Ashlee Bond and Little Valley Farms' Belo Horizonte Take Home First Place Honors in the Surfside Grand Prix Presented by The Competitive Equestrian Magazine
May 4, 2018
The 73rd Annual Del Mar National Horse Show Hunter/Jumper week's special classes are always exciting to watch: from the USHJA National Hunter Derby to gravity-defying jumper rounds. Friday afternoon provided the crowd with a competitive qualifier, the $25,000 Surfside Grand Prix Presented by The Competitive Equestrian Magazine, for tomorrow's $100,000 Grand Prix of Del Mar Presented by Pacific Sotheby's International Realty Equestrian Division.
There were 58 teams that took on the course, which was designed by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany. The course took the riders around 13 elements, including one triple combination across the diagonal and one oxer-vertical two stride combination on the rail. Tough spots in the course included the Pacific Sotheby's American Flag, which was set on a bending line from jump 4. Only a few riders attempted an inside turn from jump 7 to 8, inside fence 2, and if they did attempt it, they had trouble at fence 8 or at the beginning of the triple combination across the diagonal, 9ABC. Ultimately, 8 teams had clear rounds, with the top 30 advancing to tomorrow's $100,000 Grand Prix of Del Mar Presented by Pacific Sotheby's International Realty Equestrian Division.
Karrie Rufer and Morning Star Sporthorses LLC's Mai Tai 2 went second in the class, with a lovely clear round in a time of 70.411. Her time held until Mandy Porter and Milano went 8th, and took over the first spot with a clear round in a time of 69.513. The master of faster, Richard Spooner, and his own Chatinus barely missed Porter's time. They had a clear round with a time of 69.563 that moved them into third place.
Ashlee Bond and Little Valley Farms' Belo Horizonte flew into the arena, taking over the first place spot with a clean round and over a second faster than the other competitiors. They held onto first place for the win with a time of 68.364. Bond and Little Valley Farms' Chela LS took home a blue ribbon in last year's $100,000 Grand Prix of Del Mar Presented by Pacific Sotheby's International Realty Equestrian Division. Will the defending champion and her new horse, Cornetiero, will be able to make it two years in a row tomorrow night?
"I felt like Cornetiero was super, I just maybe stood him off the second to the last jump too much and it surprised him," said Bond of her first ride in the class. "I am not planning on changing anything with him tomorrow night. With Belo, I still want to get to kow him a bit better before stepping into the bigger class. This was only my second class ever with both horses. I was just trying to not go too crazy fast and get to know these new horses at a nice forward rhythm to give us confidence, and I thought we accomplished that."
Surfside Grand Prix Presented by The Competitive Equestrian Magazine Top 8 Placings:
||Little Valley Farms
||Mai Tai 2
||Morning Star Sporthorses
||Coral Reef Baloufino
||Coral Reef Ranch LLC
||Evergate Stables LLC
||Evergate Stables LLC
The special classes for the weekend began Wednesday afternoon with the USHJA Green Hunter Challenge, followed by Thursday’s Del Mar Equitation Championship, the USHJA National Hunter Derby and the JR/AO Jumper Challenge.
Jenny Karazissis and Alison Baileys' Bellamy were victorious in the USHJA Green Hunter Challenge. Jamie Taylor and Alexander Miller's Wow The Crowd came in second place, with Natalie Medlock riding her own Luciano to a third place finish.
Halie Robinson earned a blue ribbon out of a competitive class of 25 in the Del Mar Equitation Championship. Augusta Iwasaki took home second place and Jaime Krupnick rounded out the top three placings.
Jennifer Gates and Evergate Stables LLC's Cadence were awarded the blue ribbon in the JR/AO Jumper Challenge. Zume Gallaher and her own Parco P took home second place, with Natalie Dean and her own Mary Poppins earning third place in the class.
The USHJA National Hunter Derby saw 23 starters, with top riders such as Jenny Karazissis, Peter Lombardo, Jamie Taylor, Stella Wasserman, Karli Postel and others. Karazissis took home another win in this year's derby, aboard Amy Concha's Geneve. Karazissis also earned second on Hope Town Farms' Undeniable. Peter Lombardo and Ann Turley-Adams' Academy Award rounded out the top three placings in the class.
USHJA National Hunter Derby Top 8 Placings:
||Hope Town Farms
||Dulcie Lou Morris
Tomorrow, Saturday, May 5, we begin the evening at 6:45PM with an exhilarating Land Rover Extreme Celebrity Trail Challenge. Swapping their english saddles for western ones, celebrity riders and some of your favorite hunter/jumper riders will take on a Western trail course designed by the team to kick off the night! The competition will have you laughing and on the edge of your seat to see who can come out with the fastest time and the least amount of faults - plus, bonus points to those who can maintain style and equitation while accomplishing each task!
The $100,000 Grand Prix of Del Mar Presented by Pacific Sotheby's International Realty Equestrian Division provides a thrilling night of competitive show jumping. Only the best of the best combinations from Friday afternoon’s Surfside Grand Prix Presented by The Competitive Equestrian will get to participate. Top riders to watch after today's qualifier will be Bond, Porter, Spooner, and many others as they compete head to head again tomorrow night. You can find more info and purchase tickets for Saturday night’s Celebrity Extreme Trail and the $100,000 Grand Prix of Del Mar Presented by Pacific Sotheby's International Realty Equestrian Division by clicking here. Immediately following the competition, stick around for an after party with music by Four Way Street and an autograph signing with all the Grand Prix riders!
Saturday, May 5 - 6:45PM
Land Rover Extreme Celebrity Trail Challenge
$100,000 Grand Prix of Del Mar
Presented by Pacific Sotheby's International Realty Equestrian Division
Victory Party & Autograph Signing Immediately Following
You can find the full week schedule at the Del Mar National website, and if you are unable to join us in person, stay in the loop with our free, live webcast of the Del Mar Arena all week, including the Grand Prix of Del Mar Presented by Pacific Sotheby's International Realty Equestrian Division. Find the player on the homepage of our website by clicking here. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with all the latest.