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Ashlee Bond is a force to reckon with in Artisan Farms Nations Welcome

Friday, 02 June 2017
CSIO4* Langley 2017

Photo (c) Moi Photography. Ashlee Bond with Ace of Hearts. Photo (c) Moi Photography.

Ashlee Bond clinched the win in the CSIO4* Artisan Farms Nations Welcome at Thunderbird Show Park. In a field of 81 horses it was no easy feat to take that first-place spot, and Bond was the only rider to have two horses in the jump-off. After catching two rails with Chela LS (Chapultepec La Silla x Tlaloc La Silla) in the jump-off, she came back to ride a quick round with Ace of Hearts (Ace x Unknown) to take the win.

With a packed first round of 81 entries, the 1.45m Artisan Farms Nations Welcome was the only opportunity for riders not in the Nations Cup, to qualify for Sunday’s ATCO Nations Finale Grand Prix. Featuring a range of riders, from veterans Ian Millar and Rich Fellers to up and comers Jennifer Gates and Oma O'Neill, the class was an opportunity to get a feel for the grass and for Nations Cup riders to get a last practice ride in before the big day.

The course claimed many four fault rounds as it looped around with lines to combinations, to big oxers off the turn. It provided enough of a challenge to horses and riders without pressing too hard through corners. Course designer Peter Holmes had the hard task of preserving the grass footing with such a large class. Half way through, at around 40 riders, the jump crew shifted all the jumps over a few feet to provide clean, new take-off and landing spots. Riders were given the option to re-walk at this point.

With almost twenty riders coming back for the jump-off, it was going to be a test of speed and accuracy. Tiffany Foster was first to go clear in the jump-off with a beautiful round on the young mare Caipiranja (Taran de la Pomme x Darco), but her lead was quickly beaten by young American rider Uma O’Neill. Canadian Keean White was next to take the lead on Z Diamanty (Diamant de Semilly x Cor de la Bryere) with a clear time of 45.14 but that was no match for the queen of speed, Ashlee Bond. Back on her second horse, Ace of Hearts, Bond rode quick and tight, and most importantly, clear, with a time of 42.56. Will Simpson was last in, and was giving Bond a run for her money but had an awkward distance that resulted in a slide on the last jump. 

Source: Press release from Thunderbird Show Park / Picture © Moi Photography

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