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Ashlee Bond Wins Reliable Equipment Rentals Grand Prix at Thunderbird

first_img SIGN UP Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! The $126k Reliable Equipment Rentals Grand Prix got underway Sunday afternoon at Thunderbird Show Park. With 34 entries from Canada, the USA, Venezuela and Israel, spectators were on the edge of their seats for a finish that put just three tenths of a second between first and second place. In the end, it was Ashlee Bond and Ace of Hearts who galloped to victory.“I’m so happy with this little rug rat,” said Bond. “He was a horse that I didn’t really want to ride because he was always looking to go sideways, back to barn, bite your foot, kick at your leg, spin and rear and all that crazy stuff, but he has grown up a lot. I always knew that if he could pull it together he would be an amazing horse because he’s so fast and so careful.”Course designer, Peter Holmes, challenged riders with a technical track that included a difficult triple combination and a 1.65m wide oxer to finish the round. Ten advanced to the jump off, which promised to be lighting fast with Rich Fellers, Richard Spooner, Susan Hutchison, Andres Rodriguez and Ashley Bond all in the order.Leading the jump off was Cara Anthony on Ayma De La Demi Lune. Looking to put down a solid round to set the pace, Anthony had a few fences down, finishing the round with 16 faults and a time of 54.29. Spooner was in next with Chivas Z. After a fast first round he was hoping to challenge, but a stop mid-course cost him time and faults. Hardin Towell and New York had a good rattle on the Asmar Equestrian fence before getting a little flat in the combination and taking a late rail.With six still to ride, Rich Fellers and his 19 year-old Irish bred stallion Flexible started with a hot pace and took a shorter turn back mid course to put the pressure on. Coming home with the first clear of the round and a time of 40.43 he ensured that the rest of the field would have to ride hard to catch him.Ray Texel and Baldira were on pace at 40.62, but a couple rails kept them out of the top spots. Next in were Susan Hutchison and Ziedento. The pair took a slightly wider turn on the early roll back, going clear with a time of 43.74 to move into second. Tiffany Sullivan and her power jumper, Christian Grey, had a late rail in the combination to finish with four faults and 49.43.The lone Canadian competitor in the jump off, Jenn Serek, lay down a solid round, getting the clear ride on Okapi De Terlong to guarantee a top five finish with her time of 49.42. Andres Rodriguez delivered a fault free round on SF Ariantha, landing off the final fence and shoulder checking to see his time, but it wasn’t quite enough to take the lead at 42.86.Ashlee Bond and eight year-old gelding, Ace of Hearts, wrapped up the class with an exciting round that had the crowd holding their breath. Riding forward through every element, the pair kicked up some dirt coming into the last line to take a couple tenths of a second off Fellers’ time and finish at 40.06.“I went out there and I stuck to my plan and I said, I don’t care what anyone else has done, I’m going to do my track. If you think fast on this horse, you’re in trouble. It’s me going easy, easy, ok you can open up a little bit here, now come back to me,” Bond notes. “My dad has put in so many hours on this horse and it’s been a rocky road, but this year it has finally come together and it’s so fulfilling. That’s what’s so exciting about today. I’m still learning him at this level, but this was a big milestone for us.”Founded in 1990, Reliable Equipment Rentals provides aerial equipment to valued customers throughout southwestern British Columbia. As the largest supplier of these machines, they are dedicated to excellence, providing customers with the best aerial lift rental experience possible.$126k Reliable Equipment Rentals Grand Prix – Top 10Horse/Rider/Owner/Time/Faults1. Ace of Hearts/Ashlee Bond/Little Valley Farms/40.06/-2. Flexible Rich/Fellers Harry & Mollie Chapman/40.43/-3. SF Ariantha/Andres Rodriguez/Robert Castro/42.86/-4. Ziedento/Susan Hutchison/St. Bride’s Farm/43.74/-5. Okapi De Terlong/Jenn Serek/Jenn Serek/49.42/-6. New York/Hardin Towell/Jennifer Gates/43.41/47. Christian Grey/Tiffany Sullivan/Haley Farms LLC/49.43/48. Chivas Z/Richard Spooner/Richard Spooner/50.65/49. Baldira/Ray Texel/Mirador Equestrian & Paul Shockemohle/40.62/810.Ayma De La Dem/Lune/Cara Anthony Potcreek Partners LLCThe $126k Reliable Equipment Rentals Grand Prix wrapped up two weeks of show jumping at Thunderbird Show Park. The Fort Classic and Fort Festival Tournmanets are the final events of the international season, celebrating the Park founders with the George & Dianne Tidball Grand Prix, raising awareness and funds with the Uryadi’s Village Grand Prix and elevating equestrian sport in British Columbia with the Longines FEI World Cup Qualifier.Thunderbird will welcome international riders back to Langley BC in May of 2015 when they host a Furusiyya Nations Cup Jumping™ qualifier. The Furusiyya Nations Cup Jumping™ series takes place at venues around the globe and includes 45 nations. Athletes from six regions complete in 19 qualifiers throughout the season in the hopes of making it to the world final. This year’s series finale will take place in Barcelona, Spain, in September. 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