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Ahead of the rated grand prix coming up this evening, riders were invited to put their speed and high jumping skills to the test during two competitions that left the crowd screaming with laughter at certain stages.
Bond produced the most exciting ride of the evening to win the $2,500 Land Rover Ride & Drive by jumping clean over a 1.20m course, leaping off her horse and running at top speed towards a Land Rover vehicle, and completing a precise obstacle course through narrow sets of cones. She finished in the fastest time and was ecastic about her win.
Bond and Southern Girl flew over the riding portion of the course
Incredibly, her horse Southern Girl is recently back from a four year hiatus. The 16-year-old mare is a product of the Bond Family’s Little Valley Farm in Calabasas, California, and returns to the ring after producing five foals.
“She’s a great, great speed horse, a real winner!” said Bond. “We still have her mother, who is 26, and she has a full brother named Tommy Gun who is 14. I know her really well.”
Southern Girl ate up the attention from the crowd as she sent the footing flying while galloping at an angle around the course. On the way back to the dismount point, Bond even aimed the mare at a group of bushes, and Southern Girl jumped those too.
“She’s a freak, a little crazy, a little bit like her mother,” Bond added. “But I love her!”
Lane Clarke and Guy Thomas tried to give Bond a run for her money, but no rider could match the daring speed at which Bond and Southern Girl completed the course.
Martin-McAllister’s Feeling Pays off Big
Of the seven entries in the $4,000 Swiss-Up High Jump, Jenni Martin McAllister wouldn’t have bet on herself to take first place.
After all, her horse, 8-year-old Here I Come, spent this year competing in the 7/8 Young Jumper Championships, and the highest he’d ever jumped was 1.40m. But Martin-McAllister, who owns the gelding with her husband Steve, had an inkling that perhaps, her promising young horse could jump big. The up and coming grand prix horse stands at a towering 17.3 hands tall.
Riders were required to jump down a line of fences that became progressively higher; by Round 4 the last fence stood a 6’2”. Margaret Blasco, Samantha Buirs, and Matt Archer didn’t make it through Round 1, failing to jump the first line without fault.
Alec Lawler and Dauphin De Muze went through to the third round, but couldn’t keep the top rail up at the 5’10.25” height, and Ann Kinght-Karrasch chose to retire after the second round in order to save her horse.
That left Martin-McAllister pitted against past Swiss-Up champion Helen McNaught of Castro Valley. At a young 17 years old, McNaught’s own Caballo had experience on his side, and he nearly jumped clean at the Round 4 height. But a felled rail opened the door for Martin-McAllister to win the class if Here I Come could clear 1.90m.
Martin-McAllister and Here I Come leap over the Round 4, 1.90m height
“He warmed up really terrible, and I was worried because of the lights, that he’s never really shown in the dark, that this could be really bad,” Martin-McAllister revealed. “But we kind of got him comfortable, and he was great in the ring!”
Martin’s careful riding paid off, and her promising young horse proved to her that the sky’s the limit by easily clearing the massive high jump to win the class. Here I Com cleared 1.90m (5 feet, 10 inches.)
Saturday brings more action at the Sacramento International Horse Show; a full afternoon of clinics from top riders and trainers are open to the public, and at 7pm the $55,000 Land Rover Grand Prix of Sacramento World Cup Qualifier will see 44 riders attempt to navigate Heiko Wahlers’ 1.60m track. The crowd is expected to sell out, so if you’re in the area be sure to buy tickets now. The grand prix will be streamed live online at JumpSacto.com.
$2,500 Land Rover Ride & Drive
Rider | Horse | Owner
- Ashlee Bond | Southern Girl | Little Valley Farms
- Lane Clarke | Casseur De Prix | Granville Equine
- Guy Thomas | The Gambler | Carolyn Catton
- Christopher Fellers | Cascade | Rich Fellers
- Alexandria Smith | Albatros | Alexandria Smith
- Heather Whitney-Lumley | Crusoe | Michael Glassman
- Jill Humphrey | Ramiz | Sarah Hansen
- Vinton Karrasch | Coral Reef Lord G | Coral Reef Ranch
$4,000 Swiss Up High Jump
Rider | Horse | Owner
1 Jenni Martin-McAllister | Here I Come | Jenni Martin-McAllister
2 Helen McNaught | Caballo | Helen McNaught
3 Ann Knight-Karrasch | Coral Reef Aajee | Coral Reef Management LLC
4 Alec Lawler | Dauphin De Muze | Alecc Lawler
5 Margaret Blasco | Carino | Margaret Blasco
5 Matt Archer | Cardoso | Zeitgeist Equestrian
5 Samantha Buirs | Coppola Mercedes Benz | Wise & Stow
The evening opened with a daring drill team performance
Chris Fellers showed off his jumper skill by going clean with Cascade
The elder Fellers congratulates his son after a fast performance.
Lane Clarke is known for his super fast running skills
With Bond behind the wheel, the Land Rover ate up the ground at top speed
Victory galloping with Southern Girl
Matt Archer and Cardosa just bounced the top rail of the high jump in Round 1
McNaught and Caballo check out the fence hieght as it's adjusted
Jumping big in fine form
Here I Come asks, "did I do that?!"