A bit of heckling for Israeli riders before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Israel’s first Olympic equestrian team will prepare for a trip to Tokyo this month. The squad of Ashlee Bond, Elad Yaniv and Danielle Waldman will compete without teammate Daniel Bluman, who was excluded from the Games this week.

Colombia-born Bluman was told he couldn’t compete because his horse, Gemma, is listed as American rather than Israeli. Bluman requested the help of the International Federation of Equestrian Sports (FEI) to correct this error but was refused, so Bluman was replaced by Teddy Vlok, who will ride in Amsterdam.

The team, along with Bluman, qualified for the Olympic Games in July 2019 with a victory in the Olympic show jumping qualifications at Maxima Park in Moscow.

The American-Israeli Bond is one of the members of the squad who will continue at the Games in the coming weeks. Bond, 36, is a Christian, although her father is Jewish and was born in Haifa, and she became an Israeli citizen in 2018.

Bond started competing at the age of six and won his first grand prize at age 16. Since then, Bond has won the 2009 CHIO Aachen, the 2014 HITS $ 1 million Grand Prix and an FEI Nations Cup, among other titles.Israeli equestrian Ashley Bond. (Courtesy)
His US-Israeli teammate Waldman grew up on the Upper East Side of New York City. Waldman’s parents were nationally and world-ranked professional squash players. Her riding career began at the age of six in the United States, but she only turned professional in 2012 when she was an Israeli citizen. Waldman has won numerous horse riding competitions, including the € 300,000 LGCT 2019 Grand Prix at CSI 5 Berlin. Waldman, 36, is known for wearing hundreds of colored hair extensions in competitions that take her over six hours to put on. American-Israeli horsewoman Danielle Waldman.  (Courtesy)American-Israeli horsewoman Danielle Waldman. (Courtesy)

The latest member of the team is Elad Yaniv, 43. Yaniv had 944 starts and 26 wins during his long equestrian career. Yaniv started riding at the age of seven months with his father in Israel and at six he started riding. At the age of 16, he began to practice jumping, including as a nurse and rider at a sales stand near Arnhem, the Netherlands. In addition to competing, Yaniv also runs the Elan Yaniv Show Jumping Stables in Willich, Germany.

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