Ocala, FL – International competition resumed early on Wednesday morning in the WEC Grand Arena as 31 star-studded athletes representing 11 nations vied for the top prize in the $40,000 1.45m Speed CSI3*. Olympic Gold Medalist Will Simpson (USA) surpassed the field aboard Whoop De Doo (Mr. Whoopy x Double Trouble X) owned by 5 Roosters, galloping away with the victory.
World-renowned course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil crafted the speed tracks where 11 horse-and-rider combinations jumped clear.
Simpson and the 12-year-old Warmblood mare Whoop De Doo found a direct route in 62.89 seconds halfway through the order, establishing a tough time to beat for the remaining competitors.
“There weren’t too many real options, but a few tight rolls backs and I happen to really like those,” shared Simpson about the Speed track. “I could have gone faster, but I took a bit more of a conservative route, which I really have to work on. I usually stray away from the safe option with her because she’s so brave and careful. You usually can surprise her with a tight turn, because we practice them at home. She’s always keen to go and looks for the next jump. Today, she was on it.”
Starting his week off with a win, Simpson shared his thoughts, “The WEC Grand arena is big-time. The footing is always fantastic, and they have one of the best course designers in the world building this week. It’s a horseman’s playground here.”
Winner of this morning’s $6,000 1.40m Speed CSI3*, Ashlee Bond (ISR) piloted her way to another podium finish, this time aboard Garfield (Chellthago Z x Numero Uno) owned by Aurora Farms, LLC. World Equestrian Center – Ocala newcomer, Bond and the 12-year-old KWPN gelding made light work of the track stopping the clock just shy of the leading time in 63.59 seconds.
Tom Foley of Ireland and Sher Al Farm’s 10-year-old KWPN gelding Ibalius SMH (Everglade VDL x Burggraaf NV) secured the third-place spot on the leaderboard after the duo delivered an efficient performance in 64.85 seconds.
International competition resumes on Thursday evening at 7pm with the $50,000 UF Health Grand Prix Qualifier CSI3*.
Final Results: $40,000 1.45m Speed CSI3*
1 WHOOP DE DOO: 2011 Warmblood mare by Mr. Whoopy x Double Trouble X
William Simpson (USA), 5 Roosters 0/62.89
2 GARFIELD: 2011 KWPN gelding by Chellthago Z x Numero Uno
Ashlee Bond (ISR), Aurora Farms, LLC 0/63.59
3 IBALIUS SMH: 2013 KWPN gelding by Everglade VDL x Burggraaf NV
Thomas Foley (IRL), Sher Al Farm 0/64.85
4 FLEUR-DE-LIS’ CHERIE: 2012 Holsteiner mare by Clarimo x Lancer II
Jad Dana (LBN), The Cherie Group 0/65.83
5 KAISER VAN HET LAMBROECK: 2010 Belgian Warmblood stallion by Nabab De Reve x For Pleasure
Kaitlin Campbell (USA), Camille Leblond 0/66.90
6 HALCON: 2015 Argentinian Sport Horse stallion by Con Air x Cardento
Richard Spooner (USA), Molly Ohrstrom 0/66.92
7 CASH MONEY: 2012 Oldenburg gelding by Cristallo I x Escada
Stella Buckingham (USA), Santa Rosa Group 0/70.24
8 MTM CEDRICK: 2013 Holsteiner gelding by Colman x Vicky VI
Dorothy Douglas (USA), Nina Koloseike 0/71.80
9 JERSEY: 2014 KWPN mare by Brainpower x Ramira
Stephanie Gallucci (CAN), Equine Partners International LLC 0/72.21
10 ELIEN: 2009 KWPN mare by Carambole x Mermus R
Stella Buckingham (USA), Santa Rosa Group 0/72.24
11 VITTORIO 12: 2011 Hanoverian gelding by Van Helsing x Carismo
Captain Brian Cournane (USA), Captain Brian Cournane 0/73.19
12 LIEMBA: 2014 Hanoverian mare by Gem of India x Valentino
Hunter Holloway (USA), Hays Investment Corp 2/82.48
Ashlee Bond (ISR) & Elka De La Pomme Dominate $6,000 1.40m CSI3* Speed
Sixteen international athletes took to the WEC Grand Arena first thing Wednesday morning for the first FEI class of Week III during the 2023 Ocala Summer Series. FEI Level IV course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) returned to World Equestrian Center – Ocala to lay the tracks for the seasoned field of athletes. Ashlee Bond (ISR) was the first to master Jorge’s questions aboard Elka De La Pomme (Cartoon Z x Kannan).
As the second to last pair to make their way down the ramp, Bond guided the Aurora Farms, LLC, entry to a tidy track, immediately climbing to the top of the leaderboard.
The nine-year-old Selle Francias mare demonstrated experience beyond her years over the technical speed course, and stopped the clock in 60.94 seconds, nearly three seconds faster than the second-place finisher, Fernanda Gabriel (BRA).
The ninth duo to go in the posted order, Gabriel and her very own Ventisette (Carlos x Brilliance) held the lead until bested by Bond. The 11-year-old Estonian Sporthorse mare carried Gabriel to a swift track in 63.02 seconds for second place and a confident start to their week of international competition.
Mallory Vale (USA) rounded out the podium with Gray’s Inn (Cannavaro x Oscar). The nine-year-old Czech Warmblood gelding saw no challenge in his first FEI debut and galloped through the timers in 63.83 seconds with Vale in the irons securing their third-place finish.
Final Results: $6,000 1.40m Speed CSI3*
1 ELKA DE LA POMME: 2014 Selle Francais mare by Cartoon Z x Kannan
Ashlee Bond (ISR), Aurora Farms, LLC: 0/60.94
2 VENTISETTE: 2012 Estonian Sporthorse by Carols x Brillance
Fernanda Gabriel (BRA), Fernanda Gabriel: 0/ 63.02
3 GRAYS INN: 2014 Czech Warmblood gelding by Cannavaro x Jena
Mallory Vale (USA), Thinkslikeahorse: 0/63.83