Temecula, Calif. – 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 guided her superstar 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, the first rider to lay down a clean effort, riding Akuna Mattata to a time of 66.741 seconds. California’s darling, Mandy Porter, 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., asked difficult questions at every obstacle. Riders were tested to balance speed with rideability in lines and several combinations. Shahinian-Simpson 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 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.
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.
Bond and Donatello 141 have spent the first half of 2019 dominating almost every class they enter together. The 8-year-old Westphalian gelding 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 CSIO4* at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida, as well as took home top honors in classes at the Palm Beaches Masters CSIO4* series.
Earlier in the afternoon, Nikolaj Hein Russ piloted Spruce Meadows’ Chili Pepper to the win in the $7,500 Interactive Mortgage 10 & Under Futurity Classic in the Audi Grand Prix Arena, presented by Evergate Stables. The 10 & Under Futurity Classic is a new addition to the TVNHS series and is meant to give the younger horses the opportunity to gain valuable experience in grand prix style classes while not over facing them.
Chili Pepper, a 10-year-old Holesteiner gelding that was born on the famed Spruce Meadows facility in Canada, carried Russ to the fastest double-clear round of 17 horse-and-rider entries, crossing the timers in 30.704 seconds. Russ, who hails from Denmark, was named the rider and stable manager for Spruce Meadows LLC in January and is competing at the Temecula Valley National Horse Show (TVNHS) for the first time. Kyle King was hot on Russ’s heels on Joyce Pedigo’s gelding, Christian. The pair also put in a double-clear effort, stopping the clock in 30.915 seconds, just two-tenths of a second behind Russ. Bjork Ikast and his own Castino claimed the third place spot with their second successful effort in a time of 32.215 seconds.
The Audi Grand Prix Arena, presented by Evergate Stables, will make way for the hunter competitors Thursday, April 17, as the $15,000 International Hunter Derby is featured in the afternoon. The highlighted show jumping event of the week, the $40,000 National Grand Prix, will take place Saturday, April 20.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
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.”
Nikolaj Hein Ruus – $7,500 Interactive Mortgage 10 & Under Futurity Classic winner
On Chili Pepper:
“I have had this horse since late January, and he was bred at Spruce Meadows. His mother came over from Germany and she was pregnant with him. He is a 10-year-old Hanoverian. He is a great horse. I only got to ride once outside before coming here so he was a little spooky yesterday. I gave him a class in the morning so he could relax and he was just on it today.”
On the futurity classic:
“I think it’s a great thing because we can compete with the greener ones under 10 [years old]. Olaf [Petersen, Jr.]’s course was a super fresh one; the lines were a little technical so you really had to get up there and keep them connected. It was a super jump-off because we had a few options and that makes it really fun. I was lucky that it worked out!”
On the Temecula Valley National Horse Show:
“I brought six horses. The show is fantastic. The way they helped us when the horses were unloaded and how they take care of us, the footing is fantastic. I will definitely come back next year!
$20,000 Osphos 1.40-1.45m Speed Classic
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time
1. Donatello 141 / Ashlee Bond / Little Valley Farms / 0 / 66.254
2. Akuna Mattata / Nicole Shahinian-Simpson / Silver Raven Farms / 0 / 66.741
3. Caramo Z / Mandy Porter / Mandy Porter / 0 / 76.866
4. Chacco’s Spirit / Madison Bradshaw / Madison Bradshaw / 0 / 79.808
5. Belize D’ive Z / Kaitlin Campbell / 0 / 80.440
6. Cadillac / Nikolaj Hein Ruus / Spruce Meadows Ltd. / 0 / 83.024
7. Laurence Z / Susan Artes / Alix Fargo / 4 / 67.866
8. Milano / Mandy Porter / Abigail Archer / 4 / 68.893
9. Mclord’s T.K.O. / Lane Clarke / Mickey Hayden / 4 / 69.106
10. April Moon / Angel Karolyi / Carol Rosentein / 4 / 69.261
11. Hendrik 41 / Alec Lawler / Alec Lawler / 4 / 71.564
12. WT Ca Pow! / Mandy Porter / Wild Turkey Farm LLC / 4 / 73.153
$7,500 Interactive Mortgage 10 & Under Futurity Classic
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1. Chili Pepper / Nikolaj Hein Ruus / Spruce Meadows Ltd / 0 | 77.416 / 0 | 30.704
2. Christian / Kyle King / Joyce Pedigo / 0 | 72.249 / 0 | 30.915
3. Castino / Bjorn Ikast / Bjorn Ikast / 0 | 77.987 / 0 | 32.215
4. Etalon / Kyle King / Christine MacLean / 0 | 71.223 / 0 | 34.927
5. Vf Epic Air / Lane Clarke / Lighthouse Farms LLC / 0 | 79.485 / 0 | 34.947
6. Esperance / Mickie Sage / Lucky Jack Farm LLC / 0 | 81.350 / 0 | 39.978
7. Frodosi / Michael Williamson / Lighthouse Farms LLC / 0 | 77.384 / 4 | 34.234
8. Herradura / Karen Banister / Skylark Equestrian / 1 | 82.711
9. Contefina / Ashlee Bond / Little Valley Farms / 4 | 69.757
10. Elertina / Chandler Meadows / Erin Fry / 4 | 75.215
11. Ac/Dc / Angel Karolyi / Jasmine Talley / 4 | 75.462
12. Diamir / Soehnke Theymann / Soehnke Theymann / 4 | 75.636
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