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Ashlee Bond and Donatello 141 lead off CSIO4* week with win in Lugano Diamonds Welcome

Thursday, 28 February 2019
Winter Equestrian Festival 2019 – Week 8

Photo © Sportfot. Ashlee Bond and Donatello 141. Photo © Sportfot.



Press release from Equestrian Sport Productions by Jennifer Wood and Summer Grace for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.


The eighth week of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) kicked off on Wednesday, February 27, with a victory for Israel’s Ashlee Bond in the first international event of the week, the $5,000 Lugano Diamonds Welcome CSIO4*, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. In the second section of the $5,000 Lugano Diamonds Welcome CSIO4*, Roberto Teran (COL) and Dena-Sienne took the win under the lights.

The 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival will host national jumper, hunter, and equitation competition through March 31. Week 8 will be jam-packed with multiple international events including the $36,000 Hermès Under 25 Semi-Final Grand Prix, the $150,000 Nations Cup, and the $209,000 Grand Prix CSIO4*, presented by Lugano Diamonds.

Bond took the early lead in the class, entering as the third rider into the ring and holding the top position right through to the end. Fifty-eight other horse-and-rider combinations also took the field, but none were able to contest Bond’s speed and agility with Little Valley Farms’ Donatello 141.

Time faults were a major aspect of the Steve Stephens-designed course, which Bond attributed to many riders using the round as technical preparation for the following days. Kristen Vanderveen (USA), Erynn Ballard (CAN), and Zoe Conter (BEL) were all close to Bond’s time but suffered unfortunate knockdowns that kept them out of the top positions.

The closest clear round to Bond was laid down by Eve Jobs (USA) and her own 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Limbus x Ulla XV) Limbridge with a time of 64.88 seconds. Coming into third, on a time of 64.90 seconds and no faults, was Georgina Bloomberg (USA) with the Gotham Enterprizes LLC’s 10-year-old Hanoverian mare (Contagio x Elba), Cessna 24.

Bond and the Little Valley Farms’ eight-year-old Westphalian gelding (Diarado x Luna) shaved multiple seconds off the course to cross the timers in an efficient 57.25 seconds while leaving all rails untouched.

“I think today most people were just trying to school their horses up for events later this week, but tomorrow’s WEF Challenge is a speed class so I wanted to go ahead and get him in a good forward rhythm today,” Bond explained. “I wasn’t trying to go super fast, but it worked out. I just went out there and had fun and let him do his thing.”

She said that while he is younger, Donatello 141 has always been one of her favorites to compete. “He’s just always been such a consistently good, steady horse. He’s my easiest one of the bunch, so it’s always a pleasure to ride him,” she said.

Bond will return for the second part of the Welcome this evening with her Nations Cup mount Chela LS to prepare for Saturday night’s competition representing Israel.

“I’ll ride Chela in the night class today so that she has a chance to jump the open water at night, which I don’t think she has done before,” Bond said. “Then we’ll enter her in a 1.45m class on Friday because she is usually better and more rideable if she does two classes in a row. She still has a ton of energy, even at 15!”

While the first part of the $5,000 Lugano Diamonds Welcome was held as a day session, a second $5,000 Lugano Diamonds Welcome was held as a night session under the lights in the International Arena.

Taking the top place in the class was Roberto Teran (COL) riding his own Dena-Sienne, an KWPN mare by Van Gogh x Animo. They completed the course in 63.41 seconds, the fastest of 13 clear rounds in 41 entries. Second place went to Martin Fuchs (SUI) riding Silver Shine, owned by Wilow Grace Farm, with a time of 64.08 seconds, while Alejandro Karolyi (VEN) and Lincourt Gino, owned by Monica Carrera, finished third in 66.93 seconds.

International competitors will return to the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center for the second day of Week 8 competition on Thursday, February 28, which will feature the $36,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 8.

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