Wellington, Fla. – April 2, 2022 – The most highly anticipated show jumping event of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival, the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*, brought a large crowd of spectators to the Stadium Derby Field of the newly minted Wellington International facility. As the pinnacle of show jumping competition at the 13-week series, the CSI5* event is a staple during the finale week of competition, capping off each year by highlighting some of the world’s most decorated equestrian athletes and their mounts. Forty-one horse-and-rider pairs representing 15 countries put their names forward for the winning title and lion’s share of the prize money, but it was ultimately Israel’s Ashlee Bond and Karoline of Ballmore that stood atop the podium after a thrilling five-horse jump-off.
World-renowned course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) crafted the 14-obstacle track fit for the CSI5* ranking. A winding path across the Stadium Derby Field forced patience upon athletes and their mounts, as they made their best effort over each of the 1.60m fences including an open water jump. The United States’ Spencer Smith was the first to tackle the hefty track, delivering an impressive clear effort aboard Gotham Enterprizes, LLC’s Quibelle and setting the expectation high for the remaining competitors. Chloe Reid (USA) and Souper Shuttle were the twelfth pair to contest, producing a clear round and guaranteeing a jump-off at the conclusion of round one. Immediately following, Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Legacy added their names to the jump-off roster, and only a few rounds later Bond (ISR) would ride Karoline of Ballmore to a clear effort to also join the lineup. Only one more would join the jump-off, Daniel Bluman (ISR) riding Ladriano Z, making the final tally for the jump-off list five at the conclusion of round one.
Jorge’s shortened jump-off track featured eight fences, including two new jumps that were not featured in the first round course. Plenty of space between fences made for a mad dash through the finish line as athletes let their horses open their strides to cover as much ground as possible across the grass. Returning first was Smith and Gotham Enterprizes, LLC’s Quibelle. The pair had an unfortunate rail at the Wellington International vertical, but cruised through the timers at 45.68 seconds. Reid and Live Oak Plantation LLC’s Souper Shuttle were next to tackle the track, putting in the first clear round at 47.63 seconds. The third to contest for the prestigious title was Coyle and Ariel Grange’s Legacy who put in a fast round at 43.88 seconds but picked up 4 faults to keep them out of contention. Ashlee Bond Showjumping & Gladewinds Partners’ Karoline of Ballmore and Bond showed they were a force to be reckoned with, producing the fastest clear round time of 44.09 seconds, shooting straight to the top of the leaderboard. It was a battle of the Israeli athletes as Bluman and Over The Top Stables LLC’s Ladriano Z navigated the track. Crossing the Rolex timers just two tenths of a second behind Bond at 44.29 seconds, Bluman and the 14-year-old Zangersheide gelding would settle for the second place position, while Bond and “Korra” claimed the win. Reid ultimately finished in third aboard the 11-year-old Hanoverian mare, Souper Shuttle.
Bond and the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare have been partnered together for five weeks with today’s competition marking their first jump-off. The future looks bright for “Kora” and Bond as they head into the summer season, sure to have many more Israeli National Anthems played in their honor.
Show jumping competition at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival will continue Sunday,
April 3, on the Stadium Derby Field for the $50,000 CabanaCoast Grand Prix CSI2* at 10:00 a.m.. In the International Arena, competition will come to a close with the $50,000 CaptiveOne 1.50m National Grand Prix at 1:00 p.m., marking the conclusion of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Ashlee Bond – $500,000 Rolex CSI5* Grand Prix winner
On Karoline of Ballmore:
“I believe we got [Karoline of Ballmore] Week Seven and this was our first jump-off. That’s kind of cool. She originally came from Nicola Philippaerts and Margie Engle had her, so I got the opportunity to school with them and they know her very well. We jumped some really big verticals, just three verticals, which was our school pretty much at 1.70m, and I feel like when you do that with a horse you start to trust them very quickly. I felt I could pretty much trot these jumps, so I knew I could jump any course. I knew scope was not a problem, her stride was so big that it actually got me into trouble in the first few classes I did on her because I would come too fast to combinations not trusting her to get through them.”
