Karl Cook and Fecybelle Capture First Place Title in $100,000 Voltaire Grand Prix
Ashlee Bond and Dontatello 141 Emerge Victorious in the $50,000 Riders Bonus
For Immediate Release:
THERMAL, Calif. – December 13, 2020 – Karl Cook (USA) and Signe Ostby’s Fecybelle captured the first place title in Sunday’s $100,000 Voltaire Grand Prix with an unbeatable jump-off time of 39.604 seconds. Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Little Valley Farms’ Donatello 141 (Diarado x Luna) earned reserve for their time of 40.329 seconds. Kaitlin Campbell (USA) and Palina de L’escaut (Perigueux x Gallina), owned by Spy Coast Farm, LLC, stopped the timers at 43.938 seconds to finish off the podium in third.
Cook and the ten-year-old KWPN mare (Carambole x Becybelle) have been paired together since mid-2019: “We got her in the middle of the year last year and she is such a gamer. She knows her job and she loves doing it. It makes it easy for me because she gets excited and is like ‘oh it’s time to go,’” shared Cook. “She is such a competitive horse. Some horses, on their own, don’t run. I rode her great today. I feel so happy with my ride.”
Forty-five pairs challenged the course, designed by Anderson Lima (BRA), with only ten riding clear and returning for the jump-off.
“The plan [for the course] was fluid […] She turns really well and she is super on technical courses. When I have to gallop, at least in the past, she has gotten a bit flat over the fence. The course today, I didn’t think was suited to her because it was all off the forward gallop,” reflected Cook. “What ended up happening was the faster I went, the higher she went. So I could just keep going faster. The more she went up, the faster I could go. I kind of just kept accelerating through the course based on how she was feeling.”
Second-place finisher Bond also emerged victorious aboard Donatello 141 in the $50,000 Rider Bonus as part of the $500,000 West Coast Jumper Event Series. The event, co-produced with West Palms Event Management (WPEM), aimed to reward consistency amongst riders across three Grand Prixs: Desert International Horse Park (DIHP)’s $250,000 STX Vans Grand Prix, WPEM’s $100,000 Riders Cup, and finally DIHP’s $100,000 Voltaire Grand Prix.
“I definitely think it gave us something,” Bond shared. “Obviously you look forward to classes and competitions and all that. You aim for one major class at a show but I feel like [the Riders Bonus] gave us an opportunity to have it be more European because even when you compete in the Global Champions Tour, they have the leading rider and they do these cool things.”
For her top finish in the Riders Bonus, Bond walked away with $25,000. Eric Navet (FRA) and Signe Ostby’s Cadillac Jack (Cantoblanco x Cordina) earned $15,000 for their second place finish and Zazou Hoffman (USA) and Woodacre’s Stables LLC’s Samson II (Cardento 933 x Batista) finished third and received $10,000 for their efforts.
“You get to find out who is most consistent. It gives you something to fight for, more than just one class. It is kind of cool. It incentivises you to perfect your program and make sure your horse is peaking at the right time and for the right class. I really enjoy that,” concluded Bond.
About the Desert International Horse Park
With nearly 1.3 million square feet of competition and riding space, the Desert International Horse Park is one of the largest equestrian facilities in North America. Offering multiple weeks of world-class equestrian competition from October through March, the facility is a destination location for thousands of equestrians, their horses, family and friends for several months annually. Competitors from all over the world travel to Thermal, CA to not only compete but to enjoy everything the desert has to offer.