We’re very excited to announce that Kristen Bond and her husband, Andrew Csik, are expecting their first child on Dec. 21. As Kristen so aptly put it, there is a life outside of horses, and after getting married last December, Kristen and Andrew decided to take the plunge into parenthood.
“We’re so excited and lucky it happened so easily,” Kristen said. “I have always loved kids and wanted to have them. It took a long time to find the right person to share that experience with. It’s easy to get caught up in our lives with horses, but it only takes less than a year, and then you’re right back at it.”
Kristen found out she was expecting after returning home to her New Jersey base from Aiken in mid-April, and at that point, she approached Phillip Dutton about campaigning her three upper-level horses during her pregnancy.
“My parents, Ray and Liz, and owners, John and Kristine Norton, have been so supportive,” Kristen said. “I never could have had this opportunity without them. It’s really amazing that they are so keen to see the horses improve and stay competitive with Phillip.”
Kristen stuck with her plan to compete all three horses through Jersey Fresh — though she had to withdraw before cross country due to a nasty bout of the flu that landed her in the hospital — and Phillip had the horses out for the first time this past weekend at Stuart Horse Trials.
Seams Ready, a 2002 Oldenburg gelding owned by the Nortons, finished second in Open Intermediate on 44.7, followed by Get Ready, a 2006 Dutch gelding owned by Ray Bond and the Nortons, in equal third place on 46.1.
Phillip and I’m Sew Ready, a 10-year-old Dutch gelding owned by the Nortons, were leading the Open Intermediate after dressage on a score of 28.5, but retired on cross country after a “little blip,” as Phillip wrote in his blog. All the horses will be out again at Millbrook at the end of the month, where Kristen will watch them go with Phillip for the first time.
“I’ve never been an owner before,” Kristen said. “It’s so great to enjoy the process and know that at the end of it, I’ll have way better horses. He’s doing me a huge service and making them better every day. It’s a total win-win.”
The plan is for Phillip to ride both I’m Sew Ready and Seams Ready in the CCI3* at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International this fall, with Get Ready aiming for the CCI2*. Kristen noted she’ll be the “big pregnant lady waddling after her horses” at the event, which will be about two months before her due date.
All three horses will stay in Phillip’s program in Aiken for the winter while Kristen settles into motherhood and works on getting back into shape with her two youngsters, Enough Already, a 2008 Dutch gelding currently going Preliminary, and Born Ready, a 2009 Thoroughbred gelding she bought sight unseen from California through Valerie Ashker.
“It’s strange to go from being fit and competitive, then all of a sudden you’re eating ice cream like it’s the best thing you’ve ever tasted,” Kristen said. “My husband is a conditioning trainer for professional athletes, which works out great because he can get me back into shape.”
The next big milestone in Kristen’s pregnancy happens on Friday when she finds out of she’s expecting a boy or a girl. She’s graciously offered to share the news with EN readers, so be sure to check back on Friday to find out if she’s having a little William Fox-Pitt or Mary King. Congrats, Kristen and Andrew!