Ashlee Bond (ISR) knew that she had done her homework right with Contefina LVF in the CSI2* Friends of tbird to kick off international competition Friday in the Thunderbird Jumper Arena.
Bond and the 10-year-old American Holsteiner mare bested a 19-horse jump-off by more than three seconds, crossing the timers of Peter Holmes’ (CAN) shortened 1.45m track in 35.41 seconds. Conor Swail (IRL) and Gamble finished second (38.62), with Daniel Rihan (MEX) and Tentacion LS La Silla, third (38.84).
“We know each other very well. I don’t really have to think when I’m on her,” Bond said. “I think that just makes these classes easier to win, because when you know your horse that well, it just gives you an advantage.”
Bond’s Little Valley Farms bred both Contefina (Contefino 2) and her dam, Southern Girl (South Pacific). Bond and her father Steve have developed the mare from birth. Steve, an integral part of Bond’s operation, not only saddle broke “Fina,” but also continues to ride her regularly. The horseman has used his background in cutting horses to improve the mare’s turning.
“She is extremely fast,” Bond said. “I just think turn, and she’s right with me, and she doesn’t spend any time in the air. I think from his cutting horse days, [my dad] knows how to get a horse to move laterally really, really fast. He doesn’t do it to the extreme, because our horses aren’t built the same way as cutting horses. But he does it enough to where it helps me so much in the ring.”
According to JUMPR app, Bond and Contefina average less than a rail at the 1.45m height (3.83 faults) and jump clear 26% of the time.
“She’s got a big stride [and] covers the ground super fast,” Bond said, “so it was just kind of, ‘Risk it for the Biscuit.'”
$37,200 CSI2* Friends of tbird
Place / Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time
1. Contefina LVF / Ashlee Bond / ISR / Ashlee Bond / 0/0 35.41
2. Gamble / Conor Swail / IRL / Asta Torokvei / 0/0 38.62
3. Tentacion LS La Silla / Daniel Rihan / MEX / Daniel Rihan / 0/0 38.84
4. Coleur van Berkenbroek / John Perez/ COL / Daniel Rihan / 0/0 40.23
5. Hermelien / Sam Walker / CAN / Evergate Stables / 0/0 40.52
6. Clear Concept / Conor Swail / IRL / Asta Torokvei / 0/0 41.5
7. Carnlea Premier Balou / Robert Blanchette / IRL / RTSC, LLC / 0/0 42.16
8. Cascalretto / Vanessa Hood / USA / Take Two LLC / 0/0 42.23
9. Good Limit / Jose Antonio Chedraui Eguia / MEX / Jose Antonio Chedraui Eguia / 0/0 43.5
10. H-Lucky Retto / Jose Antonio Chedraui Eguia / MEX / Jose Antonio Chedraui Eguia / 0/0 45.37