand Prix just one week prior during ESP October. Aboard Chill Ma, Bond captured the leading spot in Sunday’s $25,000 Equiline Grand Prix by a wide margin, which concluded a standout weekend that included triumphs in the 1.35m and 1.40m, also.
“Fortunately, Ilan [Ferder] and I are friends and he felt like this horse would be a really good fit for me. He was spot on with that,” remarked Bond of Chill Ma. “When you are riding that kind of quality, you really just have to try not to mess up so I try to do my job and not let the horse down. She makes it really easy. This horse has jumped eight rounds now and hasn’t touched a rail, and that is special; that doesn’t happen. Hopefully I can continue riding her for a while. Ilan’s business is selling, so I’m just going to be grateful for every class I get to do on this horse and help to build her career. She has all the quality and all the scope, and she is my type of ride, so it is perfect.”
Jasen Shelley (USA) designed a 16-effort course for the class, which featured a diverse field of combinations representing ten nations. By the end of the first round of riding, seven duos had cleared all the fences within the time-allowed to qualify for the jump-off. Back for the abridged jump-off track, Bond and Chill Ma were second-to-last to jump and facing a leading time of 41.68 seconds. Living up to her reputation for speed, Bond pushed Chill Ma to a penalty-free ride in 39.84 seconds, eclipsing the frontrunners and taking over the top spot by nearly two seconds. Though one pair of competitors remained, they could not overtake the time set by the Israeli rider, signaling victory for Bond and Chill Ma.
“I thought the course was really good today. It was built maybe a bit bigger than we were expecting, but everybody rose to the occasion,” said Bond. “There were no scary aspects and it was a great learning experience for a lot of the exhibitors. Jasen asked a lot of questions and the rails that fell were throughout the course, so to me that says there were no issue spots. He used the whole field, and that is setting us up for WEF. If it is too easy here, we will all be shocked come the winter, so I think this was a nice setup for future shows.”
Bond and Chill Ma led an all-female podium, which included Nicole Velazco Magana (MEX) and her own Daddy’s Destiny in second place with a double-clear time of 41.68 seconds. Hilary McNerney (USA) and her own Lovelight captured third position as the last pair to go with a final foot-perfect time of 43.43 seconds. Of the seven short-course contenders, five of the partnerships managed to finish the contest without any faults.
Final Results – $25,000 Equiline Grand Prix
1) Ashlee Bond (ISR) & Chill Ma – 0 / 0 – 39.848
2) Nicole Velazco Magana (MEX) & Daddy’s Destiny – 0 / 0 – 41.686
3) Hilary McNerney (USA) & Lovelight – 0 / 0 – 43.437
Source:: Press Release from ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions
Photos: © ESP / Anne Gittins Photography