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Ashlee Bond and Donatello 141 best in the Pepsi Challenge at Spruce Meadows 'North American'

Friday, 17 September 2021
CSI5* Spruce Meadows 'North American' 2021

Photo © Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk Ashlee Bond and Donatello 141 topped Thursday's Pepsi Challenge at the Spruce Meadows 'North American'. Photo © Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk.


Edited press release from Spruce Meadows



Ashlee Bond (ISR) cantered out of the International Ring a winner today, for the second day in a row of the Spruce Meadows 'North American' CSI5*, presented by Rolex. After her victory yesterday in the Trimac Cup, Bond returned to the ring today with another first place finish, this time aboard the 10-year old Westphalian gelding, Donatello 141 (Diarado x Lamourex I) in the Pepsi Challenge.

The 1.55m course, designed by Peter Grant (CAN), featured 13 obstacles over a 560m track, and a time allowed of 84 seconds. This was another challenging course put forward today by Grant, which only saw 6 riders go clear into the jump-off out of a starting field of 34.

"(Grant)'s usually not as tough as (Leopoldo Palacios)," Bond commented about today's course. "I thought (Grant) did a really good job...I was really impressed with his courses today, and I'm excited for Saturday." Bond was referring to the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup, which takes place on Saturday, September 18.

Bond also spoke to reporters more about her partner, Donatello 141, who she also recently took the Tokyo Olympics. "We've had him since he was just turning six (years old), so I know him extremely well," she said. "He's just super game! He knows the job, he gets it...and he loves it here. He's just a really special guy."

Bond had some company in the jump-off, including McLain Ward (USA) and HH Azur (Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Sir Lui vd Zuuthoeve), as well as Mario Deslauriers (CAN) with Uris De La Roque (Capital x Quick Star). It was Bond's time of 41.63 seconds that put her ahead of the other clear rounds, edging out Zoe Konter (BEL) and Davidoff De Lassus (Ugano Sitte x Origine du Mont D’or) in second place by over three seconds. Ward finished third, with one rail down in the jump-off, while fourth place went to Bliss Heers (USA) and Antidote de Mars (Diamant de Semilly x Jarnac). Deslauriers finished fifth, also he with four faults in the jump-off. 


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