THERMAL, CA (February 8, 2013) – The Grand Prix Ring at HITS Thermal was set with 15 jumping efforts for 42 horses yesterday, and the outcome came down to fractions of a second. In an electrifying jump-off, Hidden Hills’ Ashlee Bond and her own Cadett 7 delivered the necessary speed and claimed victory in the $33,000 HITS Desert Classic, presented by Zoetis.
Course designer Florencio Hernandez of Mexico City, Mexico had 14 advance to the jump-off and 10 go double clear, but it was Bond and Cadett who sent sparks flying with their blazing pace and a final time of 43.33 seconds. “That’s Cadett doing what he’s really talented at; being able to run fast and leave the jumps up,” Bond said immediately following the class. “I can just pick up a nice gallop, and off he goes! He turns decently well, and he loves his job.”
Both Olympian Will Simpson of Westlake Village, California riding Monarch International’s Acorina and Brazil’s Eduardo Menezes on his own Caruschka gave Bond a run for the prize money – Simpson was second in 43.45 seconds and Menezes third in 43.86 seconds.
“She’s had a real attitude change. Now she wants to do it,” Simpson said of Acorina. When Monarch purchased the then 11-year-old mare last year she had yet to compete in a grand prix. “We got her from Rich Fellers. He was riding her in the meter-thirties. She’s getting better and better with every class. We’re looking forward to a great year with her,” Simpson, a 2008 U.S. Olympic team gold medalist added. During Desert Circuit I, the pair came in 10th in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix presented by Zoetis and won a Level 7 jumper class.
Menezes, who won the Desert Circuit’s first high-performance contest with Caruschka two weeks ago, was sanguine about their third placing on Thursday. “You do the best you can with your horse, and sometimes that’s first, and sometimes it’s third,” he said.
The Great American Time to Beat was initially set by the first pair out, Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Octavia Farms, LLC’s Malou, clocking in a clear round in 46.12 seconds – a pace that held for three rounds, until Bond blew the lid off it. Ultimately, Michaels-Beerbaum settled for ninth with Malou and bested herself on Windward Farm’s Unbelievable, in sixth. Her student, Saer Coulter of Stanford, California, placed fourth on Copernicus Stables’ Graciella 50. Mexico’s Simon Nizri rode Cherla LS, owned by Club Hipico La Silla’s, to fifth.
The $33,000 Desert Classic was a qualifier for the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix, presented by Lamborghini Newport Beach, taking place March 17.
$500 Level 6 Rocky Mountain Show Jumping
Earlier in the grand prix ring on Thursday, Hillary Ridland of Los Angeles, California and her own Welcome rose to the top among 83 starters to win the Level 6 Rocky Mountain Show Jumping competition. The duo is burning up the Level 6 division, having won two Rocky Mountain Show Jumping Level 6 classes during Desert Circuit II. Susan Hutchison of Temecula, California came in second on SIG International’s SIG Excel, and Rich Fellers of Sherwood, Oregon was third on Mollie and Harry Chapman’s McGuinness. Jenni McAllister of Sun Valley, California was fourth aboard LEGISequine.com’s Legis Touch The Sun, and Mexico’s John Perez was fifth on Classic Lady owned by Zeidler Farm Canada LTD’s.
$33,000 HITS Desert Classic, presented by Zoetis
|Place||Horse||Owner||Rider||Prize $||Rd 1 Faults||JO Faults||JO Time|
|1||Cadett 7||Little Valley Farms||Ashlee Bond||$10,890||0||0||46.12|
|2||Acorina||Monarch International||Will Simpson||$6.600||0||0||43.45|
|3||Caruschka||Eduardo Menezes||Eduardo Menezes||$4,950||0||0||43.68|
|4||Graciella 50||Copernicus Stables||Saer Coulter||$3,300||0||0||44.09|
|5||Chela LS||Club Hipico La Silla||Simon Nizri||$1,980||0||0||44.98|
|6||Unbelievable||Windward Farm||Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum||$1,485||0||0||45.38|
|7||Malou||Octavia Farms, LLC||Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum||$990||0||0||46.12|
|8||Coral Reef Baloufino||Coral Reef Ranch||Vonton Karrasch||$825||0||0||48.25|
|9||La Boom||La Boom Syndicate||Lisa Carlsen||$660||0||0||51.19|
|10||Leticia VVM||Julia Koetting||Julia Koetting||$660||0||0||54.75|
|11||Utopia||John Perez||John Perez||$330||0||1||47.11|
|12||Warinde B||Hester Equestrian Inc.||Lauren Hester||$330||0||8||49.65|