Temecula, Calif. – April 19, 2019 – On Friday at the Temecula Valley National Premier, the R.W. Mutch Equitation Championship was the featured class in the Audi Grand Prix Arena, presented by Evergate Stables. After two challenging rounds of riding, Augusta Iwasaki topped the field of talented young riders, having secured first prize on Vanderpump with a final score of 349, more than 20 points of the next-closest contenders.
The class is named in honor of the well-known rider, trainer, and judge Ronnie Mutch, who for many years operated Nimrod Farm in Weston, Connecticut. While there, Mutch produced a number of Medal and Maclay winning riders and horses, including Ronnie’s own son Bert Mutch, a well-known West Coast rider and trainer. The junior athletes that competed in this unique class must do so without any help from their trainers. Competitors are expected to walk the courses, warm-up their horses, and show all on their own, proving both their level of skill and their horsemanship.
Over the course of the class, athletes received scores from two judges’ panels based on their schooling techniques, decision-making abilities and traditional equitation over two rounds of riding. The first round score is based on the rider’s ability to complete different challenges including a trot jump, halt, and counter-canter, and the second round is scored as a traditional jumper round, with a fairly conservative time-allowed. Judges were also standing in the schooling ring, scoring riders on their warm-up habits.
After the first round, 14-year-old Augusta Iwasaki was firmly in the lead with a score of 174 as one of the youngest riders to compete in the class. Avery Glenn and Emily Williamson sat in the second and third places, respectively, with scores of 167 and 160. Iwasaki, who rode Ashland Farm’s 10-year-old gelding, Vanderpump, was able to flawlessly answer all of the questions asked by the course designer and judges.
Although young, Iwasaki has distinguished herself as an incredibly competitive Junior Hunter rider, as seen by her many top finishes at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, her Small Junior Hunter division champion at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in 2018, and numerous other top results at horse shows across the country.
After walking the new course for the second round of competition, Sophia Silveira was the first to return to the ring aboard King’s Landing. Although the field of scores fluctuated slightly, Ty Simpson, the only male competitor in the class, was able to make a big move up from his original place to ultimately tie for second place with Glenn. As the sun quickly set, the pair had the tie broken by faults accumulated, giving Simpson the upper-hand and the red ribbon. Iwasaki, who entered the ring last after having been the leading rider in the first round, put in another commanding performance with the ride on Vanderpump to finish on a cumulative score of 349 and secure the top honors.
Earlier in the afternoon in the jumper ring, Ashlee Bond was a woman on a mission when she entered the arena for the $10,000 Voltaire 1.35m Speed Classic, the feature jumper class Friday at the Temecula Valley National Horse Show. Piloting her homebred mare, Contefina, Bond was the fastest fault-free round, clocking in at a time of 65.226 seconds. Not far off of Bond’s blistering pace was Mandy Porter on Centstar, who stopped the timers in 67.027 seconds and also did not accrue any faults to follow in second position overall. Rounding out the top three spots was Michelle Parker aboard CCF Savusavu, who put in a quick trip but downed one rail to earn 4 faults.
Known for her ability to set and ride a blistering pace, Bond entered the ring 13th out of 38 total entries in the faults-converted speed course, which was designed by Olaf Petersen, Jr. The course gave competitors several options to choose from, and although Bond did not complete as many inside turns as her peers, she flawlessly navigated the 9-year-old mare with unmatched precision.
Entering the ring later in the class, Porter set out trying to best Bond’s earlier lead. Riding Whitney Strachan’s 8-year-old gelding, Centstar, Porter managed to leave all of the jumps in the cups while crossing the timers in 67.027 seconds to earn her second position. Michelle Parker navigated Cross Creek Farms Inc.’s CCF Savusavu to a valiant effort in 68.889 seconds as they attempted to chase down the leading pair’s time, but ultimately lowered one fence to keep them out of contention for the top spot. Kyle King and Holly Scapa rounded out the top 5 placings aboard Andiamo VH Kapelhof Z and Tarrabas Du Mara, respectively.
Bond, who represents Israel in international FEI competition, has been riding Contefina over the course of the mare’s entire career. The mare was born on Bond’s Little Creek Farm, where her mother and grandmother both still reside as part of a successful breeding program. In 2017, Bond rode Contefina to the top of the Young Jumper Championships 5-year-old Western League Regional Final. Since then, the pair have competed across the country and continue to produce top placings.
Competition at the Temecula Valley National Premier concludes Saturday, April 20, with the featured $40,000 KindredBio Grand Prix and the $1,000 U25 Jumper Classic serving as two of the main events. Equitation competition will continue bright and early with the Platinum Performance USET Talent Search at 8 a.m.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Augusta Iwasaki – R. W. Mutch Equitation Championship
On her plan for the two rounds:
“In the first round I just planned to play it safe and have a smooth round to make sure I made it back for the second round. [In the second round,] I was thinking about going more forward to make up for the tight time-allowed. Galloping forward and making sure to get the 7 [strides] in the last line and make it a much more forward course.”
