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Speed is Key for Ashlee Bond at Spruce Meadows

RELEASE: June 8, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Ashlee Bond and Cadett 7 (Spruce Meadows Media Services)
Ashlee Bond and Cadett 7 (Spruce Meadows Media Services)
Calgary, Alberta
- Ashlee Bond and her veteran partner Cadett 7, a 16-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Cor de la Bryere x Capitol I owned by Little Valley Farm, flew through the 16 numbered obstacles on today's course for the $60,000 TransCanada Parcours de Chasse 1.45m to take the top prize in 100.059 seconds. John Perez (COL) and Utopia set the early winning pace and finished second in 103.505 seconds. Third place went to Francois Mathy (BEL) on Elvis van de Vrunte in 103.962 seconds. There were 18 entries in today's competition over a faults converted track that included the derby bank and grob.

Today's competition was a perfect warm-up for Bond and Cadett 7, who will also take a shot at tomorrow's $175,000 Nexen Cup 1.60m Derby. On today's ride, Bond said, “It worked out. That is his forte. This is not as big as he normally jumps, so it was a little bit easier on him, which was kind of the idea. He could go in and have a not so tough day. He felt super and he was on it.”

Her plan was to establish pace before the first jump. She explained, “It's better to just pick up a good gallop and stick with with it, rather than running and whoa-ing. He was on the muscle. We tried to maintain that throughout. He's game for everything.”

Bond said that Cadett 7 had a splint in his leg before this year's FEI World Cup Finals in April, so she left him at home and took her newer horse Wistful. Since then, she has been slow in bringing him back to top form. “He's 16, so a couple weeks is like a couple of months for him. It takes a while to build him back up,” she remarked. “This is his fifth class. He feels better and better each class. I'm building up to the bigger stuff in the second half (of circuit). (But) he'll tell me if he doesn't want to jump 1.50m, 1.60m anymore and I'll keep him in 1.45m.”

Bond finished second in the Nexen Cup in 2010 and knew that she would have to let Cadett 7 practice the grob jump so that he is prepared for tomorrow. “That was my main concern today, but he was dragging me through it and didn't care!” she said. “I've done that course before and he has too. He's really smart. When he's feeling strong and healthy, he's really fast. We can't go as fast because he's got to jump bigger, but I think we'll have a pretty good shot tomorrow, I'm hoping.”