On the course:
“I thought this course really suited a big strided horse, or Chloe’s horse where you can do all the adds. It seemed really nice for me and [Karoline of Ballmore] was so rideable and just skipped around the course and it felt really, really nice. She makes my job really easy. I am very blessed to have her – a total God thing. This is super surreal.”
“The last few years have been special, I feel. I had a good career before switching to ride for Israel, but I feel like after the switch it’s really taken off. There’s always ups and downs. This circuit for me has been a trying – Donny had an abscess hand e was out for pretty much the whole thing and I had young horses trying to step up, and then I got a new horse and you never know how that’s going to go. This win for my team is validation and for all the hard times you feel like “Do I know what I’m doing?” you just keep plugging along and trusting in your team that you will come out the other side better. I think it really showed perseverance through the circuit and coming together and fighting through the hard times, it all worked to the good, and it was really needed for the team.”
Daniel Bluman – $500,000 Rolex CSI5* Grand Prix second place
On Ladriano Z:
“He felt amazing, he was out for a couple of seasons for an injury and at one point, we didn’t know if he was going to come back. He has jumped really phenomenally since he has come back. I think he has had one rail since coming back in September of last year. He is in great shape and the showing conditions today were amazing and the field looked beautiful. I like the Rolex Grand Prix on the [Stadium Derby Field] differently than any other Grand Prix in Wellington. Congratulations to Ashlee [Bond] for the win! It wasn’t meant for me today to win, but if it was not for me to win, I am very happy for Ashlee. She is a great teammate and she really deserved the win and it was a great day for everybody.”
On the jump-off:
“I did not watch Ashlee’s round but I know Ashlee is fast, and to be absolutely honest, I really wanted to ride the jump-off that best suited my horse. It’s a long year with a lot of important events coming up and I wanted to feel I gave the horse the ride he deserved and I think I did. It came down to .200th of a second or something like that. I am sitting here [in second place] like I was last year, and maybe with another opportunity I will be sitting there [in the winner’s chair]. I think I played my game plan well and I am very happy with the way the horse jumped and I know being second is hard, but I am very, very pleased with the horse’s feeling and for the entire team.”
Chloe Reid – $500,000 Rolex CSI5* Grand Prix third place
On Souper Shuttle:
“I have had Shuttle since she was 8-years-old, so I have had her a few years now. I was fortunate that I was able to jump this class last year actually, so walking the course today I felt really confident, versus last year I walked and was definitely nervous for the track. Shuttle has a lot of blood, a lot of heart, and a lot of character, and is super smart. She really tried for me today.”
On the course:
“As Ashlee [Bond] said, it was a really good course for a large stride, but it also benefited me with a short stride. I really like to add with her, maybe a little too much sometimes, but I walked it and I knew that I could get a seven in the six-stride and after the triple bar I could do nine strides. There were a couple places that I knew she was in a fast moving pace, so I knew I could do the adds without having to rush.”
$500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1. Karoline of Ballmore / Ashlee Bond / ISR / Ashlee Bond Showjumping & Gladewinds Partners / 0 | 85.23 / 0 | 44.09
2. Ladriano Z / Daniel Bluman / ISR / Over The Top Stables LLC / 0 | 86.1 / 0 | 44.29
3. Souper Shuttle / Chloe Reid / USA / Live Oak Plantation LLC / 0 | 85.52 / 0 | 57.63
4. Legacy / Daniel Coyle / IRL / Ariel Grange / 0 | 85.00 / 4 | 43.88
5. Quibelle / Spencer Smith / USA / Gotham Enterprizes, LLC / 0 | 84.51 / 4 | 45.68
6. Davidoff De Lassus / Zoe Conter / BEL / Stephex Stables / 1 | 87.11
7. Ginger-Blue / Ben Maher / GBR / Jane Forbes Clark / 4 | 82.92
8. Great-Tikila J / Darragh Kenny / IRL / HKC Collection LLC / 4 | 83.71
9. Figor / Tiffany Foster / CAN / Artisan Farms, LLC / 4 | 84.18
10. Killer Queen VDM / Daniel Deusser / GER / Stephex Stables / 4 | 85.06
11. James Kann Cruz / Shane Sweetnam / IRL / Gizmo Partners, LLC / 4 | 85.85
12. Contago / Eugenio Garza Perez / MEX / El Milagro / 4 | 85.95