“His barn name is Vander and he is the kindest horse ever! He always tries his hardest and there has never been a time where he hasn’t tried his heart out for me. He always comes through and he is just incredible.”
On competing in the R. W. Mutch Equitation Championship:
“I think it is really fun and a good experience to help you decide if you want to try and become a professional. It’s great miles and I really like being able to take what I know and apply it to a course and see how it all goes.”
Ashlee Bond – $10,000 Voltaire 1.35m Classic winner
“Contefina is a homebred horse, we actually bred her mother and bought her grandmother. We haven’t done too much with her because she’s super advanced, she’s only 7 years old and already doing the 1.40m classes. She’s been a little rusty; I haven’t used her much this year. She came out today and was perfect per usual. She’s really game, careful, smart, and knows her job. She’s got a big stride and you can kind of just gallop around and she’s fast, so it makes my life easy! She’s game, she knows her job and wants to miss the rails, she’s scopey, careful and fast, all of the things you want!”
On Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s courses this week:
“Olaf [Petersen] is a magician! You can build a 1.35m and get rails everywhere and I just find that his courses are so smart. It gives you a lot of options, which I think is amazing in speed classes as a rider because you get rewarded for making inside turns. There are other times where course designers build a speed [course] and there’s no options so you have to go around, and I feel like it’s tougher to do tight inside turns. Here, he gave us the options, and I felt like my mare was ready to do them and it paid off. It also allows riders of all ages and skills to come in here and still go around quickly. I think he’s very fair but I think he’s very tough, and the horses always end up jumping better by the end of the week. I really love riding his courses.”
On competing in speed classes:
“I’ve always been a speed demon since I was little. There’s a funny story from when I was a kid: I think I was 8 years old in Pebble Beach and Linda Hough was watching me. I was galloping this pony warming it up, and she said, ‘Wow you’re going fast!’ and I turned around and said, ‘Yes, thank you!’ I think I just always had the need for speed so it’s very comfortable for me to cruise at a very forward rhythm. Every horse I get needs to be able to handle my speed, otherwise it isn’t going to be a horse for me. We’ve learned to nail down what I need because I just ride really fast, and to be at the top of the sport you have to have horses that can go that fast.”
On winning a Voltaire sponsored class:
“It’s a lot more special to win a Voltaire sponsored class; I’ve been with them for eight years, and I think I was one of their first signees. We just signed our contract for another three years and I’m going to be in the Blue Infinite saddle, which I am so excited about. It was an honor to win the class.”
R.W. Mutch Equitation Championship
Place / Rider / Horse / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score / Total Score
1. Augusta Iwasaki / Vanderpump / Ashland Farms / 174 / 175 / 349
2. Ty Simpson / Washington / Hd Horses LLC / 157 / 171 / 328
3. Avery Glynn / Cocon 4 / Ned Glynn / 167 / 161 / 328
4. Skylar Wireman / Hot Pants / Haven Farms / 144 / 169 / 313
5. Violet Barnett / Canto Blanco / Sloan Lindemann-Barnett / 156 / 137 / 293
6. Clea Caddell / Cornelensky / Spyglass Hill / 156.5 / 130 / 286.5
7. Amber Ayyad / Theodore / Amber Ayyad / 147 / 139 / 286
8. Lilly Clarkson / Carlo E / Ashland Farms / 160 / 125 / 285
9. Emily Williams / Cohen / Sweet Oak Farm / 168 / 94 / 262
10. Sophia Silveira / King’s Landing / Trish Jacob / 129 / 130 / 259
$10,000 Voltaire 1.35m Speed Classic
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Faults | Time
1. Contefina / Ashlee Bond / Little Valley Farms / 0 | 65.226
2. Centstar / Mandy Porter / Whitney Strachan / 0 | 67.027
3. CCF Savusavu / Michelle Parker / Cross Creek Farms Inc. / 4 | 68.889
4. Andiamo VH Kapelhof Z / Kyle King / Jackie Herod / 4 | 69.179
5. Tarrabas Du Mara / Holly Scapa / Holly Scapa / 0 | 70.121
6. Solo Concept / Laura Hite / Laura Hite / 0 | 72.756
7. Crack One / Emily Esau-Williams / Ixchel Mosley / 0 | 73.195
8. Chipotle / Michelle Parker / Michelle Parker / 4 | 73.291
9. Colicchio / Kenneth Vinther / Kenneth Vinther / 0 |73.413
10. Quatar / Jamie Taylor / JT Equine LLC / 0 | 73.572
11. E La Carla H / Angel Karolyi / Elizabeth Kilham / 4 | 74.575
12. Elertina / Chandler Meadows / Erin Fry / 4 | 76.869
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