Ashlee Bond & Donatello 141. Photo © Sportfot.
Israel’s Ashlee Bond and Donatello 141 were lightning fast during the $78,000 CSI5* Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 7 in the International Arena on Thursday during the Winter Equestrian Festival’s (WEF) Week 7, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds.
Fifty contenders tackled the Steve Stephens (USA) track where some of the easy favorites fell victim to a testing course. Fourteen advanced to the tie-breaking jump-off, including Bond and her trusted partner, “Donnie.”
Small in stature and stride but massive in heart, Donatello 141, a 12-year-old Westphalian gelding (Diarado x Lamoureux I) stopped the short course timers at 32.62 seconds. The seasoned partnership between Bond and Donatello 141 was obvious as they pipped Jessica Mendoza’s more than respectable time of 33.39 seconds. Mendoza (GBR) and her own Play settled for second while Belgium’s Jos Verlooy and Igor finished third on a time of 33.89 seconds for owners Eurohorse BVBA.
Catoki Takes Over WEF 7
Two-time Olympic team gold medalist for the U.S. McLain Ward kicked off WEF 7 with a win in the $39,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty CSI5* 1.45m aboard the pint-sized superstar Catoki on Wednesday.
Ward took to Steve Stephens and Nick Granat’s (USA) two-round track against 55 competitors with Catoki, a 14-year-old Westphalian gelding (Catoki x Caretello B). The pair put in the fastest time of the day, finishing in 24.18 seconds over the speed portion of the course.
When cantering towards 1.45m oxer on a 15.2 hand horse, perspectives can change, but Ward says Catoki’s size is nothing but a positive. “He’s basically a pony, and everything happens so fast, but he has the heart of a lion and he’s jumped some massive classes. He’s very brave and matches that with speed and quality which makes for a great partner.”
Wellington International | (561) 793-5867