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Ashlee Bond and Wistful

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Ashlee Bond and Wistful Fault Free for First Place in 1.40m Open Jumpers at Bluegrass Festival Horse Show

Written by: Heather Bellock
Client: Kentucky Horse Shows LLC
Release Date: 2011-08-18

Lexington, KY - August 18, 2011 – It was cool and overcast for the start of the second day of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park. While the highlights of the week include the $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals, the $25,000 CSI-W Hagyard Lexington Classic World Cup Qualifier and the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, today’s events in the Rolex Stadium were filled with excitement. Today was a day that required speed and accuracy for victory. It was Aaron Vale and Casino Van De Helle who delivered in the 1.35m Open Jumpers. Later in the day, Ashlee Bond and Wistful captured the 1.40m Open Jumper victory with a quick trip and no faults. Sharn Wordley and Upper Class CR took home the win in the 7/8 Year Old Jumpers.

The 1.40m Open Jumper class featured the faults converted format and gave competitors a real challenge with courses designed by Allen Rheinheimer. Twenty-one horse and rider combinations were challenged over a course that included a vertical-oxer-oxer triple combination, an oxer-vertical-oxer triple combination, and an optional water jump. Those who rode clear were faced with the jump-off, which involved tight rollbacks and the vertical-oxer-oxer triple combination.

Lauren Tisbo and La Centa, owned by Tequestrian Farms, LLC set a competitive time to beat after choosing a very bold route finishing with a fault free effort in 66.012 seconds, earning second place. Erynn Ballard returned after a successful first day of competition and attempted to earn the quickest time over the course. Ballard and Wennous, owned by Looking Good Group came close, but had an ill-timed rail down resulting in four added faults to their speedy time of 63.793 seconds, only good enough for the fifth place finish.

It looked like a focused, well-timed course was necessary to take top honors, and Ashlee Bond and Little Valley Farm’s, Wistful, delivered. Bond guided her mount over a demanding course leaving every rail in their cups and crossing the wire in 61.870 seconds for the top prize.

“Wistful was great today. I am very happy with my results. These heights are more practice for me for the grand prix,” noted Bond. “The weather is so nice. The footing is great. The course designer is doing a great job so far. I love that I can ride them on the cross-country field, because there is no better way to get them fit.”

Hector Florentino and Stransky’s Mission Farms’ Unico followed Bond’s round, but couldn’t catch her blazing fast time. Florentino stopped the clock at 67.418 seconds without fault, earning the third place finish. Debbie Stephens was the last rider to contest Bond’s time and chose a conservative track. Stephens piloted Caquel Bigua, owned by International Equestrian Services, to the fifth place finish after tripping the wire at 67.951 seconds.

The next class in the Rolex Stadium was the 1.35m Open Jumpers. A new course and an immediate jump-off format gave competitors a real challenge. Setting the bar was the first horse and rider duo, Aaron Vale and Casino Van De Helle owned by North Face Farm. A clear first round took them to the jump-off and Vale’s smooth riding abilities resulted in every rail staying in their cups and a time of 32.841 seconds, which couldn’t be beat and earned the duo today’s victory.

Candice King was the next to make it to the jump-off with Louisburg Farm, LLC’s Dana and finished in third place with a competitive time of 35.547 seconds. The next horse and rider combination to try and claim the lead was Michael Grinyer with his mount Piccaso. They took a more conservative track leaving a four second gap between their time and the time to beat, resulting in the fifth place finish. Blazing through the course and leaving every rail up, Laura Pfeiffer was the closest to Vale’s unbeatable time. Pfieffer navigated Fox Meadow Farm’s Cosmo around the course breaking the beam in 35.286 seconds, which was good enough for second place. Lisa Jacquin and Udora, owned by Faith Stewart, made the final effort in the jump-off and did so without fault, but were unable to better Vale’s speed and settled for fourth place with a time of 35.964 seconds.

Earlier in the day, the 7/8 Year Old Jumpers competed for top honors. Sharn Wordley and his mount Upper Class CR were the first to advance and rode a speedy track in 34.390 seconds, which proved to be unbeatable, earning them the first place prize. Kim Farlinger and her mount Caprice Van De Brouwershoeve were the next pair on course. They put in a tremendous effort, stopping the clock in 35.621 seconds, and came within a second of the time to beat, but an unfortunate rail put them in the fifth place.

Lisa Jacquin was the next on course. She piloted Faith Stewart’s Zulieka to a clear effort but their time of 35.956 seconds was only good enough for the fourth place finish. Sharn Wordley returned with his second mount Corino and tried to beat his earlier round. The duo completed the course with out fault but broke the beam in 35.349, which earned the third place finish. Jennifer Gray was the last rider to try and steal the win. Gray navigated Rachael Barnes’ Tonic to a fault free effort and came close to the win breaking the beam in 35.342 seconds, resulting in the second place finish.

The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will continue through Sunday, August 21. Competition will resume tomorrow with the highlight event, the $25,000 CSI-W Hagyard Lexington Classic, which will get underway at 7:30 p.m. At the end of the competition, the $50,000 Hagyard Challenge Series Leading Rider bonus will be awarded. Also taking place tomorrow will be the First Round of the $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals, beginning at 8 a.m. in the Rolex Stadium. The weeklong competition will conclude with the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix on Sunday.

For more information please visit

Photo Credit: Ashlee Bond and Wistful won the 1.40m Open Jumper class at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. Photo By: Heather Bellock/PMG. Photo may only be used in relation to this PMG press release.
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