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Ashlee Bond wins the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix

THERMAL, CA (February 20, 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 30 riders who challenged Course Designer Aki Ylanne's (Riihimaki, Finland) first round course and the additional six who advanced to the jump-off. The win marks the second win in a row for Bond in the Thursday Grand Prix classes at the HITS Desert Circuit.

The pair has enjoyed tremendous success competing in the indoor arena at HITS Thermal this season, placing in the money in all five of the Grand Prix classes held indoors so far. "I love the indoor ring at HITS Thermal," said Bond. "For some reason, I’ve always enjoyed riding in very small arenas. I like how you have to be on your toes and everything happens so fast. HITS has done a great job on the indoor arena this year, bringing in a lot of greenery and making it very spectator friendly which I love. It’s great when you get a lot of fans and other riders, owners and trainers coming out to support you!"

"Cadett is a 12 year-old gelding that I started riding in June," continued Bond. "He is an incredible horse that just needed someone to believe in him. He is proving to be the most incredible horse that I’ve ever had the privilege of riding."

First to show in the jump-off was Canadian Kim Farlinger and Peter Farlinger's BayStreet. The duo made it all the way home clear in 49.48 to set the Great American Time to Beat. When the class was complete, they would finish in third place.

John Pearce rode Forest View Farm's and Gerald Moore's Chianto second in the jump-off, and they were fast and clear stopping the clock in 40.72 to become the new class leader. The former Canadian Olympian would finish in second place at the end of the class.

Bond and Little Valley Farm's Cadett 7 were next to go. A clear round in 39.88 would propel the duo to the top of the leader board and the blue ribbon when the jump-off was complete.

Fourth to show was Lane Clark and Horsemanship Unlimited's Kiss the Sky. A rail down at the first jump would land them in fourth place. Fifth to show were Kevin Gielen and John Endicott's Robbedoes. Two rails down put the duo in fifth place.

The envious last-to-go spot belonged to Katherine Bardis and C&S Partnership's Mademoiselle. Bardis voluntarily withdrew from the class after dropping a rail and having a refusal midway through the course to finish in sixth place.

"The course walked straight forward but rode quite challenging,” said Bardis. "Ashlee did a great job. She made it look so smooth and easy."

"I wanted to get six to eight clean," said Ylanne. "So I was very happy when I got six. I think the horses jumped very well and on Saturday I am going to bring the jumps up in height. It is a world cup qualifier so the course should be a little more difficult."

Show-jumping action at the HITS Desert Circuit continues all weekend with Desert Circuit IV and features the third of four FEI World Cup Qualifiers in the indoor arena on Saturday night when the $50,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier, presented by Adequan, takes the stage.

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 Credit: ©Flying Horse Photography

Photo Caption: Ashlee Bond is on course during the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix

 

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