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Ashlee Bond and Cadett 7 win the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix

THERMAL, CA (February 6, 2009)—Ashlee Bond and Little Valley Farm's Cadett 7 continued to prove that they are a force to be a reckoned with at the 2009 HITS Desert Circuit when the pair won Thursday’s $25,000 HITS Grand Prix in the indoor arena at the HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California.

Bond and Cadett 7 got the best of 36 riders who challenged Course Designer Bernardo Cabral's first round course and the additional eight who advanced to the jump-off. The win marks the third top placing for the duo on the circuit so far.

"They form the best team that we have ever had in our barn," said trainer and father Steve Bond. "Ashlee is serious and well mounted and they are the dream team."

Cadett 7 is a new mount for Bond. She bought him in July and has already made her mark in the irons. The duo won the $75,000 Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows last summer and now can add another top finish at HITS Thermal to their resume.

"This horse has unlimited potential," said Steve Bond. "So far he has done everything that we have asked him to do. This horse has a lot of credentials and I don't think anyone knows what he is capable of."

Out of the eight pairs who advanced to the jump-off, just three were able to go double clear. The first clean round in the jump-off belonged to Rich Fellers when he navigated the course without dropping any rails aboard Harry and Mollie Chapman's Flexible. They stopped the clocks in 31.82 to finish in second place.

Olympic Gold Medal winner Will Simpson rode Linda Smith's Archie Bunker to a clear trip in the jump-off. The duo made it all the way home in 33.95 to grab the yellow ribbon.

Bond and Cadett 7 were able to edge out Fellers and Flexible when they jumped clean and stopped the clocks in 31.27 to set the Great American Time to Beat. Their time would never be challenged as they would eventually win the class.

Karl Cook rode Signe Ostby's Uno De Laubry to a fourth place finish. The pair dropped a single rail and stopped the clocks in 33.11.

Rounding out the jump-off were Laura Teodori and L&M Ventures’ Kasoar D'Uxelles (fifth place), Lane Clark and Horsemanship Unlimited's Kiss the Sky (sixth place), Jenn Serek and Bradon Construction’s Bottom Line (seventh place) and Richard Spooner and Show Jumping Syndications’ Cristallo (eighth place)

Show-jumping action at the HITS Desert Circuit continues all weekend with Desert Circuit III and features the second of four FEI World Cup Qualifiers in the indoor arena on Saturday night when the $50,000 Purina Mills FEI World Cup Qualifier, presented by Adequan takes the stage. Prior to the class, a special ceremony to honor 2008 Olympians Jill Henselwood (Canada), Will Simpson (USA) and McLain Ward (USA) will take place.

HITS, Inc. is a special events management company primarily focused on producing hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS produced its first horse show circuit in Gainesville, Florida in 1982. Since that time, HITS has grown into a nationwide company with world-class hunter/jumper circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York and Virginia.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit http://www.HitsShows.com.

PHOTO: ©Flying Horse Photography; Ashlee Bond is on course during the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix.


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