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Ashlee Bond and Ace of Hearts lay down an unbeatable


36.65-second jump-off round to win the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix in Del Mar.


Bond aces it


New mom wins grand prix with thrilling jump-off


D special to the horsetrader


EL MAR—After laying down an unbeatable jump-off round in a


speedy 36.65 seconds, Ashlee Bond clinched the win in the $25,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix aboard Little Valley Farms’ Ace of Hearts. Third to go, Bond stopped the clock two seconds faster than the previous double clean. Tina Yates did ride ACE Equestrian’s Caesar faster than Bond, but with one heartbreak rail finished with four faults and fourth place. Renowned course designer


Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela designed the grand prix track, which challenged riders over three double combinations plus a variety of technical questions. Eleven riders incurred time faults, three of whom would oth- erwise have been clear. Bond had the right strategy for


the fi rst round. “Timewise, I always plan like


I’m riding a ‘Leopoldo course,’” she explained. “So when I am, we’re usually within the time, no problem.” Palacios set a jump-off with two tight rollback turn options,


Ashlee Bond celebrates the win with her husband Roy and daughter Scot ie, along with Melissa Brandes of Blenheim EquiSports.


one right aſt er another. All six riders opted for the fi rst rollback turn and the fi rst three to return were double clear, each one faster than the next. Bond was the fi rst to at empt the second inside turn, did it with ease, then


maintained a strong gallop to claim her speedy time and the title. About her winning track Bond said, “In the jump-off , I was just going to land and see where I was for the second inside turn. I


Capturedmomentphoto.com photo Capturedmomentphoto.com photo


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